Most of us would love to flaunt tank tops, halter necks & capped sleeves, specially during summers, Sunday afternoon brunches or at dinner parties. But many shy away from wearing them owing to flabby arms & slack muscle tone.
1. Poor Diet: This is the first & foremost reason or the root cause of all health problems. The imbalance in one’s diet causes an imbalance in the body as well. Ignoring your body’s needs & having food at erratic hours causes the body to breakdown proteins from the lean tissue, it also causes the sugar levels to dip & causes cravings. The sudden demand for food leads you to make the wrong food choices. Chocolates, cookies, chips, pizzas or any processed food leads to a sudden sharp rise & steep fall in the body’s sugar levels further increasing your cravings, thus eating junk food becomes a vicious cycle.
This is then followed by a desperate need to go on fad diets to get slim or thin. These diets further breakdown the precious lean muscle because they are highly imbalanced & fail to provide the right nutrients for the body to function properly. Even the so called ‘high protein diets’ put your body under a lot of stress because having excess amounts of protein & depriving the body of necessary fats & carbohydrates will not facilitate protein metabolism. In fact it overloads the kidneys as the proteins cannot not be utilized for the intended purpose.
2. Lack of Exercise: A lot of women fall prey to the misinformation about weight training which keeps them away from achieving those enviable pair of arms. The most common myth being weight training will lead to broad & bulky muscle build up like body builders. The truth is if you weight train, & eat a balance diet, your muscles will get stronger and denser,you will be able to burn the fat on top of your muscle, and will be able to achieve that “toned” look.
3. Age: Flabby arms are often a natural result of aging. As you grow older, your skin loses elasticity and connective tissue degrades, causing a saggy appearance. But following the right diet & exercise regime consistently can undo the damage to a very large extent.
So here are a few easy to do exercises which done regularly is a sure shot way to shape up those muscles & show off those Sexy Arms!
EXERCISES TO GET SEXY ARMS:
1. Push ups: Push ups are the most effective ones as it works your triceps, shoulders & chest. They also strengthen your abdomen & back:
Get into a plank position on a mat. Keep your legs inline with your shoulders. Your arms should be slightly outside your shoulder. Lower yourself as low as you can bending your elbows, take a pause & push yourself back to the plank position. This completes one rep, do 12-15 repetitions.
Find it too hard, you may keep your knees bent on the floor & do the push ups. Once you develop the strength in your arms you may move to the plank position. Make sure your neck & back are in one straight line while you do the push ups.
2. Dumbbell Cross Jab: It works your Shoulder muscle (deltoids), biceps, triceps & core:
Stand with your feet apart a little wider than your hip width. Keep your knees soft (slightly bent). Hold the dumbbells at your chest level with elbows bent and palms facing each other. push your right arm across your body (like a cross punch), pause & return to the standing position. Repeat the same steps with your left arm. This completes one rep, you may do 20-30 reps.
3. Reverse fly: They work on strengthening & toning your upper back & shoulders. It also works to erect your spine & improves your posture:
Hold your dumbbells, keep your feet hip width apart. With your back straight, abs tight bend forward at the hip level. Let your arms hang down from your shoulders, keeping elbows straight & palms facing each other. Now raise both the arms sideways till your shoulder level, hold for a moment and bring down your arms. Do at least 15 repetitions & gradually increase.
4. Lying Triceps Extension: The name says it all… yes, it works the triceps:
Lie down on your back, either on the mat or a bench. Extend both the arms straight up holding the dumbbells, palms facing each other. Bend your elbows lowering the dumbbells on either sides of your head without moving your upper arm. Hold for 2-3 counts & lift back to the starting position. You may do 15-20 repetitions initially & go up to 30.
5. Bicep curl with Shoulder press: This is a great combined exercise, it works multiple muscles at the same time. The biceps, triceps, deltoids & the upper back.
Stand straight, arms down holding the dumbbells & palms turned forward. Lift up the weights to your shoulder level, without moving your upper arms. Turn your wrists palms facing forward, press upwards straightening the elbows. Now bring back your arms to the shoulder level & slowly lower the dumbbells returning to the starting position. This is one complete repetition, you may start off with 10 reps & gradually increase it to 15 & later 20.
6. Dumbbell Thruster: This one is a ‘killer’ move, as it works on your biceps, triceps, deltoids(shoulders), rotators, glutes (butt muscles), & quadriceps(thigh muscles) .
Hold a pair of dumbbells keeping your arms bent, in front of your shoulders with palms facing each other. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Thrust back up and push the dumbbells above your head till your arms are straight. Pause for one second, then lower the dumbbells as you squat back down. You may start with 10 repetitions & increase it to 15.
7. Dumbbell Swings: One more ‘killer’ move as it works on muscles from top to bottom. It helps toning & strengthening your deltoids (shoulders), triceps, upper back, abdomen, glutes, core & hamstring. A mini workout in itself!
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, hold a single heavy weight dumbbell with both hands in front of thighs or you may use a lighter weight if you choose to work both arms separately. Keeping your knees slightly bent, bend forward from hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor and swing the dumbbell behind you between legs. Now swing the dumbbell overhead with force & squat back down swinging it between the legs. This is one repetition, do 20 reps.
- Watch your diet, it’s very important to have proteins, carbohydrates & essential fats in the right proportions. Right balance in your diet would ensure fat loss & better recovery which helps build lean muscle.
- Keep sipping water throughout your workout & through the day, this will keep your body well hydrated, improve blood circulation to your muscles & joints lubricated.
- Warm up & Cool down are as important as your workout itself. Never rush through them as they enhance the effects of your workout & keep injuries at bay.
- Always pick ‘weights’ suitable for your fitness level, don’t go overboard or try to push yourself. It may lead to muscle pulls or tears & do you more harm than good.
- Watch your Postures while you perform the exercises, keep your mind focused as you do the repetitions. This helps you achieve better results in a short span of time.
- Remember, Quality is more important than intensity. Make sure your movements have the right intensity neither too fast & rapid nor too slow. Follow the instructions carefully.
- Never over exercise your muscles, give it sufficient rest & time for recovery
This article was guest authored by Anamika Sureka. Anamika is the editor of Wiseshe.com. If you would like to write for HealthResource4u, check our guest submission guidelines.