Getting slim and toned arms isn't as simple as doing arm exercises. Spot reducing doesn't work. You can perform moves to tone those muscles, but if there's a layer of fat covering them, all your hard work goes unnoticed. Combining strength training with fat-shedding cardiovascular activities is your fast track to an awe-worthy upper body.
Build Muscles by Lifting Weights
Free weights, machines, dumbbells -- any type you choose will help build and sculpt your arm muscles. Some of the types of moves you'll want to perform are biceps curls, dumbbell bench presses, lateral pull downs and shoulder presses. These moves all have both toning and slimming effects. Perform strength-training exercises two or three times a week on alternating days to allow your muscles time to heal.
Tone Arms During Cardio
Cardiovascular workouts are immensely important for heart health and for shredding unwanted pounds. You should engage in 20 to 30 minutes of intense cardio three to five times a week. You can tone your arms while you get your heart pumping by getting them involved. Give the rowing machine a try; it offers cardiovascular benefits and tones your arms, legs and your core muscles. If rowing isn't for you, pump your arms as you run or blast through elliptical workouts; for best results strap on weighted armbands and keep them moving.
Get Yoga Arms
Along the same vein of using your body's own weight for toning, certain yoga poses engage every part of your arms, giving you a sculpted upper body without lifting a weight. Planks, side planks, and Downward and Upward Dog are all poses that will help you achieve slimmer arms and an improvement in upper-body strength. You hold each pose for the duration of five breaths, then repeat the entire set five times. Do this three to five times a week.
Burning and Consuming
Building your arm muscles isn't always enough to achieve a slim and toned look. If you have additional weight to lose, your arm muscles won't be visible. Combining exercise with a healthy diet is the most effective way to achieve fat loss. Dropping a pound or two a week is considered a healthy rate of loss. The process is really about eating healthy and burning off more calories than you consume. A pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories. So you would be using your diet and exercise routine to create a deficit of at least 500 calories a day to achieve a loss of one pound per week.
- Health.com: A 5-Minute Yoga Routine for Strong, Slim Arms
- Huffington Post: How to Perform a Burpee Exercise Video
- American Council on Exercise: Arm Exercises
- Washington Post: Cardio Vs Weights; The Battle is Over
- CNN Health: How to get Michelle Obama's Toned Arms
- American Council on Exercise: So You Want to Spot Reduce? Here's How
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss: Diet vs. Exercise