Love Your Upper Arms

tricep kickback“I hate the summer,” moans my friend Sara. “I have to show my upper arms in public.”

Women of all ages tend to disparage the area from the elbow to the shoulder, wishing it were less fleshy or more defined.

Here at MiddleSexy we want you to love your upper arms, or at least stop grabbing for the long sleeves. To that end, here are some easy exercises for toning your biceps and triceps. As an added benefit, the workouts will also build strength in your shoulders, back and chest.

You’ll want hand weights for these exercises, one for each hand. Start small, with one- or two-pound weights then work your way up to heavier weights. (Most women we know use weights that range between two and ten pounds.)

Bicep Curl

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Keep your abs tight. Start with your arms straight at your sides, hands facing your thighs. Using your biceps, curl your hands up toward your shoulders, rotating your hands slightly so they face your shoulders as you flex up.  Do 15 reps, and repeat 3 or 4 times. You can do each arm individually, or do them together.

Tricep Kickback

Get into position with a small lunge forward with your right leg, and keep your knees bent. Bend forward slightly at the hips, and place your right hand on your right thigh for support. Holding a weight in your left hand, curl your bicep toward your shoulder. Then extend your left arm straight back. Try to keep it both parallel to the ground and above your hips. Bring the arm back to the curled position and repeat. Do 10 or 15 reps then switch sides. Repeat the full exercise 3 or 4 times. You can also do both arms at the same time.

Overhead Press

Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Pull in your abs. Hold a weight in each hand, palms facing forward and elbows pointing downward. To start the exercise, bend your elbows and bring the weights up toward your shoulders, then continue to lift them above your head with your arms straight. At the top, the backs of your thumbs should face each other. Do 10 or 15 reps, and repeat 3 or 4 times. This exercise can also be done one arm at a time.

Are there other bicep or tricep exercises you like to do? Let us know.

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Image via Victoria Garcia/Flickr