If your arms keep jiggling long after you've stopped moving them around, and if you find yourself hiding them beneath long-sleeve shirts, it's time to trim off the fat and build some muscle. Dumbbell exercises can help you tone your arms as you burn fat with heart-pumping aerobic exercise. Although it's not possible to spot reduce, a combination of the two can help you get slender, well-defined arms you love to show off.
Tricep kickbacks are an effective way to build and tone the muscles on the underside of your arm to build sexy, slender arms. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows and bring your upper arms close to your sides, keeping them there for the entire exercise. Extend your lower arms back and behind you with your elbows facing the ceiling. Draw your arms forward to complete one repetition. Use dumbbells heavy enough to tire your triceps after 12 repetitions; it should be a challenge to finish the last one. When the weights start to feel easier to handle, switch to heavier dumbbells. Repeat this and all other strength training exercises two or three times weekly.
Shoulder Press with Alternating Arms
Get into the starting position by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Position your hands directly to the sides of your chest. Use your arm muscles to push your right arm up until it's almost completely extended. Lower your arm with control while pushing the left arm up. Repeat alternating shoulder presses using enough weight to tire the muscles at 12 reps.
Stand with your arms down at your sides while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your right arm out toward your side, keeping your elbow bent slightly. Continue raising your arm toward your head, and then go past the front of your face as if you're trying to reach toward your left arm. Slowly bring your right arm back to the starting position. Repeat 12 times with each arm to strengthen the muscles on the underside of your arm.
Get Rid of the Fat
As you strengthen and tone your triceps, do some cardio to get rid of body fat. Strength training exercises build muscles to give your arms a firmer, sexier look, but they don't burn fat. Get your butt in gear by jogging, riding your bike, going swimming or race-walking for one hour per day, five days per week. Aim to burn approximately 500 calories per hour, which means you'll burn 3,500 calories and lose 1 pound of fat after each seven workouts, while slowly revealing the toned muscles you're developing.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- American Council on Exercise: Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks
- Health Magazine: Tone-Up Exercises-- Sexier Arms in 3 Weeks
- Georgia State University: Physical Activity
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.