A comprehensive approach to weight loss is the most effective way for girls to drop pounds and build lean muscle. A healthy diet, regular cardio and doing two or three strength training sessions each week will burn calories. Arm exercises will help replace fat with muscle and the results will be visible after overall weight loss occurs. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Back to Basics
Don’t overlook the benefits of a basic pushup. Pushups tone the triceps, shoulders and biceps while building core strength. Kneel on all fours, aligning your hips with your knees and your shoulders with your wrists. Widen your hands 2 inches, extend your legs behind you and lift onto your toes. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift your hips into alignment with your shoulders, back and knees. Don’t let your hips drop during the exercise. Lower your body toward the floor, bending and flaring your elbows as you go down. Stop before your chest contacts the floor, push your arms to straight and lift your body to the start position. Do pushups on your knees if this is too hard. Complete 12 to 15 repetitions, stopping when your muscles fatigue.
Lift 'Em Up
Bicep curls tone and develop muscle on the front of the arms. To do standard curls, hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest your arms by your sides. Turn your palms forward and tighten your stomach muscles. Press your upper arms against your sides, then lift the weights slowly toward your shoulders. Stop before your hands touch your shoulders, then lower the weights. Complete 12 to 15 reps, stopping when your biceps fatigue. To do hammer curls, turn your palms inward instead of forward.
Fat on the back of the arms can make some girls self-conscious about their appearance. To work your triceps, try dips. Sit on the edge of a chair and place your hands on the chair, directly next to your hips. Wrap your fingers around the edge of the chair, straighten your back and tighten your abdominal muscles. Tuck your elbows by your sides and walk your feet forward 24 inches. Lift your hips off the chair. Lower your hips toward the floor, bending your elbows as you lower. Keep your elbows tucked as you descend. Stop when the back of your arms are parallel to the floor, push your arms to straight, lifting your hips in front of the chair. Complete 12 to 15 reps, stopping when your triceps fatigue.
Toss the Ball
Exercise provides an opportunity to get in shape with friends or family. Grab a weighted ball and a friend. Face one another and stand about 10 feet apart. Lift the ball in front of your chest and your elbows to your sides, parallel to the floor. Throw the ball to your friend without dropping your elbows. Pass the ball back and forth 12 to 15 times, stopping when your shoulders, arms and chest muscles fatigue. Stagger your stance, lift the ball overhead, bend your elbows and position the ball behind your head. In one motion, lift the ball over your head, straighten your arms and throw it to your partner. Continue passing until your shoulders, biceps and triceps fatigue, typically 12 to 15 times.
- American Council on Exercise: Terrific Triceps
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise