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Workout 7 - Arm Exercises to Tone and Tighten for Women

 
Stay Present in the Moment
 

We recommend staying present in the moment when you are lifting a free weight or running on the treadmill. Instead of watching the news, reading a magazine, or chatting with people around you while you workout, we say to connect to your body. Be in touch with your breathing. Be aware of how your body feels.

The following program consists of two exercises each for the biceps and the triceps. This allows you to work different areas of each of these muscle groups.

Pick a weight that allows you to complete between 8 and 12 repetitions. Perform two to three sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise. Give the muscles time to recover between workouts -- at least 48 hours.

 
BICEPS
 
Standing Biceps Curl with Dumbbells
 
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, or sit in upright position.
  • Grasp dumbbells with an underhand grip (palms facing forward), arms hanging down at your sides.
  • Flex at the elbows and curl dumbbells up to approximately shoulder level. Keep elbows close to sides throughout movement -- don't allow them to move forward. This exercise may be done one arm at a time.
  • Return to starting position.

 

 
Hammer Curls with Dumbbells
 

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, or sit in upright position.
  • Grasp dumbbells with palms facing each other, arms hanging down at your sides.
  • Flex at the elbows and curl dumbbells up to approximately shoulder level. Keep elbows close to sides throughout movement -- don't allow them to move forward. This exercise may be done one arm at a time.
  • Return to starting position.
 
Note: Remember to keep back and head straight in a neutral position throughout movement. Shoulders should be stabilized by squeezing shoulder blades together slightly -- only the elbow joint should move.
 
TRICEPS
 
Lying Triceps Extension with Dumbbells
 
  • Sit in upright position on a flat bench. Rest dumbbells on corresponding thighs.
  • Lie on back and bring the dumbbells to your chest. Press up so they are directly over shoulders with palms facing in.
  • Lower dumbbells toward forehead by bending elbows to 90. Elbows should remain pointing forward. Arms shouldn't move from the shoulder to the elbow.
  • Return to start position.

 
Triceps Kickback with Dumbbells
 

  • Place right knee and left hand on flat bench. Keep back flat.
  • Grasp dumbbell. Raise right arm up so that upper arm is parallel to floor with lower arm hanging straight down toward floor -- palm facing in.
  • Keep upper arm parallel to floor and raise dumbbell straight back until arm is almost straight. Don't lock out elbow.
  • Lower dumbbell slowly back to starting position, keeping your upper arm parallel to the floor. All the movement should be in your elbow, not your shoulder.
  • After performing all the repetitions with the right arm, reverse position and perform move with left arm.
 
Note: For both exercises, remember to keep back and head straight in a neutral position -- hyperextension may cause injury. Keep shoulder stabilized throughout movement.
 

 
SOURCES: Richard Cotton, spokesman, American Council on Exercise. Rich Weil, MEd, CDE, exercise physiologist

 

Written by: Barry DeHart (07/30/04)