Women the world over are lifting, pressing and pumping their way to perfectly sculpted biceps and triceps. Toned arms have become something of a status symbol and, while some celebrities have taken this to the extreme (ahem, Madonna), female guns seem to be proudly on display at every turn.
Some women are cautious about working their arms, afraid of looking too bulky. But the right exercises can ensure you are equipped with long, lean, and strong arms all year round. The best part? All of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home.
For this upper body strength challenge you need anything that will give you an uneven surface such as a ball or stack of books. Get into a plank and put your right hand on the ball and left hand on the floor. Squeeze your abs and shoulders as you lower towards the floor, keeping elbows in. Push back up and pass the ball to the other side. Do at least six on each side.
2.BENT-OVER DUMBELL ROWS
Pick up two heavy dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back (knees slightly bent) and hinge your torso forward, so it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, chest proud and ensure you don’t let your lower back hunch forward.
Begin with straight arms extended downwards then pull them up by bending your elbows out to the side. Try to feel your shoulder blades pinching together in the back. Control the weights as you bring them back down to the hanging position, but don’t let your chest collapse in.
Position your hands shoulder width apart on the floor or on a secured bench or stable chair. Move in front of the bench with your legs out in front of you and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten your arms, and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
Now slowly bend at your elbows, and lower your upper body toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Two sets of ten reps each is a good place to start.
4. PUSH UP ROTATION
Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips. Lower your body toward the floor, and then push through your arms, returning to plank. Twist to the left, reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis rise or lower. Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. Initially try to perform at least six reps on each side.
5. SHOULDER PRESS
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows, bringing hands to shoulders, palms facing forward. Press weights straight overhead, keeping shoulders down, then lower weights back to shoulders. Do at least 20 reps.