Five great exercises to tone your aging arms.
You can sag anywhere in your body, but if you’re a woman, one of the biggest areas of saggy concern is often your arms. Even young women may start to notice a loss of muscle tone and weight gain, especially on the upper backside of their arms.
Thankfully, there is good news for those who have flabby arms or for those who want to avoid developing saggy arms like their mother or grandmother. By building up strength in your triceps (muscles on the upper back of your arms), biceps (muscles on the upper front of your arms), and shoulders, you can help tone of your arms and reduce their flabby appearance.
Here are five great exercises you can do at home or at the gym to reduce the sagging and tone your arms. All you need are a couple of small dumbbells (5 to 12 pounds each depending on your strength) and some time. Aim for 15 to 20 minutes of exercise, three to four times a week, and start each workout with a few minutes of arm stretches.
A simple exercise to tone your arms is the bicep curl. Start by holding the weights down by your sides, elbows close to your body, and lift the weights up to the front of your body toward your shoulders, keeping your muscles tight.
Your palms should face your shoulders when your hands reach the top of the motion. Pause for a second and then release down. Keep your back straight and don’t use a swinging motion to lift the weight. You can either lift both weights at the same time or one at a time.
Another option is the hammer curl. Start in the same position as the bicep curl, but instead of having your palms pointed at your chest, keep them facing inward toward each other. Lower your arm until it’s parallel to the floor, then raise again.
For both the bicep and hammer curls, aim to perform three sets of 10 repetitions per arm, resting about 30 seconds between each set.
A great exercise to work your triceps is the kickback. To do this, hold a weight in your left hand. Bend your knees and place your right hand on a chair or bench. Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight. Bend your left elbow and hold the weight next to your side, level with your back. Slowly extend your left arm until it is straight and next to your hip. Repeat 10 times for each arm.
Overhead Triceps Extension
Another exercise to work your triceps while toning flabby arms is called the overhead triceps extension. You can do this either standing or sitting, holding the weight with one hand or both hands. To do this exercise with one hand, hold the weight and raise your hand toward the ceiling above your head. Slowly bend your elbow and lower the weight down toward the back of your head, being careful not to hit your head with the weight. Then slowly raise the weight back up toward the ceiling. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and switch arms. Do three sets. To perform this with both hands at once, perform the same motion, holding the weight with both hands at the same time. This can be done by holding one half of the dumbbell with each hand or cupping one half of the dumbbell with both hands.
The last basic exercise to work those arms is the simple push-up. To do a push-up, lie on the floor and place both hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. With your face looking forward (not toward the floor), hold your legs up on your toes, inhale and raise your body off the floor with your arms. Lower slowly toward the floor and exhale. Repeat.