Bathing suit season is upon us whether you like it or not. If you are interested in toning your arms and upper body for an end of summer vacation, you still have plenty of time to do it! There are a number of ways to strengthen and condition your arms in time for August. Here are four great upper body exercises that will have your body looking beach ready in no time flat.
Hammer curls are similar to regular bicep curls, but are slightly modified so that you see faster results from your hard work. This exercise works your biceps as well as your forearms for better overall muscle training. All it takes is two dumbbells and a little bit of dedication! Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and tightening your core muscles. Align your hands as though you were holding a hammer, bend your arms, and use your bicep muscles to raise your dumbbells to shoulder level. Lower the weights in a slow, controlled fashion and do 15 reps. Try to do three sets of these three times a week – just be sure to rest your muscles for 1-2 days in between! You will see results in no time!
If you are concerned about extra fat on the back of your arms, triceps kickbacks are a great exercise for you. They help to tighten up your upper arms and strengthen your muscles, creating a firm, sexy appearance for your next trip to the beach. To do this exercise, grab your light weights and head to your nearest weight bench. Stabilize your body with one knee and one arm on your weight bench and lean forward from a standing position. Keep your arm at a 90 degree angle from your body and slowly raise your weight backwards until your arm is completely straight. Repeat ten times, and plan to do three sets with a rest in between.
Push-Ups or Modified Push-Ups
Nothing works out the upper body better than a good old-fashioned push-up. Modified push-ups are also great for beginners. Push-ups are an exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including your chest, back, arms, and core. To do a push-up, lie on your stomach on the floor then use your hands and feet to support your weight. Push up with your arms while tightening your core muscles to make sure you aren’t dipping your mid-section. Lower your body slowly, but don’t lie back down! Repeat for fifteen reps and try to work up to three sets. You’ll see a positive change in your body quickly if you integrate push-ups into your workout routine a few times a week. But remember that it’s a good idea to let your muscles rest for at least a day between sets, so make sure you don’t go overboard or you could injure yourself!
Pullovers are a highly effective way to work out your arms, chest, and back. This exercise is best done using a light weight dumbbell while lying on a weight bench. To start, lie flat on your back on the weight bench with both feet on the floor for support. Grasp one dumbbell with both hands and raise it over your head as though you were stretching your arms. Then use a slow, controlled motion to lift the dumbbell back over your body until your arms are straight above your chest. Pullovers are a tough exercise when you are just starting out, so start with ten reps and work your way up to fifteen. Do two sets three times a week and you will be amazed at the results. Again, make sure to give your muscles time to rest for 1-2 days between your sets!
If you want to get your arms in shape quickly for bathing suit season, there are a number of great exercises that can help. Try out these four today and you will have muscular, slender arms in time to hit the beach.
About the Author: Jen Klaus is a freelance writer covering health topics, fitness, and trends in alternative medicine.