4 Exercises That Will Tone Up Your Arms

woman doing an arm workout

Spring has officially sprung and summer is fast on its heels! As you shed bulky winter wear and revel in the warmer weather, you may realize our arms have become a little bit, well, softer than they were last year. In an effort to tone up, many people go straight to an arm workout that consists of nothing but bicep curls and push-ups. But I’m here to say: You’re doing it wrong! Well, sort of.

Here in Los Angeles, my clients’ arms are visible all year long, so I know a thing or two about sculpting a red-carpet-ready arm, and it isn’t all about your biceps. Your arms are made up of your deltoids (shoulders), your biceps, and your triceps. Believe it or not, your triceps actually make up about two-thirds of your arm, so if you only train your biceps, you’re leaving out most of your arms!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to dispel a myth that I hear all the time. Ladies: Lifting weights will NOT make you bulky! As long as you’re not using steroids or taking testosterone and deliberately eating extra food, you won’t bulk up. You will, however, create denser, stronger muscles, which make for enviable arms.

Celebrity Arm Workout for Summer Warriors

Below are my four favorite exercises for killer arms. Turn it into an arm workout by doing three to four sets of 20 reps twice a week. And keep in mind: You can have the most toned arms in the world, but unless you’re also eating well and hitting your step goal each day they’ll be obscured by fat. So, keep eating clean and making your dashboard green!

Lying DB Tricep Extensions

Lying on your back, hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms fully extended toward the ceiling, palms facing each other. Hinging at your elbows, lower the dumbbells until they are next to your ears but not touching the floor. Then extend back toward the ceiling, returning to the starting position. That’s one rep.

TRX Tricep Extensions

Stand facing away from the TRX anchor point with an overhand grip on each strap, arms straight out in front of you, palms facing out/down, and your body at about a 70 degree angle from the ground. Bend your elbows and lean forward, keeping your body in a straight line, until your wrists are at your ears. Use your triceps to push you back into the starting position, resisting the urge to let your elbows jut out to the sides. That’s one rep.

DB Hammer Bicep Curls

Start with your feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, and palms facing in. Curl your arms up to your shoulders and bring back down to the starting position in a controlled movement—no swinging!

Single Arm DB Shoulder Press

Start with your feet hip-width apart. Holding a dumbbell in one hand at your shoulder, palm facing your body, extend your other arm out to the side, parallel to the ground. Press the dumbbell up until your arm is straight, and then lower back to the starting position in a controlled motion. That’s one rep.

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