Dumbbell Exercises for Women to Tone Arms
by Mike Westerdal
It is unfortunate, but still a fact, that the very nature of women's bodies makes them susceptible to sagging in certain areas...particularly the backs of their arms. And also unfortunately for the ladies, this sagging can actually start to occur at a relatively young age.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce, and even eliminate almost entirely, sagging in the arms. The best part is that you don't need fancy or expensive equipment or even a gym membership. You can achieve your goals right there in the comfort of your own home with just a few square feet of unobstructed space and a set of dumbbells.
In a world full of unique exercise equipment, some complicated, and some expensive, dumbbells have always been, and remain, just about the perfect piece of exercise equipment for toning the arms.
After all, compared all the expensive exercise machines, that don't really do anything extra, dumbbells are effective, versatile, inexpensive, easy-to-store, great
for targeting specific areas, can be used by anyone regardless of skill
or ability and can be used just about anywhere. You don't need to be
able to lift heavy weights in order to tone up your arms. A maximum
weight of 10 to 12 pounds will do. If you can, pick up a few different
weights (5, 10, 12 pounds) so you can vary your workouts.
First of all, warm up before getting started-this helps to prevent
injuries. So start with a few minutes of stretching, particularly
focusing on stretching the muscles in your arms. Do this for 3 to 5
minutes. You also might want to walk or jog in place for a few minutes
to get your blood pumping.
Here are some exercises you can do:
Seated bicep curl: This is more or less the same exercise as above,
but. this time done while seated. As before, keep your elbows close to your side, curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder (palm facing
the shoulder), at that point pause and contract. Slowly return the dumbbell to the starting position, and repeat with the other arm. Do the same amount of
repetitions and sets as the previous exercise.
Variations of the Seated Bicep Curl: curl both arms at the same time or do hammer curls as described above.
alternating bicep curl: Stand as you did in the warm up,
but this time do it holding dumbbells in your hands. Keeping your
elbows close to your body, slowly curl one dumbbell up towards your
shoulder. Your palm should be facing your shoulder. When the dumbbell
is almost touching your shoulder, pause, contract your bicep for a
moment before returning to the starting position (keep your back
straight and don't swing the weight). Repeat the exercise using the
other arm. Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each arm with a 30-second
rest between sets. Variations: curl both arms at the same time. You can
also vary this exercise by doing hammer curls. Here, you start in the
same position as before but instead of turning your palm up to face
your shoulder as you curl up, keep your palm facing inward, stopping to
pause and contract when your lower arm is just about parallel to the
overhead triceps extension: Holding a (lightweight)
dumbbell in your hand, raise your arm straight up over your head,
towards the ceiling. Keeping your upper arm in place, bend at the elbow
bringing the weight slowly down towards the back of your head (be
careful not to hit yourself in the head) until you feel a tight
"stretch" in your tricep. Contract the tricep and slowly return to the
starting position. Do 10-12 repetitions and then switch arms. Do 3 sets
of 10-12 repetitions. Variation: You can also do this exercise while
dumbbell extensions: Lying flat (on a mat or bench), raise
your arms vertically up toward the ceiling. Keep your upper arms
vertical, slowly lower the dumbbells toward the space behind your head
until you feel a tight stretch. Pause, contract, return to the starting
position and repeat. Variation: Alternate one arm at a time.
Mix these exercises up, be creative and add in some of your own and
vary your routine. As fitness level, skills and abilities improve, you
should increase the intensity of the workout by mixing in some
aerobics, adding a little more weight, adding other dumbbell exercises
(not specifically for the arms but for the whole body), decreasing rest
time between sets or increasing the number of repetitions and/or sets.
If you do this for 20-30 minutes a day three or four times a week and
stick with it, you will be amazed with the results. Not only will your
arms be more toned, but you'll be stronger, healthier and will probably
notice that you feel a lot better too.
Mike Westerdal is the author of the first and original...
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