Strong, toned arms complement any outfit and enhance your ability to perform activities in everyday life. Whether lifting your baby, carrying groceries or taking a group fitness class, strong arms make you look and feel fit. Use your body weight and a little creativity to strengthen and tone your arms at home with a workout that fits into any schedule.
Start your pushup from a full plank position on your toes with your arms extended, your core tight and your eye gaze forward. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees while lowering your chest toward the floor. Press through your palms as you extend your arms to return to your starting position. Increase the intensity of your pushup by marching your feet off the floor as you complete each repetition. Start by lifting your right foot off the floor during your pushup and then switch to your left foot on your next repetition.
Sit on the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees, your feet flat on the floor and your hands placed behind your glutes with your fingers facing forward. Keeping your elbows narrow, press into your palms and extend your elbows while lifting your glutes off the floor. Without touching your glutes to the ground, bend your elbows to 90 degrees to complete the movement. To increase the intensity of the exercise, lift your right foot off the floor as you complete one set of repetitions followed by your left foot when you complete your second set.
Biceps Curl and Shoulder Press
Fill up two of your favorite water bottles to add resistance to your arm-toning routine. Stand with your core tight, a water bottle in each hand and your palms facing in. Start the movement by curling the water bottles toward your chest. When the bottles reach shoulder height, press the bottles toward the ceiling by extending your arms overhead with your palms facing in. Return the bottles to their starting position first by lowering the bottles to shoulder height and then by extending your elbows to lower the bottles toward the floor. Increase the intensity of the movement by lifting larger water bottles or cans of food.
Sets and Repetitions
After a five- to 10-minute warm-up, complete eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise and two to four sets. Perform this workout one to two days each week. When you can easily finish 12 repetitions, progress your workout by trying to complete your routine more quickly. Cool down for five to 10 minutes at the end of your workout by stretching your upper body.
Amanda McVey has been teaching fitness and personal training since 2008 in the San Francisco, New York City and Seattle markets. She is an ACSM certified personal trainer, AFAA certified group fitness instructor and UGI master trainer. McVey has many credits to her education including indoor cycling, pre- and postnatal, TRX, rip training, and trigger point therapy.