These simple dumbbell exercises will help chisel your arms in no time–that is, you’ll be seeing and feeling some very quick results! This series is great to do before going sleeveless for a big event (like one’s wedding, ahem). I also love it because it makes me feel instantly more poised and elegant. So, let’s get started! Grab a pair of 2-3 pound weights, and put on your favorite tunes. For each exercise, do three set of twenty reps–and don’t forget to stretch to maintain those long, lean muscles 🙂
1. “Wing It.”
Hold a weight in each hand and roll shoulders back. Form “wings” with your arms while keeping your arms just behind your torso. Squeeze the center of your upper back as your move your arms further behind you (by only a few inches). Although this is a small range of motion, it’s wonderful for toning both the upper back and your biceps.
2. Tricep Extension.
Keep your back straight as you lean forward. With a weight in each hand (palms facing your body), slightly bend and straighten your arms, squeezing the backs of your arms. Keep your hands behind your torso at all times.
3. Shoulder Press
Holding your weights with your palms facing away from you, bend and raise your arms into a 90 degree angle–as shown above. This will be your resting position. From this position, press arms towards the ceiling. Pause at the top before slowly lowering arms and repeating.
4. Drawing Circles.
This exercise is actually four exercises. First, begin with your arms extended in front of you with a gentle bend at your elbow. Move your arms (clockwise) in small circles–no bigger than a salad plate. Second, repeat this step moving your arms counter-clockwise. Third and fourth, holding your weight with your palms facing down, move your arms clockwise, then counter-clockwise, respectively.
This is my favorite post-arm-exercise stretch. Behind your head, hold one of your dumbbells in both hands. Allow the weight to gently pull and stretch your triceps. Doesn’t that feel nice?
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Photos: Mary Hood