Whether you're in the midst of bikini season or making the rounds at holiday cocktail parties in your strapless gowns, you need guns that will stun. For that you need a quick workout to shape up your shoulders, biceps and triceps so you never need to hide your arms in long sleeves or worry about granny arms when you wave -- buff arms are always in season.
Pad Those Shoulders
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Looking for lovely, rounded shoulders to show off? Then add lateral dumbbell raises to your workout. Start in a standing position with dumbbells in each hand hanging down at your sides. Slowly lift the dumbbells with palms facing downward till they are even with your shoulders, keeping your arms straight but your elbows unlocked. To tone up your shoulders, keep your weights fairly light so that you can do at least 12 to 15 repetitions per set. But if you really want to build up rounded shoulders, increase your weights so that you can only do eight to 10 reps per set. That will give you Linda Hamilton "Terminator" arms.
Bulge Those Biceps
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When you think of bodybuilders striking a pose with their bent arms, it's the biceps muscle bulging up in those arms. Building up the biceps isn't exactly rocket science -- most people are familiar with arm curls, which target this muscle. Start in a standing position with two dumbbells in your hands resting on the front of your thighs, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows, bringing your hands up toward your shoulders, then slowly lower back to the starting position. The same rules of weight repetitions apply to this exercise as they do to the shoulders -- lower weight and higher reps equals toning, higher weight and lower reps equals building muscle.
Train Those Triceps
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When you wave to your friends, do your upper arms flap in the breeze? Well, tone up your triceps and fear no more. Take one dumbbell, preferably a little heavier than what you normally work with, and raise it over your head with your palms facing forward. Bend the elbow till the weight is behind your head, then raise back to the upright position. Repeat 12 to 15 times per set -- I'm going to guess you really don't want to bulk up this area, so keep the repetitions high.
Watch What You Eat
While weight training tones up muscles, if there's too much fat covering them, no one will be able to see all the hard work you've done sculpting those muscles. So make sure you watch your diet and keep fats to a minimum, and get some cardiovascular exercise at least five times a week to keep your body fat lean and mean. You don't really want to do all that weight training for nothing, do you?
- Strength Training Anatomy, Third Edition; Frederic Devalier
Diana Price began writing in 1986 with the "Kokomo Tribune." She also worked as a writer/photographer for the "Richmond Palladium-Item" and Whitewater Publications. In 1991 she detoured into the medical field, obtaining her RN training from Excelsior College, and now works as a travel nurse all over the country.