Spring is approaching and temperatures are slowly rising. This is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing covering our bodies. But there’s no need to panic over the arrival of tank top season! We’ve got a few simple exercises to help build arm muscle and tone what’s been hiding beneath those winter sweaters. Some of these exercises don’t require any equipment; others require the kettle bell or participant friend to do them with. Arms flexed, let’s begin ladies!
Workout like a Pro – No equipment needed
Get down on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Then stretch your legs out in back of you with your toes tucked (push-up position). Keeping your back straight, extend your right arm in front of you while simultaneously lifting up your left leg (keeping it straight). Slowly come back to the starting position and repeat with the left arm and right leg.
Do two sets of eight reps (one rep = each time you lift one arm and leg).
Place your hands on the floor just beyond shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and your knees bent and resting on the floor. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, slowly lower your body so as to touch your nose to the floor. Squeeze the chest muscles to push yourself back to the starting position. To increase the resistance, try doing the push-up on your toes instead of your knees.
Do three sets of 12 repetitions, resting no more than 90 seconds between each set. This exercise strengthens the pectorals (chest) and firms the triceps (muscles at the back of the upper arm).
The Kettle bell – headon
In a standing position, keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Pick up the kettle bell with your right hand, and hold it in front of you at chest-level, your arm stretched out (with your elbow slightly bent) and your palm facing downwards. (Image A)
Bend both knees until your thighs and calves form a 90 degree angle, making sure your knees are aligned with your feet, and that they don’t go over your toes. As you bend your knees and slightly lean forward, lower your arm until the kettle bell is between your legs. The movement will come to you naturally, allowing you to place the kettle bell between your legs easily. (Image B) Lift your arm at chest-level all the while straightening your knees and returning to the start position.
In a standing position with legs shoulder-width apart, hold the kettle bell close to your chest with both hands, the weight facing downwards. (Image A)
Slowly bend your knees until your thighs and calves form a 90 degree angle, making sure your knees are aligned with your feet, and that they don’t go over your toes. (Image B) Lower your body a bit more until your butt is close to the ground, but without sitting down on it. (Image C) Return to the start position.
In a duo – arm below, arm above
Arms / Chest and Thigh Combo
Person 1 works on: Arms
Person 2 works on: Thighs
Person 1 lies face-down on the ground with her hands on the floor at shoulder level and just beyond shoulder-width apart.
Person 2, keeping her back straight, bends her knees and lowers her body (as if to sit on a chair) until her thighs are almost parallel to the floor, making sure her knees are aligned with her feet, and that they don’t go over her toes.
Person 2 picks up the feet of person 1 and rests them on her thighs; she will keep this position for the whole exercise.
Person 1, keeping her abdominal muscles tight, slowly bends her elbows and lowers her body towards the ground, squeezing chest muscles to push herself back to the starting position.
Do two sets of 10 reps, alternating positions
Biceps and Triceps Combo
Person 1 works on: Biceps
Person 2 works on: Triceps
Stand face-to-face, three feet away from each other, with feet shoulder-width apart.
Person 1 holds the center of an exercise band, palms up, with hands shoulder-width apart, arms straight down and elbows close to the waist. Person 2 takes one end of the band in each hand, palms facing each other, with elbows at her waist and forearms forming a 90 degree angle with her body. On the count of one, Person 2 pulls on the exercise band to bring her hands down to her side until her arms are straight but not locked. At the same time, Person 1 bends her arms to bring the band toward her shoulders, keeping her elbows glued to her waist and her wrists in line with her forearms. The exercise band will then be extended since Persons 1 and 2 are pulling in opposite directions. On the count of two, slowly regain the starting position and repeat.
Do two sets of 15 reps, alternating positions between sets.
About the author
Marie-Andrée GuimontShe loves telling stories and discussing her passions. Along with clothes and colourful eye palettes, these are what make her happy. But since she’s become a mom, she’s mostly focused on her young son, and anything and everything that has to do with the world of kids. And, yes: she also loves to eat!Follow Marie-Andrée on : @maguimont: @maguimont