The arms of a woman

31 03 2013

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We are seeing it everywhere these days. Women walking around proud and happy with sexy strong bodies and beautifully built and sculpted arms. For me personally, I have always wanted to have super hero arms, but that might not be what every woman wants. But, like most women I have that hanging flab on my arms instead of the rippling muscles, and like all women, I dont want that. So, it doesn’t matter if you want muscular arms, or if you just want strong toned arms, what matters is that you are willing to work to change your arms to look the way YOU want them to.

Flabby arms occur when excess fat or loose skin forms in the upper arm, and this problem can be alleviated by strengthening your triceps, the muscles located at the back of your upper arm. Fortunately, there are several strength training exercises that do this. These exercises can quickly alleviate the problem of flabby arms by strengthening your biceps and triceps.

An important reminder when you start strength training is to start slow. You will not be able to lift a lot of weight or do many repetitions right away. In addition, you can easily injure yourself by trying to do too much. However, over time, your body will get stronger. Another reminder is to stay patient. The results you may desire will not come overnight. But, if you stick to a good regime, you will soon get the look you’re after.

Strong arms make the activities of daily living easier for women. An arm training program focuses on three major muscles: your biceps, triceps and deltoids. Exercises for your arm muscles may be done with barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, pulleys and your own body weight. A good start would be a: 12 to 16 reps per set for month one, eight to 12 reps for month two and four to six reps for the third month.  What are a rep and a set? A ‘rep’ is short for repetition. Let’s say you are doing bicep curls, a rep would be one full bicep curl-up and down. When you are strength training you need to repeat your activities several times-this is a set. For example, if you are doing bicep curls and you figure 10 reps is a good number (or 10 bicep curls) than you should at least do 10 reps, rest for a few minutes, and then do 10 more reps. In strength training terms this would be 2 sets of 10 reps, making a total of 20 reps. You should keep track of your workout in these terms so you know how many of an activity you are capable of doing before resting.  I keep an excel spread sheet (more for my cardio progression), and you can keep track of what days your planning on working out which body part, pre plan your workout regime, as well as keep track of your improvement.  keeping track of your improvement helps keep you motivated.  Sometimes it can take months before you see any visible differences, this is where the excel spread sheet can help you see and track your progress.  And ladies, don’t weight yourself too often, it will discourage you, weight in bi weekly, or if you’re a big big girl like me, weekly.

If your are not going to gym and want to do just a few things at home to tone those arms, here is a great regime, takes 30mins every day.  That seriously is not long, you spend more time than that on facebook in the morning.  Facebook can wait, do this instead.

1. Diamond Push-ups

While in a regular pushup position, put your hands together so that your thumbs and index fingers are touching. It should form a diamond shape in between your hands. Doing a pushup this way will put more stress on your triceps and better help strengthen the muscle. If you are unable to do regular pushups, rest on your knees instead of your toes. Try to complete three sets of ten or as many as you can do. You will be able to do more as you get stronger.

2. Triceps Extensions

While sitting or standing, take a dumbbell in one hand and raise it straight over your head. Lower your arm until your elbow forms a 90 degree angle and the weight is behind your head. Then, extend your arm back over your head and repeat this motion. Make sure not to arch your back and start with a weight light enough to control your movement. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.

3. Triceps Press

This is a similar exercise to extensions, except that you are lying down. Lie on a bench holding a weight in each hand. Raise your arms straight up bending your elbow so that the weights are next to your head. Extend the weight straight up into the air 10 to 15 times for three sets.

4. Dips

To start, sit on the edge of a chair or low table. Place your feet flat on the ground and your hands on the surface you are sitting on. Slowly lower your body to the ground, until your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle. Then, raise yourself up by pushing against the surface. You will be able to feel your triceps supporting you. Repeat this motion ten times for three sets.

5. Kickbacks

Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands and bend at your waist so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Keep your upper arm next to your torso, while bending your elbow at a 90 degree. Then, straighten your arm so the weight is near your hip. Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times for three sets.

Again, if your doing this at home and dont have weights, improvise.  Come on, you’re a woman, you have had to improvise all you life.

1. Milk Jugs

Take an empty milk jug, a gallon or half gallon jug will work, and fill it with water to the desired weight. Making one for each hand is also a possibility. Filling one emptymilk carton can also be used as a kettle ball.

2. Soup Cans

Soup cans, that are full, can be used as hand weights to perform bicep curls. The cans may not weigh a lot, but if you do more reps, it will work out. If regular sized soupcans are not heavy enough, use the family size cans, but they may be harder to hold in your hands.

3. Water Bottles

Almost everyone now days buys bottled water. Take two bottles of water, one in each hand, and use them for doing bicep curls. Then, after you are finished with your work out, you will have something to drink, or simply put them back in the fridge for later.

4. Socks

Take an old pair of socks, ones without any holes, and fill them up with pebbles or beans. Then take the end of the socks and either sew or glue them together. After they are filled then take both ends and sew or Velcro them together. Use these as wrist or ankle weights.

5. Wooden Bar

Take a piece of wood shaped like a cylinder and cut the length of the bar to the width of your shoulders. Then, drill a hole in the ends of the bar, so the holes go all the way through one end of the bar, not through the middle. Next, take some rope and tie socks with some pebbles in them to the ends of the ropes. Make sure both socks weigh the same. Then, take the other end of the rope and tie it through the bar, so the socks are hanging from both ends of the bar. This makes a great forearm exercise.

6. Books

If you have some hardback books laying around, take one in each hand and use them for performing bicep curls. You can also place the book in both hands behind your head and lift the book over your head to perform tricep curls. If you have flab on the back of your arms, this will help to tighten it up. You can also do this exercise with the soup cans or milk jugs also.

7. Bags of Rice or Beans

Take a bag of rice or bag of beans the place them on you ankles for added weight on your lower body. You can perform leg raises with these. You could also put the bags on your stomach when performing crunches for a little extra workout.

8. Kids

Let your kids sit on your stomach while performing crunches. This can help work those abdominal muscles.

NOW, for the more serious gals who have gym memberships and want to not only get rid of the flabby bits, but also build arms that say hello.

Strength training should be done at least 2-3 times a week. You should not be strength training two days in a row unless you are working out different muscles (e.g. arms, than legs the next day); otherwise, you should stick with every other day. Your muscles need a break in between or you will find yourself feeling more tired and weak than before you started your strength training program. Dont work the same body parts two days in a row, and dont work the same body parts more than twice a week.

It’s easiest if you start with dumbbells. These are free weights that are sometimes coated in vinyl for comfort or metal. If you are not trying to build bulk, just firm your arms, than find a weight that you can do 10-15 bicep curl reps without tiring. If you are trying to build more muscle than use a weight size that you can only do 8-10 without tiring. If you can do 20 or more without tiring, than this weight is too light and won’t help you firm or build muscle.  Most women use 4-6kg weights. However, if you are fairly petite, than 2-4 kgs might be all you can manage for a while. And if you are ‘naturally’ strong-8-10kg weights  might be your range. But test them out first and see where you fit in, don’t try be silly and try something too heavy in the start, otherwise you can hurt you self or be so stiff the next day you will never go back to gym again. Challenge yourself, but be fair. Think sustainable longevity.

Remember to breathe, drink water and always bend your knees…

My current arm work out routine

I prefer to do 10mins of the army cycle machine and the gym to warm up the muscles.  Doing cardio also gets me into the fat burning zone so that the weight training not only builds and strengthens my muscles but burns fats too.

Standing Barbel curl – Simple and easy enough, do simultaneously or alternate arms, dont lock your elbows, dont do fast, make sure you get the full range of motion, dont cheat yourself on form.  Watch yourself in the mirror and make sure you are doing it right.

bicepcurl

EZ bar preacher curl – The preacher curl is a fairly simple exercise, but people still tend to get this one wrong a lot. The key to doing the preacher curl properly is to focus on form first and the amount of weight second. People get a lot of bicep building exercises wrong by trying to lift too much weight.

Here’s how to do the preacher curl correctly:

1. Find a preacher bench and an EZ curl bar.

2. Load the EZ curl bar with an appropriate amount of weight and attach safety cuffs to the outside of the weights. Place the EZ curl bar on the rest handles in front of the bench.

3. Lean over the bench and grab the EZ curl bar with both hands. Your palms should be facing upwards and tilted so that the pinkies are a little lower than the thumbs. Keep your lower back straight when you pick up the bar to avoid injury. It doesn’t take much weight at all to hurt the back (trust me).

4. Sit back down on the preacher bench seat so that your upper arms rest on top of the pad and your chest is pressed against the pad. Try to arrange yourself so that your armpits are snug against the pad.

5. The starting point should be with your elbows bent and the weight resting above your arms.

6. Slowly lower the weight until your elbows are extended and arms are straight. Breathe in during this part of the motion.

7. Bring the weights back up to the starting point by contracting the biceps. Breathe out during this part of the motion. Contract the biceps for a moment at the top of the lift. Repeat for as many repetitions as desired.

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Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension – Sit with an upright posture on a chair or at the end of a bench, I prefer a yoga ball as it take the pressure off my lower back.   Grasp a dumbbell by placing your palms against the inside of one end of the dumbbell. Raise the weight above your head and fully extend your arms.
Slowly lower the weight behind your head by bending your elbows to 90 degrees. From this position, lift the weight back up by fully extending your arms. Complete the desired number of repetitions in a slow and controlled manner.

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Bent over one arm tri-cep extension – Kneel with one knee and the same hand on a bench.  Keep your opposite foot on the floor and hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand, keeping your elbow bent 90-degrees, placed at your hip.  Keeping your back flat, extend your elbow until your arm is straight and parallel with the ground (perform a kick back).  Hold and then return the weight to the starting position.  Repeat with the same arm

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Thats it, four workouts, do em right and they will be plenty. Now go reward yourself with 20 laps in the pool!

Live Strong, Live Healthy, Keep the Faith

Lizz

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3 responses

10 04 2013
Powerhouse Fitness promo code

i typed a short review on here a while back and it got removed.

do you know why?

14 04 2013
changingmeforlife

Hi there
Im so sorry about that, I just saw this comment now in my spam folder (which I have never looked in before). I don’t know what happened to your post and I would have loved to read you review and comments. I’m also fairly amatuer at this blogging thing and am still figuring out all my blog’s functionality. If you don’t mind please add your review again.
Thanks!

9 10 2014
Felicitas

Hi
I am thinking about taking prohormones, do you think this is good idea for advanced bodybuilder like me?
People are satisfied with the results after prohormones
cycles, just google for – 100% pure muscles
without side effects – worth a try?

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