Tired of hiding your arms under loose fitting shirts? There are many effective exercises for your arms that will tighten and tone the muscles. The main muscle groups that make up the arms are the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and forearms.
Curls are the most popular bicep exercise for two very good reasons—they are effective and easy to perform. The only equipment necessary to perform bicep curls are dumbbells or any weighted item that can be held easily in a hand. Bicep curls can be performed standing or seated, and are easy to do in the comfort of your own home.
If standing, feet should be hip width apart, knees slightly bent, core tight, and torso perpendicular to the ground. Arms should be hanging at either side with a dumbbell comfortable being held in each hand (if only one dumbbell is available perform reps with one arm, and then switch). To start the curl movement, bend only from the elbow, bringing the dumbbell towards the shoulder. Keeping the upper arm and shoulder still during the curl isolates the bicep muscle ensuring effective movement. Slowly lower the weight back to starting position.
Dips are another highly effective, easy to perform in your own home exercise. The only equipment needed is a chair or bench.
While sitting on the edge of the chair with feet on the floor, knees bent at a 90 degree angle, place each palm down next to the hips. With each hand securely in place, move the body forward just in front of the chair. The body weight should now be supported by the arms. Bending at the elbow, lower the body towards the floor, keeping the back straight and close to the edge of the chair. When the elbow bend reaches approximately a 90 degree angle, push back up to starting position with the body just in front of the chair.
Shoulder presses (sometimes referred to as a Military Press) can be performed with dumbbells. Similar to bicep curls, shoulder presses can be done standing or sitting.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bring each hand to approximately ear level, palms facing forward. Press each weight up paying careful attention to keeping the right and left hands even, and pressing up in a straight line not swaying forward or back behind the head. Slowly lower dumbbells along the same path back to starting position.
The forearms (lower part of the arm from the wrist to elbow) are often not isolated with the exception of sport specific training. However, the forearms do receive secondary benefits from all exercises that involve gripping or stabilization. Sore forearms are usually an indication of gripping dumbbells very tightly.
The best exercise for your arms is the pushup. Pushups utilize body weight to work the entire array of muscles in the arms, as well as chest and back muscles. Contrary to common belief, pushups are easy to perform and adaptable to all fitness levels.
Putting it all together
Weight selection is important to the effectiveness of the exercise as well as form. Choose a weight that allows about 12 repetitions to be performed while feeling fatigue on the last two. If no fatigue is felt in the muscle group being exercised, increase the weight about 2 pounds.
Focus on form while performing exercises for your arms and your muscles will undoubtedly reap the benefits.