Exercises to tighten and tone arms.
Summer’s here. Do you feel confident enough to bare your arms? If not, it’s time to get to work. It may take months, hard work, and a little sweat, but with dedication, your arms (and the rest of your body) can slim down, tone up, and feel strong. In addition to your daily cardio or strength-training routine, add 10 minutes of exercises that target your arms two to three days a week. You won’t be disappointed.
When focusing on your arms, be sure to include exercises that work both major arm muscles (biceps and triceps) as well as your shoulders and back to ensure proper muscle development and prevent injury.
Here are five simple exercises to tone and tighten arms—two for your biceps, two for your triceps, and one that includes your back and shoulders. The weight of your dumbbells will depend on your fitness level. Choose a weight that challenges you but causes no pain. Over time you can increase the weight and your strength!
Exercise 1: Hammer Curls
Sit or stand up straight and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging by your sides. Face your palms toward each other, bend one arm at the elbow and lift the dumbbell toward your shoulder. Straighten your arm back to starting position like you’re hamming a nail. Do several reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Exercise 2: Bicep Curls
A second popular exercise to work your biceps is the bicep curl. Very similar to the hammer curl, the bicep curl just changes the direction of your hands. Sit or stand up straight and grasp a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip so your palms face forward. With your arms hanging loosely by your sides, bend one elbow and lift the dumbbell to your shoulder. Straighten your arm back to starting position. Do several reps before switching sides and repeat. Throughout the entire motion, be careful to keep your elbow by your side.
Exercise 3: Overhead Triceps Extension
Work your triceps with overhead extensions. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in your left hand and lift it straight above your head. Take your right hand and support your left elbow so it doesn’t move out to the side through the movement. Bend your left elbow as you lower the dumbbell behind your head, and then raise it back up to starting position. Do several reps and switch sides. To increase intensity, use a heavier dumbbell. To lessen intensity, hold one dumbbell with both hands as you lower and raise it above your head.
Exercise 4: Triceps Kickback
To do a triceps kickback, you’ll need a flat bench and a dumbbell. Rest your left knee on the bench and lean over so your right hand is on the bench as well. Keep your back flat. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, palm facing inward, and bend your left arm so your upper arm is parallel to the ground and your lower arm extends toward the ground. With your upper arm remaining stable, raise the dumbbell to the back until your arm is nearly straight, and then lower it back to starting position. Do several reps, switch sides, and repeat.
Exercise 5: Arm Circles
Work your arms, shoulders, and back muscles with arm circles. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart, and raise your arms straight out to either side until they are at shoulder height. Using small motions, circle your arms backwards several times. Stop and reverse your motion, making circles in a forward motion.