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Bicep Curl, Dumbbell, Alternating with Twist

Type: Arms
The Twisting Dumbbell Bicep Curl is an effective exercise for strengthening the biceps. Make sure you don't swing the weight. Control it as you bring it back to the starting position. Below you will find a video tutorial and step by step instructions on how to perform the Twisting Dumbbell Bicep Curl.
Level :  Equipment : Yes
Biceps
None

Bicep Curl, Dumbbell, Alternating with Twist Steps:

Step 1:
Standing up straight, grasp a dumbbell in each hand.

Step 2:
Start with the hands pronated

Step 3:
Fire the bicep hard and flex one elbow to curl the weight toward your chin, rotating the grip.

Step 4:
Return to the start position in a slow and controlled fashion.

Step 5:
Switch arms and repeat. Repeat for all required reps.

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Arm exercises

The situation is simple enough: you’re here because you want to get your arms into better shape. The problems start cropping up once you get into the specifics of the situation. Do you want sleek, sexy arms, or do you need arm exercises to bulk up? Are your arms flabby?Has this sent you out on a quest for arms exercises to tone up? Do you want arm exercises for the gym or for home? With weights or with no equipment other than your own bodyweight? Are you a woman, afraid that she’s going to bulk up and using this as an excuse to never start a serious, sustained arm toning workout program? Or are you a man, looking to build the fiercest biceps and triceps he possibly can?

In the following, we look at all of the above and lots more, but before we begin, we’re going to give you a bit of a primer on a branch of medicine: anatomy. That’s because it pays off to be educated on the way the human body works in general – but it’s especially important when you’re trying to transform your own body into a lean, toned muscle-driven and fatburning machine. So before delving into arm exercise routines, here’s all you need to know on arm muscle anatomy.

Arm workouts for beginners: Arm muscle anatomy 101

What most people know about the anatomy of the arm is that it consists of the biceps and the triceps.  As you will see in the following, there’s far more to arm muscles than these two fellows -  but, before you get there, let’s address some issues regarding the biceps, as well as the most effective, popular and often used exercises for the arms.

A few quick words on arm exercises for the biceps

The biceps is possibly the most hotly debated arm muscle, since a lot of men choose to focus on in, in a quest to look impressive in a tight T-shirt. Conversely, women tend to avoid arm exercises for the biceps, as they fear they will instantly bulk up. It’s important to understand that the biceps only makes up one third of your arm muscles, with the triceps making up for the rest. What is true is that the biceps is a long muscle, with fibers that extend across the length of your upper arm. Given its structure, whenever the biceps contracts on a lean arm, it is easily visible and makes for what’s popularly referred to as the ‘tennis ball’look.

Both women and men can gain from properly working the biceps through arm exercises. Resistance training is essential, since it will help you lose fat in the area of the biceps and the muscle will slowly become visible. Of course, curls are probably the best arm exercises for the biceps, but there’s a lot more that you can do to enhance its look. Since the biceps and its two adjoining brachii essentially connect to help you bend your elbow, experimenting with different grips and lifts on your dumbbells will help enhance the efficiency of your biceps workout routine.

The structure of arm muscles

The biceps

It goes by the popular name of the biceps, but its full, scientific name is the biceps brachii. As explained above, it derives its name from the other two muscles that make it up. In other words, that second, strange-sounding word in the full name of this comes from the fact that it conceals the brachioradialis and brachialis muscles.

The triceps

Even for people who don’t have that much lean body mass, the triceps is probably the most familiar sight of their arm muscle mass. The triceps makes up the muscle mass on the back of your arms. Of it, the lateral head is the most visible – it’s what you see in the mirror, when you flex your upper arms. This is also the main muscle which we use to straighten our arms. It’s directly attached to the elbow.

The shoulder

We’ve covered the anatomy of the shoulder and shoulder exercises extensively here at Workout Box, so make sure to check out the dedicated section. You can even download a shoulder exercises .pdf there. But, as a quick reminder, the shoulder muscle section of the arm is shaped like a teardrop and comprises a front, back, and medial head. The shoulder muscles are also collectively known as the deltoids.

The rotator cuff

This collection of smaller muscles may not seem important on first glance – and few people actually take the time to do arm exercises for them specifically. The arm’s rotator cuff takes its name after the fact that all these muscles are located around the shoulder joint. They are the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and teres minor.

The most popular types of arm exercises

Almost everyone has heard of curls and pushups, but it’s important to understand that they’re not reserved for bodybuilders and people who want to bulk up only. These exercises for arms, as well as many others that you’ll find explained over the course of this article all serve one major purpose: they help you maintain your upper body strength. Why is this relevant? Because, according to the U.S. National Institute of Aging, the strength of our upper bodies becomes increasingly important with age.

Once you’re out of your 20s and heading straight toward midlife, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia starts occurring. This is effectively the loss of muscle mass, which begins in your 30s and accelerates as you near 50. By the time you reach that ripe age, you stand to lose as much as 10 per cent of your muscle mass. By the age of 80, say researchers from the National Institute of Aging, you may have lost anywhere near 40 per cent of muscle mass. Given the fact that we use our upper bodies in actions as mundane as picking something up off the floor, playing with children and lifting them, and carrying the daily groceries, you can see how the depletion of arm muscles would affect the quality of your life as you age. So don’t knock off resistance and weighttraining, because you’re definitely going to need its benefits once you’re older. That being said, here are the four main types of arm exercises for strength, toning, and resistance that everyone should be acquainted with. We’ve included them in this section because we also address the arm muscle groups they work.

Arm curls

You can use any kind of weight for arm curls, from a filled bottle of water to a kettlebell, a set ofdumbbells, barbells, and weight training machines at the gym. The key to selecting the appropriate weight for your fitness level is to choose one that you can lift 8 to 12 consecutive times; if you can easily do more, then it’s time to increase the weight. If you can barely lift it, time to scale back a little. Weight machines usually come with elbow pads, where you can rest your arms as you exercise, ensuring they’re maintaining the proper position. Along the same lines, it’s essential to keep your elbows to the laterals of your body and maintain the elbows in a fixed position when you lift dumbbells or barbells during curls. Otherwise, you risk elbow injury and are also exercising ineffectively.

Grip-bench presses

The best thing about a close grip-bench press workout for the arms is that it manages to work both your biceps and your triceps at the same time. To perform this press, you need to lie down on a bench and grab a hold of the barbell over your head. Lift it off its stand, but make sure to keep your arms closer together than you would for a regular bench press: an 18-inch distance is usually what you should aim for. For proper form, your wrists need to be maintained in a straight position and your elbows need to be glued to the laterals off your body. The rest is simple and you’ve seen it in all the bodybuilding movies or videos you’ve ever watched. Raise the barbells off its stand, lower it down to a few inches from your chest, lift again and repeat.

Make sure you’re breathing the right way: exhale when you lift and breathe in as the weight goes down, inching closer to your chest. In terms of weight selection, the same rule of thumb applies as explained above. You need to choose a weight which you can lift for a minimum of 8 times and an approximate maximum of 12.

Hand gripper arm exercises

Ever shook hands with someone whose hand and arm seemed particularly limp? It’s highly unpleasant and awkward, but it also goes to show that a handshake is one of the very first things people notice about you. That’s where hand gripper exercises come in handy for any athlete, irrespective of their level. It’s just as important to exercise your wrist muscles, as many hand workouts indicate, but the gripping muscles of the hand should also play a major part in your daily strength and toning routine. There is no other piece of workout equipment that’s better suited to give your large forearm muscles a run for their money than the handgripper. This device works your brachioradialis and carpal flexor muscles, which are just the two muscles you use when gripping your hand. Though most grip and wrist exercises include some action for your grip, handgrip squeezes and reverse squeezes are more targeted. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an exercise that isolates your carpal extensors, for instance, better than the reverse handgrip squeeze.

Handgrippers are mechanical devices which comprise a stout spring with handles attached. They’re inexpensive and easy to find and they come with the huge advantage of isolating the muscles that you use to grip things with. Here are a few ideas on how you can include handgrip exercises into your regular upper-body workout routine:

·         With one handle in your palm and a finger wrapped around the other, give the handgrippers a good squeeze. Hold the closed position for at least 5 seconds, then release it very slowly. You should be able to perform at least two sets of 10 such reps and work your way up to four sets, over the course of several weeks.

·         Try reverse squeezes, with the handgrip tucked between your palm and fingers – with the handgrip as far toward your fingertips as possible. Close the grip with both your hands, then remove the hand you added later to the move and very slowly release your grip. Switch sides, once you’ve performed a full rep; your initial goal is for two sets of five reverse squeezes, from which you should be building up to four sets.

·         Grip the handle with your palm and the buttons with your fingertips. Squeeze the handgrip together by contracting your fist, then slowly let go of the handles. If you want to make this exercise more difficult on yourself, you could curl in just one finger at a time and no more. Work your way up from one set of 10 reps, to three or even four sets per workout.

Pushups

Pushups are great for the overall toning and conditioning of one’s entire body. They can be performed by any level athlete, by men and women alike, in beginner, intermediate, or even advanced workout routines. They target numerous groups of muscles, such as the pecs, serratus anterior, corachobrachialis, and core. But, first and foremost, they’re used in HIIT workouts and they target the arm muscles, including the triceps, anterior deltoids and, more marginally, the other deltoids. Everyone knows the essentials of a pushup: lie down on the floor, face down, and use your arms to lower and raise your body. However, it’s just as useful to know that there are plenty of variations to the regular push-up. Let’s take a look at a few types of pushups and see how they work, as well as which ones are better suited as arm exercises.

Cardio for the arms: Sports and other types of activities

Believe it or not, some sports can genuinely help with the toning and strengthening of your arms, even though they mainly work out other muscle groups. If you’re not that much into weightlifting or circuit training, you could start off easy, by putting in some fun, light cardio activities, in the form of the following sports. Check them out and also have a gander at the way in which they can help you big, strong, or toned arms fast.

Baseball

It almost goes without saying that baseball helps tone and sculpt the arms, but, perhaps more importantly, baseball relies heavily on the use of one’s shoulders. Out on the field, a baseball player uses their shoulders in a wide range of movements, from pitching and hitting, to diving and running. This is why it’s important to have strong, resistant shoulders when you bat out on the field. Shoulder injuries can permanently damage a professional player’s career, sending them to the wings forever, and they can cause massive pain to amateur. There are several shoulder exercises you can include in your regular workouts, to help maintain your rotator cuff muscles. We cover them at length in our free dedicated article; however, if you want access to a specialized shoulder workout for baseball pitchers, you might want to consider investing in KB Powerbands. Each band comes with four distinct levels of resistance, which you can progress through, as you prime your shoulders for the challenges of baseball.

Arm wrestling

If slimming down your arms is your goal, then arm wrestling might not be the best choice; if, on the other hand, you want to build muscle mass and strength, you’ve come to the right place. Though it’s not exclusively a strength sport, as it also relies on speed and technique, it’s great for improving the whole range of arm and hand muscles, in terms of efficiency. It operates on the fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, biceps, and triceps. The biceps is, in fact, the most important muscle for arm wrestlers, since it helps you establish the position which can help you win a match. It’s interesting to note, though, that other than helping you maintain your stance, they don’t do much else during the wrestling activity per se. Except for arm wrestling hooks, where they’re prominently featured, the biceps are the supporters, but most of the action is performed by the forearms and hand.

Cycling

By and large, cycling is all about the legs and their muscles; however, this type of cardio activity can also be rather intensive for your upper body. The arms in particular are very important when you cycle, since they can help you ward off fatigue. Sculpting your biceps and triceps also comes with the added benefit of removing lactate from your body, as you cycle. The secret to efficient arm muscles for cyclists is to achieve strength without adding bulk to your upper body. This way, you’ll maintain slim arms, which won’t add to your bodyweight, but you’ll also help render them more efficient for when you bike. Hammer curls,recumbenttricep extensions, and military push-ups are all among the cyclists’ favored choices for arm workouts.

Swimming

Swimmers, together with marathon runners, and dancers, have the most enviable bodies among athletes, as any set of pictures in Sports Illustrated will go to show. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that swimming works wonders for upper body toning in general, as well as for slimming down the arms. A couple of regular pool laps will clearly tone and tighten your arm muscles. However, if you want to amp up the intensity of your daily swims and reap additional arm toning benefits, here are a few tips and tricks you might want to try:

·         Use pool toys. Kick-boards are great for the arms, if you lie across them and allow the upper part of the body to hang off them. This way, you’ll literally only be using your arms to swim across the pool. You can also try swimming with weighted swim gloves, which will have your arm muscles working all the harder.

·         Put in arm exercises in the water. When performed in a body of water, arm exercises are that much more efficient, since water puts up resistance. Just let your arms take on the workload, as you use your legs to kick the water or simply to stay afloat.

·         Literally hang out at the pool. Place the top of your fingers on the edge of the pool, then support your entire bodyweight on your arms, as you come out of the water. Lift your torso above water level and kick your feet throughout. Make sure your arm muscles are contracted and hold the pose for a few seconds. Alternatively, you can float in the pool on an inflatable raft and use your arms for a back stroke.

As a side note, swimming is great for therapeutic arm workouts, for people who have sustained arm muscle injuries. Stand in the pool with your feet firmly planted on the pool’s floor, then let your injured arm float on the water. The resistance that water naturally creates will help your muscle tissue regenerate and your arm regain strength.

Pilates

One of the best things about Pilates is that you’re fully in charge of the workout intensity. Your Pilates program can be strenuous and effort-intensive, but it can also be gentle enough to be performed by pregnant women. Since its efficiency in enhancing muscle activity has been scientifically proven, Pilates is even recommended by physicians to people affected by arm and leg lymphedema. Light Pilates exercises for the arms can encourage the quick dispersal of lymph from the affected tissue.

Now, if you’re looking for an effective arm workout, which relies mostly on Pilates moves, there are plenty of great alternatives out there. For a sure-fire workout, check out Mari Winsor’s five minute upper-body sculpting Pilates. It makes use of resistance bands and although the original workout only requires regular rubber bands, you can opt for the more professional Theraband. The Thera is a latex band that’s designed for intensive use and it can also be used with great results for therapeutic purposes. It activates all arm muscle groups and supports an ample range of exercises, but Pilates is probably the best kind of workout to enhance with the aid of a Thera system.

Jumping rope

When they think of jump rope workouts, most people tend to assume that they only work out your lower body; indeed, while your legs and glutes will surely benefit from this fun type of cardio, this doesn’t mean that rope skipping doesn’t reduce upper-body fat. In fact, jumping rope can easily become one of the most efficient ways of dealing with flabby arms. One type of exercise for the arms that you can try at home, with your very own jump rope involves taking a rope handle in each hand and rotating your wrist, in order to create a swinging motion, from front to back. Keep control over the pace of the rotation, in order to also control the speed of the rope and pacing of the jumps. For added intensity and difficulty, you could opt for a rope with weights in the handles – it will give your upper body an extra push.

Jumping rope is great for a lot of arm-related issues. It improves shoulders and overhead strength. It’s got isometric benefits, achieved by creating tension in your forearms and thus strengthening them. As you contract your biceps, to maintain a particular position of the arms, you are also helping them become stronger and leaner. And if you also incorporate arm swings into your jump rope workout, you’re sure to improve upper body strength through this type of cardio.

The best arm exercises for various fitness purposes

Now that we’ve covered the basics on arm exercises and arm workouts, it’s time to take a look at specific fitness goals. Perhaps some of you want to bulk up and have an impressively sized biceps and triceps. Perhaps others are vying for strength – being able to lift a lot, or to perform difficult daily activities, such as pushing, climbing, and so on. Last, but certainly not least, some people just want slim, defined arm muscles; this is especially true of the ladies, who might find the prospect of bulking up a bit daunting and undesirable. For them, we’ve got a list of great arm exercises that will tone the muscles and help get rid of the fatty tissue and arm flab they dislike.

Arm exercises for strength

The plank press

This exercise is just as good for women, who dream of skinny, but toned arms, as it is for men. It requires a yoga mat and a pair of dumbbells and it works your shoulders, back, and abs, in addition to your triceps. To begin, position yourself in push-up position, with the dumbbells at the top of the mat. For proper pushup form, your arms should be positioned shoulder-width apart, while your hands should be located immediately underneath your shoulders. Place your feet a bit wider apart than shoulder width. Keep your hips steady and lift one dumbbell with your right hand. With your palm facing downward and the arm close to your body, push your elbow back. Then reach forward with your arm as far as you can. Resume the bent position for a full rep. A complete set includes 10 reps for each arm; aim for two sets in one go.

Monkey arms

The name of this arm exercise for women andmen who want to strengthen their arms might sound funny, but it’s as serious as they come, if we’re talking arm force. Begin in upright position, with your feet placed at hip-width distance, a dumbbell in each hand, and your arms to the laterals of your body. Flex your elbows and lift the dumbbells along your ribs, until you reach your armpits. Your elbows should be pointed outward at all times. Then, extend your arms fully, with your palms down; once you’ve reached the topmost point of the extension, reverse the movement. Perform 20 repetitions, in two sets.

The overhead circles

This exercise is particularly good for female fitness enthusiasts, as well as for beginners who want stronger, more sculpted arms, as well as more reliable shoulders. You begin in the upright position, with your feet placed at hip-width distance, and one dumbbell in each hand. Begin with each arm slightly out to the laterals, in a reverted V-position. As you start lifting the arms slowly, make sure you don’t hold them directly overhead, but in a V. Then, start drawing five to eight small circles in the air, as you raise your arms, with each dumbbell. Once you’ve reached the top of the movement, start lowering your arms back down to your laterals, still drawing the circles into the air, but in the reverse direction. That’s one rep and you should perform 2 sets of 10 reps.

The hammer punch

In the upright position, with your feet positioned at hip-width distance and a dumbbell in each, hold your arms down by your sides, with your palms facing straight ahead. Bend your elbows by the sides of your body, as you raise the dumbbells to the point where they reach your shoulders. Your palms should still be facing forward. Fling your left arm to the left side, as if throwing a punch into the air, then bring the dumbbell back to your shoulder win a swift movement. Switch sides and perform the same punching movement with your right arm. Lower your arms to the initial position, in order to complete a repetition. Keep alternating sides, for two sets of 20 reps each.

If you want to increase the level of difficulty for this movement, then mix it up on that last set. Don’t alternate arms: do 20 reps with your left arm and then 20 more with the right arm.

The dumbbell Tate press

Lie down on a bench, with your elbows pointing out to your sides and the dumbbells over your chest. The heads of the two dumbbells should be close together, while the weights themselves should be lying on top of your chest. Don’t be tempted to do a bench press, by just simply lifting the weights up into the air. Keep the heads of the dumbbells touching at all times.

The dumbbell hammer curl

With a neutral grip, hold two dumbbells to your laterals. Perform a curling movement with your arms and bring the weights toward your front deltoids. Your grip should still be neutral. At the top of the movement contract your biceps, hold the contraction for a second, then slowly lower the weights back down to the initial position.

The parallel bar dip

Grab a hold of a parallel bar, with your back turned to the device. Bend your elbows into a sharp angle and dip your entire body weight. The lowermost point of this movement should have your forearms right below a parallel position to the floor. Press back up in an explosive movement, using your arm muscles to complete a full rep.

The thick grip barbell curl

Wrap a towel around the bar of a barbell and contract the muscles around your wrists. Slowly lower the bar down to the floor, until you reach the bottom point of the movement. Then, raise it back to the initial position.

Arm exercises for mass

Beginner bodybuilders and weightlifters place a massive amount of importance on the size of their arm muscles. In a certain way, the size of one’s guns is a sign of status and the good news is that it’s not at all difficult to enhance it. The bad news is that most people will go about it the entirely wrong way and eventually give up, once they realize that all their thousands of pushups and hundreds of curls aren’t getting them anywhere. We’re here to tell you that it’s relatively easy to come up with an arm workout for mass, which might even get you to look like Lee Priest. The diminutive, 5 foot 5” bodybuilder has impressed the entire world with his huge biceps, massive forearms, and sturdy triceps. He has both mass and definition: you can see the sinewy veins making their way up and down his arm and the coveted horseshoe triceps. You, too, can have it. How? Read on to find out.

The full arm mass workout

What you don’t want to do, when training your arm muscles for mass, is to overtrain. This is what happens when you put in hundreds, thousands, even, of arm exercises and nothing more. This is not to say that you should sit on the couch back at home, hoping to see your arms bulk up by magic. What you need to do, however, is get enough rest for the micro-tears that working out produces in your muscle tissue to heal. An ideal way of making sure you’re doing this is to split up your training routine into two days dedicated to full body workouts, with compound lifts, a day during which you only do arm exercises, and a day for your legs that also trains your wrists and forearms.

At this point in mapping out the perfect arm workout for mass you might be wondering if the plan will work for you and your specific training goals. To this end, check out the concepts with which the workout routine operates:

·         Compound and isolated exercises. The best way to see some significant results in terms of muscle mass is by performing compound exercises. They target your entire body all at once, literally increasing its capacity for burning calories, plowing through the fat tissue, and increasing the size of your muscles. Isolated exercises also have their utility, since they can help intermediate and experienced trainers improve areas which only need a bit of adjustment before they reach the desired size.

·         Rep range alternation. It’s pretty much pointless to train in the exact same way, day in and day out, since, after a certain point onward, your muscles will stop responding as efficiently as they used to and you’ll plateau. To this end, strive to switch freely from a low repetition range (4 to 6) to a medium-high range (8 to 12). There are several reasons to take this approach:

o   To avoid stagnation. Once your body gets used to a particular rep range, it stops putting up enough resistance as to actually see some results.

o   To increase testosterone production. As scientific research will have it, a lower repetition range will boost your body’s levels of testosterone production, thereby making your muscle fiber larger.

o   To increase HGH and lactic acid levels. This is what the high rep range can do for you, literally making your muscles look fuller and bigger.

·         Forced repetitions. This is a training method that encourages hypertrophy, according to some fitness experts. It involves a spotter, which helps the person performing the reps put in a few more, even after they’ve passed the point of failure. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t do forced repetition on all the exercises, but only on those that you feel could be amped up a notch or two, in terms of intensity.

Here ‘s the workout plan for your arms, for the two days when you’ll be working these areas:

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 bench press reps

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 bent-over row reps

You’ll essentially be using the bench presses and rows as warm-up, since they do make use of your biceps and triceps, yet these are not the main muscle groups used in these exercises. Employing them as secondary muscles will get them ready for action, but it’s the next section that will offer them a proverbial run for their money.

-          4 sets of 4 to 6 triceps pushdowns

-          4 sets of 4 to 6 dumbbell curls

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 overhead triceps extensions

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 concentration curls

These supersets will literally antagonize the biceps and triceps, in order to get them really pumped up in a very short time.

-          4 sets of 4 to 6 close-grip bench presses

-          4 sets of 4 to 6 pull-downs

Once you’re done, it’s probably a good idea to perform some fascial stretching, which also helps encourage muscle growth. This type of stretchis achieved by holding the bottom-most position of each negative repetition for 20-30 seconds, either with the same weight you were using before, or even with a lighter one. This way, the fascial, or the tough tissue around your muscles, will be stretched out. In turn, this will leave more room for the muscle to effectively grow. Rumor on the bodybuilding arena has it that former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger used fascial stretching as his ‘mystery ingredient’ for bulking up.

On the leg workout day, you should also put in a bit of a workout for your wrists and forearms. These two areas are often disregarded, since their visual impact, when bulked up, is comparatively lower. However, if you do them on leg day, you can use them to alternate between the leg exercises, to mix things up a little. Here’s the full forearm and wrist workout for such a day:

-          4 sets of 4 to 6 reverse barbell curls

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 cable curls

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 reverse barbell preacher curls

-          3 sets of 8 to 12 palms-down wrist curls

Cable curls might seem easy at first, but they will give you a burn in no time. The preacher curls and palms-down curls have made the list because it’s important to activate the muscles on your wrist and forearms from all possible angles. They will be facing up during the cable curls and down for the palms-down curls. Don’t forget about the fascial curls at the end, with 20-30 seconds spent in the bottom-most position of each negative exercise rep.

Another important note, the final one, as far as mass exercises for the arms go, is that you need to take care of your nutrition if you want to bulk up. This means more calories, but especially an appropriate quantity of protein. Make sure to include about 500 calories more on your diet and consider including protein powder in your daily diet,if you need to amp up your protein levels, but don’t have the time to cook, or don’t want to go overboard with the calories. Of course, a bodybuilder’s nutrition regimen doesn’t consist of just protein and nothing else. You’re also going to need carbs and fats to fuel the burns and the workouts. Choose complex carbs and fats from natural, organic sources, be they vegetal or animal.

Arm exercises for toning

Since some fitness enthusiasts don’t want to add mass to their arms, we’ve also included some arm exercises for toning, most of which target women. They will help define your muscles, making them leaner, while also strengthening them to help with your overall weight loss process. For the vast majority of the exercises included below, you won’t need any special equipment, save for a pair of dumbbells which you can lift without too much difficulty. And most of them have been conceived by top trainer Tracy Anderson, who has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Gwen Stefani.

The arm circle

This move requires a pair of dumbbells weighing 3 lbs each and it engages many of your upper body muscles: your shoulders, your back, your triceps, and your biceps. You start in the upright position, with your feet positioned at hip-width distance and your arms reaching out to the sides, palms facing forward and arms at shoulder level. Perform 20 small circles forward, then 20 small circles backward, while making sure your shoulders stay down throughout the whole movement.

The shoulder press

This exercise is a classic, when it comes to toning the shoulders and triceps. Begin in an upright position, a dumbbell in each hand, and your feet placed right under your shoulders. Bend your elbows to bring your hands up to your shoulders. Your palms need to be facing ahead. Then, push your arms straight up, right above your head. To complete a repetition, bring the weights back down to your shoulders. Beginners should aim for at least 20 reps of the shoulder press – a great exercise, which works both your shoulder muscles, as well as your triceps.

The triceps push-back

In upright position, with your feet placed at shoulder-width distance, bend your knees as you hold a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms need to be straight by your sides, with your palms facing behind you. Press your arms behind you for at least 2 feet, lift them as far back as they go, then return them to the side. Perform 20 such repetitions of this toning exercise for the arms.

The high V

In the upright position, with your feet at shoulder-width distance, raise your hands in the air, in a V shape. You should be holding a dumbbell in each hand, with the palms of your hands facing away from your body. Then bend your elbows very slowly, keeping them pointed toward your hips. At this point, your palms should be facing your body. Press your arms back overhead, into the V-shape position and this will complete one repetition. Aim to complete at least 20 such reps.

The side tri lift

If you’re at intermediate weight lifting level, you can try out this triceps-focused exercise. You start out by standing upright, with your feet at hip-width distance and each hand holding a dumbbell. Bend your right elbow, with the palm facing your shoulder. Extend the arm to the later, at shoulder height, and rotate it until your palm faces your body again. Lift the weight for roughly 2 inches in the air, then resume the initial position. Perform 20 reps of this exercise with your dominant hand, then switch over to the non-dominant hand.

The back touch

If you’re feeling advanced and want an arm toning exercise that targets both your back and shoulders, as well as your biceps, you can try the back touch. Stand upright, with your feet at hip-width distance and your arms outstretched to the laterals. You need to hold a dumbbell in each hand, as your bring your arms back for about 1 foot, in a diagonal line with your shoulders. Bend your left elbow behind you and touch your glutes with a dumbbell. Resume the initial position to complete one rep. As you alternate arms, work your way up to 30 repetitions.

The overhead bend

You will need a rather strong core for this exercise, which also works your shoulder and triceps. With your feet at shoulder-width distance and a dumbbell in each hand, bend your right elbow toward the hip. Hinge over toward the opposite side, by leaning in from the waist. Put your arm up right over your head, then to the left. Make sure your shoulders stay down for the duration of this exercise. Slowly lower your elbow back to the hip. Perform 25 repetitions on one side, then switch over to the next one.

The straight-arm shrug

Grab a pair of dumbbells and, with your feet at hip distance and your arms extended fully to the sides, make sure you’re keeping your shoulders down. Your arms should be at shoulder level at this point, as your right shoulder is descending toward your ear. Once you’ve completed the movement on one side, switch to the left arm. Repeat the arm exercise 30 times, as you alternate sides. Make sure your arms are lifted in the air throughout the exercise.


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