4 Ways to Get Your Arms Fit Before the Big Day!

One of the biggest problem areas for women are those dreaded flabby ARMS that we almost always wish we could cover up in photos. According to fitness expert and instructor, Karla Timm, there are four key exercises to target those arms before their big day. She recommends doing 15-20 reps of each for 3 sets at least 3-4 times a week combined with a healthy diet and 20 mins of cardio to really get in the best shape. 

1. Push-ups
Push-ups target the tricep muscles in your arms, although they also strengthen your pectorals, abdominals, quads and lower back, making it a great overall exercise.

Basic Push-Up | Sculpt Arms Faster With These 8 Push-Up Variations ...

To perform a basic push-up:
          Lie face-down on a solid floor, keep your legs together and prop your feet up on your toes and the balls of your feet.
          Place your hands palms-down on the floor, approximately a shoulder-width apart.
          Raise yourself up, using just the strength in your arms, until both arms are fully extended. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels. This is the start and end position for the push-up.
          Slowly lower your body to the ground until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Inhale as go down.
          Slowly raise yourself back up into the extended arm position, exhaling as you do. You have now completed one repetition.

Variations: You can vary the basic push up exercise in a number of ways. If you're just starting to build up strength in your arms, you can make the exercise slightly easier by keeping your knees on the ground throughout the exercise. You can also try a triangle push up, where your hands form a triangle with your forefingers and thumbs, directly below the breastbone.

2. Bench Dips
Bench dips are another common exercise that helps develop the triceps, while also working the pectorals and major shoulder muscles. All you need to perform this exercise is an exercise bench or step, though a kitchen chair will also work just fine. 

Bench-Dips – How Africa News
To perform a basic bench dip: Sit up straight on the edge of the bench or chair, extending your legs in front of you and planting your feet firmly on the ground.
        Firmly grip the edge of the bench or chair, with your fingers facing downwards. Slowly slide your body off the bench, without moving your legs.
        Slowly lower your body towards the floor, keeping your back straight, until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
        Push your body back to the original starting position.

Variations: To increase the difficulty of the bench dip, try propping your feet up on a second exercise bench or chair.

3. Bicep Curls 
Bicep curls are one of the most basic weight lifting exercises, which help you to build arm strength and look good in short sleeves. Bicep curls target the three bicep muscles which control the flexing of your elbow. To do bicep curls, you will need a set of dumbbells, that weigh between 5 and 15 pounds each.
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        Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
        Let your arms hang relaxed at your side, with your palms facing forward.
        With your elbows held at your hip bones, slowly raise both weights until your forearms touch your chest.
        Slowly lower the weights back into the starting position, maintaining tension in your biceps. Make an effort to maintain good posture at all times, with your back straight and stomach pulled in.
        Variations: If you are performing this exercise at your local gym, you can also do barbell curls.

4. Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is a great exercise to incorporate into your arm-toning routine. While it is primarily used for strengthening the shoulders, it also engages both the biceps and the triceps, making it a good overall arm work-out.

4 Effective Shoulder Press Variations - Oxygen Magazine
To do a shoulder press:
          Start from a seated or standing position with a dumbbell in each hand and your back straight.
          Lift the weights so they are at shoulder-level. Your elbows should be lower than your wrists and your palms facing away from your body.
          Slowly straighten your arms, lifting the dumbbells above your head. Try not to lock your elbows.
          Hold the dumbbells above your head for a second or two, then slowly lower them back to the starting position. You have now completed one repetition.
           Variations: You can also perform this exercise using a barbell or on a weight machine specifically designed for shoulder presses.

If you have any other great arm workouts you'd like to add, please feel free to do so in the comments below!

May you feel fabulous in any form and use exercise as an expression of self-love,

Photos above borrowed from the Pop Fitness! website. 


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