Spot Toning: Arms

posted by Kristyn Kusek
filed under fitness postings
Got flabby triceps that flap when you wave? Longing for a bigger bulge when you flex your biceps? In-shape arms can increase your overall strength as well as your vanity, says personal trainer Sal Fischera, an American Council on Exercise spokesperson in New York City: "Not only do strong arms look great, but they make everyday activities easier." Follow Fischera's tried-and-true arm exercises two to four times a week, and you won't find an inch to pinch.

What you want: BUFF BICEPS

How to get 'em:

BICEPS CURL WITH A TWIST Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Hold a two- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your sides. (To determine the correct weight for you, do 10 curls. The exercise should be a bit difficult but not impossible by the last two to three reps.) Slowly raise the dumbbell in your right hand by bending your elbow. As you raise your forearm, slowly twist your wrist so that your palm is facing you when your hand reaches your shoulder. Make sure to keep your elbows pinned to your sides to isolate your biceps. Repeat on left side. Do three sets of 10 to 12 curls for each arm.

CONCENTRATED CURLS Sit on the edge of a weight bench or chair with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Leaning forward, rest your right elbow on your inner right thigh so that your elbow joint is just to the left of your knee (this will give you greater range of motion than if you rested your elbow right on your knee). Rest your left hand on your left thigh to support your back. Grab a two- to five-pound dumbbell with your right hand, and, keeping your elbow and triceps (back of your upper arm) against your inner thigh, curl the dumbbell up in a semicircle toward your left shoulder. Your palm should be facing you throughout the motion. Return to start. Do three sets of 10 to 12 curls, switch your positioning, then repeat with left arm.

What you want: TONED TRICEPS

How to get 'em:

PALM PUSH-UPS Get into a traditional push-up position: place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and extend your legs straight out behind you. If it's too difficult to support your body weight with your legs straight, support yourself on your knees, crossing your ankles in the air. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders (not near your head or stomach) and move your palms closer to one another so that they're about six inches apart. Slowly lower yourself to the ground, making sure your elbows are facing back, not out to the side. Lower yourself until your nose is approximately one inch from the floor, then raise yourself back up. Do three sets of 10 to 12 push-ups.

OVERHEAD PRESS Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a two- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand. To begin, raise your arms straight above your head, palms facing each other. Slowly lower both hands behind your head, keeping your elbows stable, until your arms are completely bent. Raise to start. Do three sets of 10 to 12 presses.

ONE-ARM DUMBBELL KICKBACK Lean on a weight bench using your right hand and bend over until your torso is parallel to the floor. Grab a two- to five-pound dumbbell with your left hand and bend your arm at a 90-degree angle, making sure that the top portion of your arm (from your elbow to your shoulder) is parallel to your body. Moving your forearm back, press the dumbbell backward until your arm is straight (but not locked) and parallel to ground. Lower to start. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

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