Sexy arms are at the top of every woman's Christmas list. There's no other body part that screams "hottie" like well-sculpted arms, with defined triceps and toned biceps. But getting perfect arms can be an uphill struggle and is a careful balancing act between building lean muscle and stripping away the fat. Put down your 2 pound dumbbells, quit with your bench dips and start performing the new best exercises for sexy arms.
Surprisingly perhaps, some of the best exercises for sexy arms aren't arm-focused ones. While you may think of parallel bar dips and bench presses as working your chest and chin-ups and lat pulldowns as back-builders, these multijoint movements are actually the best for hitting your arms. Compound exercises like these work more muscle groups, hit the muscle fibers harder and stimulate more growth, writes trainer Cassandra Forsythe in "The New Rules of Lifting for Women." Not only that, but the more muscles you work, the more calories you burn and the faster you lose fat. So sexy arms in less time -- who'd have thought it? Make these exercises the foundation to your upper-body routine.
Besides your chin-ups and pulldowns, there's a veritable smorgasbord of biceps exercises to assist you in your quest for stunning arms. Any curl variation, such as dumbbell, barbell, cable or machine curl, will hit your biceps. If you don't have any weights -- never fear. Try a self-resisted curl, advises personal trainer and fitness consultant Amanda Vogel. Hold your right arm at your side and place your left on top of it, then try to curl the right arm up while applying pressure down with the left.
It's all aboard the pushup train when it comes to working the triceps. Not just your standard pushups though -- you need super triceps-activating pushups. Use a much narrower grip than you would usually and keep your elbows tucked into your body. Make sure you feel your triceps engaging on the way down and back up, notes trainer David Kirsch, author of "Abs and Arms." If you struggle with these, do them with your knees on the ground before building up to full close-grip pushups. Add in a few sets of cable pushdowns and dumbbell extensions and you're well on your way to terrific triceps.
Work your arms twice a week -- once indirectly with a chest, shoulder and back workout that includes bench or dumbbell presses, dumbbell rows, pulldowns, chin-ups and dips, and have one other arm-blasting session. In this workout perform two types of biceps curl, the triceps pushups and one other triceps isolation. Start with four sets of eight to 12 reps on each exercise, using a challenging weight. Once you can hit four sets of 12, increase the weight you're lifting. Pretty soon it'll be time to say goodbye to your long-sleeved sweaters and a very welcome hello to vest tops and slinky T-shirts.
- The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess; Cassandra Forsythe and Lou Schuler
- Best Health Mag: 8 Arm Exercises for Women
- Total Beauty: 7 Arm Exercises for Immediate Results
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.