Nothing quite beats a sleeveless ensemble with bronzed, toned arms on display, but they’re one of those body parts that women often feel self-conscious about and prefer to cover up. So, to help you get long and lean arms to rival those of Michelle Obama, we’ve created a killer workout for you to do in the comfort of your home – one that you can even easily squeeze in before heading to the office. It takes just five minutes a day and, a few weeks from now, you’ll be sure to see a big difference! Repeat each exercise below for one minute and feel the burn to better, more beautiful arms.
Start with your knees on the floor and place your hands just lower than shoulder level, with your shoulders down away from your ears. Engage your core and keep a neutral spine – it should be in line with your bottom and legs. Lower your chest to the ground and then push back up, staying controlled. If this feels too easy, you can take a full push-up position where you’re in a plank position with your toes on the ground instead of your knees. Push-ups are incredibly effective using body weight alone, and work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and back muscles.
Make sure it’s your chest that meets the ground, not your neck. Pushing your neck forward to get lower can cause injury and doesn’t maximize the work on the arms and chest.
This slight moderation in positioning to regular push-ups really boosts the work for the tricep muscles, targeting those pesky “bingo wings”. Instead of your hands being slightly outside of your body, they’re now nearer together, just closer than shoulder-width apart. Repeat the same movement by lowering your chest to the ground and pushing back up, maintaining a close hand and elbow position. Your elbows should be as close to your body throughout the movement, as is comfortable.
Bent-Over Tricep Extension
Start by getting into position with your hips facing forward, and one arm at a 90-degree angle. Keep one leg straight, and bend the other against a chair using the same side hand to support the body. The arm that works is the one on the same side as the straight leg. Your elbow should be high as this focuses all the work on the tricep muscle. Contract the tricep and straighten your arm behind your body, squeezing the muscle as you do. Lower it back down to the high 90-degree angle and repeat.
This is a great exercise to build tone all around the shoulders and arms. It won’t lead to bulkiness – simply stunning, shapely arms! Start with your palms facing inward and your core engaged. Your core will be working and contracting throughout the movement to help support your body. Start to press the dumbbells up by turning your palms outwards and moving through to a 90-degree angle, finishing with your arms straight above your head. It should be fluid and controlled. Lower back down, reversing the movement, and repeat.
Start with your knees slightly bent and core muscles contracted to support your lower back. Keep your arms relaxed, hanging down in front of your body. Start to draw the dumbbells upward and backward, using your back muscles to do so. At the finishing point, your shoulder blades should be squeezing together. If you want to take it one step further, you can then perform a tricep extension.
Carly Neave is the blogger behind LeanLivingGirl, a health and fitness website based in Dubai.
Photographer Renjith Krishnakripa