Whether your goal is to wear a sleeveless top confidently or increase strength to lift and carry objects, arm-strengthening sessions performed three times a week can help you get results. For each exercise, aim to complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps. If you’re concerned about bulking up like men do, don’t worry – women have lower levels of testosterone, making it difficult to build muscles of extreme size.
Size of the Weights
It might seem easier to work out with a lighter weight, but it won’t do your arms any favors. Choose a weight that completely fatigues your arms by the last rep, meaning your arms aren’t capable of lifting it again. However, if you find yourself tiring before that third set is done, your weight is too heavy – swap it out for something lighter and try to progress to that heavier weight. Once you’re able to easily complete all three sets at 12 reps each, congratulations – you’ve gained enough strength to increase the size of your weight.
Instead of focusing on exercises that target just one muscle group, incorporate compound exercises in your workout. These exercises work multiple muscles are one time, meaning you’re stimulating more muscle fibers – offering a bigger bang for your strength-training buck – as well as decreasing the amount of time you need to spend in the gym. One example of a compound exercise targeting your arms is the bicep curl/shoulder press combo, which works your biceps and shoulders in one swift movement. Hold a pair of free weights with your palms facing out while standing with your feet hip-width apart. Curl your arms up toward your shoulders, bending your elbows, and then twist your forearms so your palms face out. Push the weights up over your shoulders, and then reverse the motion to bring the weights back to the starting position.
Muscles to Target
For sexy, sculpted arms, incorporate strengthening activities for each muscle in and surrounding your arms. This includes your forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and back, as all these muscles help create the appearance of toned arms. Work your shoulders, biceps and triceps at one time with a power curl exercise by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Shrug your left shoulder toward your ear, release it, and then bend your right elbow in a bicep curl move, bringing the weight up to your shoulder. At the same time, lift your left arm straight out to the side so it’s perpendicular to your body. Lower both arms, and then repeat on the other side. A double pull exercise works your back and biceps, so stand with your left foot slightly in front of the right. Extend your arms in front of your at chest height while holding dumbbells, and then pull the weights in toward your hips while squeezing your shoulder blades.
No matter what you call it – underarm jiggle, bat wings, bingo arms or some other creative name – the goal for many women is to get rid of the excess fat that hangs from their triceps. It’s not only the result of poorly toned triceps, but also of additional fat that’s deposited there. While strengthening your triceps through exercises such as dips and overhead tricep extensions can help, it’s necessary to rid your body of excess fat through a combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength-training and calorie control for the wiggle to completely disappear.
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.