10-Minute Tuneups™: Get toned arms, quick
Get toned up, and stronger, with this fast workout for your arms
Tone your arms for tank-top weather
It's almost time to dig out those sleeveless tops, and resistance training that improves your upper body strength is the best way to get lean, toned and strong. Use your own body weight or, even better, add dumbbells. A great starting point is with three-pound dumbbells-but remember, the objective when doing this workout is good form, and control. To avoid injury, move up to heavier dumbbells only when you are comfortable that you're strong enough to handle it. If you are new to working out, always check with your doctor before starting any fitness plan.
How long will it take to get a new-and-improved upper body? If you do this 10-Minute Tuneup three times a week, you'll feel a difference in strength in about two weeks, and you'll actually see a difference-in the form of toned arms-in four weeks. It's true!
Warm-up, 1 minute: Without the weights, warm up by marching on the spot while making big arm circles, switching direction after 30 seconds.
Dumbbell Curl with a Shoulder Press and Twist: 2 minutes
Works: Biceps, shoulders, obliques
A. Stand holding both dumbbells with hands next to your hips; bend elbows to curl dumbbells up to shoulders. B. Continue to push your right arm up toward the ceiling while twisting your torso to face to the left. Allow your right foot to naturally pivot so your toes are pointing to your left along with your torso. Once your right arm is fully extended, hold for one second. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side. Do as many repetitions are you can in two minutes.
Easier option: Complete the same move without the twist. Keep both feet firmly on the floor shoulder-width apart.
Rolling Plank: 2 minutes
Works: Core, shoulders, arms
A. Start in a high plank position (on your hands instead of your elbows) with your arms directly underneath your shoulders and your core muscles engaged. B. Lift one arm up and place your elbow down, followed by the other arm so you are on your elbows (traditional plank). C. Return to starting position by lifting one elbow up at a time and placing your hands back in the original position, until you are back to a high plank position. Do as many as you can in two minutes.
Easier option: Complete the same exercise from your knees.
Dumbbells Curl and press: 1 minute
Works: Biceps, shoulders
A. Stand holding both dumbbells next to your hips with feet shoulder-width apart. B. With palms facing toward your body, curl arms up to your shoulders. C. Continue to push both arms up toward the ceiling, pausing for a second when your arms are fully extended before returning to starting position. Repeat for one minute.
Easier option: Complete one arm at a time, alternating sides.
Dumbbell Kickback: 2 Minutes
A. Start by holding dumbbells in both hands; bend forward from your hips, maintaining a straight spine and keeping your chest up. Keep neck aligned with your back so you are gazing at the floor slightly ahead of you. Bend elbows, keeping your upper arms alongside your body. B. Extend your arms one at a time behind you and squeeze your triceps muscle for a moment before returning to starting position. Continuously alternate arms for a total of two minutes.
Easier option: Perform 10 repetitions and stand up to rest. Return after one breath to complete another 10. Repeat.
Dumbbell Punch: 1 minute
Works: Entire upper body
Hold dumbbells while standing with feet shoulder-width apart and knees soft (slightly bent). A. and B. Punch your arms out in front of you one at a time for one minute; as you alternate back and forth, keep dumbbells at shoulder level. Avoid jerking your body, but do allow your hips to move naturally as you punch.
Easier option: Bring arms down for relief every 10 punches.
Cool down, 1 minute: Interlace your hands and stretch your arms up to the ceiling for 30 seconds, then out in front of you for another 30 seconds.