Summer is just around the corner, and that means showing more skin, and when showing more skin, you want to be showing off toned muscles. When it gets hot and humid, I love wearing tank tops because they keep me cool and comfy. But I also like to know that my arms, back and shoulders look darn good in that tank top. My upper body is my favorite part of my body, and I think it is the easiest to tone up.
To get the little cuts that make you feel so sexy, I am detailing the best strength-training moves below. To make it really work, add cardio in 4-5 days a week to shed any fat that is covering those muscles up. Start with weights that are comfortable, but make sure it gets challenging by the last few reps, and then increase the weight as it gets easier so that you keep seeing results.
Take it Slow
I see so many women in the gym swinging their weights around so fast that it can’t possibly be an effective workout. Strength training moves are supposed to be done slowly and with very controlled form, otherwise you are wasting your time. The slower you go, the longer your muscles have to work against that weight, equaling better results. So when you do these moves, don’t just rush through them to get them done. Focus on the muscles you are working and take your time. Remember, it’s supposed to be somewhat challenging. That’s why it’s called “work”ing out!
7 Exercises for Tank Top Ready Arms
You will need a set of dumbbells to do these moves. I highly recommend this 6-piece Jillian Michaels set for quick workouts at home. It is a $20 set and well worth the money. Plus it is easy to store under a bed out of the way. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Jillian-Michaels-6-Ultimate-Power-Dumbbells-and-Storage-Tray-Set/15188971
I recommend 3 sets of 8-12 reps three times a week. Try not to do back-to- back days so you can give your muscles time to recover.
This simple move targets the upper front part of your arm. Stand with arms down, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing away from you. Lock your elbows to the sides of your body. Alternate curling the right arm then left arm. Be sure to bend your elbow and come all the way back down to the starting position to get that full range of motion. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
This move targets the upper back part of your arm. This is an important part to target as we age, because it can start to sag and look flabby if it’s not toned. Not a good look. Stand with arms bent up, a dumbbell in each hand. Alternate pressing back with the right arm then left arm. Be sure not to swing your arm on the way back. If you can’t control it, you’re probably using too heavy of a weight. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
This move targets your shoulders and back, prime tank top exposure areas. Stand with arms down, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward you. Alternate raising the right arm then left arm straight in front of you. You can have a slight bend in your elbow. Then do the same thing out to your right and left sides. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
This move targets your upper back and shoulders. Stand with arms down, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward you. Alternate pulling the right arm then left arm straight up as you bend your elbows. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
As the name suggests, this move targets the tops of the shoulders. Stand with arms bent up on either side of your head, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing away from you. Alternate pressing the right arm then left arm over your head. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
Bent Over Rows and Flyes
These two moves target all parts of your back. To row, stand with knees bent and your back flat as you bend slightly over, arms down in front of you, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Alternate pulling the right arm then left arm straight back. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want. For the flye, alternate lifting right arm then left arm out to the sides with a slight bend in the elbow. You can also do a set of both arms at the same time if you want.
This oldie but goodie uses your own body weight to target your chest, triceps and back muscles. Get down on the floor either on your toes or knees (there is no shame in doing a “girl” pushup!). Place your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor, then push back up. Keep your back flat and your butt down.
Now, put on that tank top and admire all of your hard work in the mirror!
Other posts to get you ready for summer:
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