Running is a popular sport and a fantastic form of cardio exercise that offers numerous benefits -- such as improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and stress relief. Although most people associate running as benefiting the major muscle groups in the lower body, your arms also get a great workout if you're running correctly. Incorporate a few simple tips into your next run and help slim down your arms.
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Biceps and Triceps
The arms are primarily made up of two major muscle groups. The biceps brachii muscle is a two-headed muscle that sits at the front of the upper arm. The primary function of this muscle is helping with shoulder flexion. When you raise your arm, your bicep muscle is mainly responsible for this action. The triceps muscle group is a large three-headed muscle group that sits at the back of the upper arm, and works as an antagonist of the biceps muscles.
The Benefits of Running
Incorporating running as a form of cardio in your total workout plan can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and stroke, among other health conditions. One of the main benefits of running lies in its fat-burning abilities. Running is an effective way to burn calories and lose fat from all over your body. If your goal is slimming down the size of your arms, you can't spot reduce -- but running regularly will slim your shape. Aim to go for a run outside or on the treadmill five times a week for at least 30 minutes each time, to get results.
Incorporating Your Arms
Running primarily works the major muscle groups in your lower body, namely your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. To work the muscles in your arms, don't keep them straight down at your sides while running. Swing your arms fast by your sides as you run, with your arms bent on a 90-degree angle, keeping your shoulders back and straight, advise experts at Shape.com.
Stretching Counts Too
To maximize the benefits of your running workout, don't forget to stretch before and after each run. Dynamic stretches work best prior to your workout to help warm up your body, but stick to static stretches after running, which help by suppressing your central nervous system. These arm stretches, such as the crossover arm stretch and the triceps stretch, lengthen your muscles and maximize the benefits of your workout.