Sun’s out, guns out. Shed fat fast and sculpt awesome arms you’ll want to show off in 1-3 weeks.
Summer is here and that means tank tops, off-the-shoulder shirts and skimpy sundresses. Before you bare your biceps or showcase those shoulders, you’ll probably want to firm up any upper arm flab–and fast.
First, the bad news: For most women, a major fat-pocket trifecta is the upper arms. Now, the good news: Those areas where the body likes to deposit fat (also think belly, thighs and face) are also the same spots that quickly lose fat and gain definition. This means you’ll see fit results fast. Check out the simple tips and workouts below and get ready to reveal sexy, sculpted shoulders and toned, defined arms.
First, brush up on your anatomy. Here are the major muscles to train to strengthen and sculpt the body.
Triceps are a single back-of-the arm muscle with three sections—lateral, long and medial—that originate at the shoulder blade and upper arm, ending just below the elbow. They all work together to help straighten the arm and create force anytime you’re pushing against something.
Biceps are only a third of the upper arm’s size (triceps accounts for the other two-thirds) but are often blamed for making arms appear bulky. Sculpting biceps is a little trickier than triceps because there are a few other muscles involved, making them a bit more stubborn to sculpt. Biceps rotate the forearm and also flex the elbow. The two brachii and brachioradialis, located at the top of the forearm near the elbow, flex the elbow and rotate the forearm both outward and inward.
Extensor carpi radialis longus, next to the brachioradialis, is one of five major muscles that move the wrist in multiple directions. When you clench a fist, this muscle bulges out from the skin.
Deltoid is technically part of the shoulder and controls the majority of the shoulder’s movements, enabling the arm to have increased range of motion.
Sun’s Out, Gun’s Out Workout
The more resistance exerted in any of these arm workouts can cause a reduction in fat and an increase in lean muscle tissue. This will create the ideal results of a smaller arm, yet one with more definition. The following workouts will have you well on your way to jiggle-free arms with sexy definition. Do these moves one after another with no rest in between. Repeat the circuit and rest one minute between circuits.
Standing V Raise
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, palms, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Maintain straight (but not locked) arms straight and raise the weights diagonally in front of your torso until arms are parallel to the floor and form a V shape. Hold for one second, then return to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Holding dumbbells just above shoulders with palms facing each other, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Press up with weights until arms are straight overhead. Hold for one second, then lower back to shoulders at a count of 3. Perform 6-8 reps, focusing on proper form.
Rotating Triceps Kickback
Stand with knees bent, a dumbbell in each hand and lean forward slightly. Bend right elbow to bring the dumbbell to the side until the upper arm is parallel with the floor. Press back with the dumbbell back; as the arm straightens, rotate it so that palm faces the ceiling. Rotate it back so that palm faces in, and return arm to the bent position. Do 12 to 15 reps on each side.
Alternating Plank Ups
Begin in a plank pose done on the forearms. Forearms should be parallel to one another with elbows directly underneath the shoulders. Press one palm down and lift up, then press opposite palm and lift. Then, release one forearm back down and follow with the other. Continue
Pike Walk Combo
Stand with feet together and arms alongside the body. Bend over with knees slightly bent and place hands in front of you on the floor. Walk hands forward until you come to a plank and do one pushup. Without moving the hand, keep palms in place, walking feet forward until they’re as close to hands as possible. That is one rep. Do 6-8 reps or stop when you can no longer maintain proper form.
Lie facedown on a mat or towel. Extend arms in front of the body at shoulder level with palms facing the floor. Squeeze shoulder blades together as you lift arms, legs, and chest off the floor. Hold and breath, then lower back to the floor. Do 10 to 15.
Don’t Disarm Yourself with a Lousy Diet
Don’t set yourself up for failure after all the hard work. Sculpting a nice set of guns isn’t all about the workouts, what you eat also plays a big role. A solid nutrition plan will give those workouts a little boost and keep your energy levels up and even all day long. Clean eating will also help you shed any extra fat you have obscuring the view of those chiseled deltoids, triceps and biceps.
So, what should you eat? For starters, make sure there is a serving of protein in every meal and snack you eat. Protein will not only keep your metabolism amped up, it will also help build those guns you’ve been working so hard for since it plays an essential role in the rebuilding of muscle. Ample amounts of vegggies, fresh fruits and moderate amounts of healthy fats (think fish, nuts, olive oil and flax seed) should round out your healthy eating plan.
What to avoid? Sweetened drinks and foods, boxed, canned and other versions of processed foods should take up minimal, if any, space in your fridge or pantry. Stick to fresh, whole foods and you’ll have those guns a blazin’ in no time.