Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ultimate Arm Exercise


I'll be honest, working out my shoulders had become a major disappointment in recent months. I felt bored working them out, and didn't feel like they were evolving anymore. I had reached the worst part of working out: the plateau.

I told my husband my problem and he showed me a few new techniques and exercises to try. Within a couple weeks, I had a noticeable difference in my arms. They were more defined between my deltoids and biceps, and by the end of my workout I could hardly lift my arms. So I had to share!

First, make no mistake, you MUST weight train. Sure, classes are fun... I am always up for yoga with the girlfriends or a mommy and me class... But if you want to see real results in your arms, you absolutely have to incorporate weight lifting into your workout regimen. Unless you're naturally fit, in which case, I hate you, you are setting yourself up for failure without weightlifting. Start slowly if you're intimidated... Focus on form and completing your reps. Women: Trust me when I say, you will NOT "bulk" up from lifting weights. Somehow this rumor started, probably from lazy, scrawny men, and because of it, millions of women are killing themselves in classes, doing endless cardio and avoid the free weights like the plague. You're doing yourself a major disservice! And wasting your time. You will never get the results you want unless you isolate your muscles and make them work. Also, consider that the more toned your muscles are (by lifting) the more calories they burn doing everyday activities than if they are not. Essentially, your body burns more calories after lifting than if you ran on the treadmill for an hour. You may be running calories off, but you're also running off muscle, which makes your body work harder to burn off the calories, see how that is counterintuitive?

So, stop perfecting the "skinny arm" (I know, we all do it) in pictures, and start perfecting your shoulders! The great thing about weight training is that switching up your work out can shock your muscles and results are almost instant. I added this workout to my shoulders day, and within a couple weeks I could see and feel a major difference. This exercise works out your shoulders, chest, forearms, back and their supporting muscles.

How to:

Using a light weight (8 lb. dumbells pictured) start at picture 1. Think: Down, Up, In, Out, Down, while doing this exercise. Do 12-15 repetitions per set, 3 sets total. If you find by rep 10, you can't keep your form and hit your rep, lower the weight. If you're not challenged at rep 15, up the weight. Add this to your workout, once a week, and you'll see a big change!