Tone Your Arms for Summer’s Sleeveless Fashions

Summer is approaching, and that means you’ll likely want to show off toned, lean arms in sleeveless tops and swim suits. What makes arms spectacular? Defined shoulders, strong biceps, and no tricep flab that wiggles when you wave. Achieving beautiful arms requires taking a two-pronged approach of strength-training to activate the muscle and cardio to lower your body fat.

Three to five times a week, spend 15-30 minutes strengthening and toning your arms. You will need light dumbbells weighing 3 to 5 pounds if you are a beginner. If you are more advanced, you can use 8 to 10 pound weights; and some of these moves use only your body weight as resistance. You will find body weight exercise can be even more challenging on your muscles than using dumbbells.

Change the number of reps, the size of your weights, or the order in which you perform the exercises at every workout.

Push for all over definition

No arm workout would be complete without the pushup. The push up is still one of the most effective moves to give all over definition from your shoulders to your triceps to your core. You can do them anywhere and they use your body weight as resistance for your arm muscles. If you’re not convinced you can do one, try modifying your pushup by holding the arms of a chair and angle your body in a straight line at about 45 degrees and then do your push up.

Sculpting your shoulders

Sculpt your shoulders by holding a light dumbbell in your left hand with your fist facing down. Raise your arm out to the left side of your body perpendicular to your torso. Repeat 12 times, and then switch and do the same thing with your right arm: that is one set.

For a similar workout using an exercise band instead of a dumbbell, hold the band in your left hand and step on the opposite of the band. With your fist down, raise your arm out to the left or straight out in front of you to work different muscles. The resistance of the band can be tightened or loosened depending on your workout goals. 

Toning biceps

Bicep curls are one way to get middle-arm muscles that would make Michelle Obama proud. Sit or stand with your arms at your sides, holding light dumbbells with your palms facing out. Keep your elbows tight at your sides while you raise the weight up to your shoulders. This exercise can be done in a range of motion such as at your sides or in line with your chest. 

Defining triceps

You can do bench dips anywhere using a bench, chair or any other stable object with a height of 1-3 feet off the ground. Standing with your feet out in front of you, hold your palms down and thumbs inward. Place your hands on the bench behind you and lower yourself down in front of the bench. Follow this by pushing back up to your starting position. If you’re a beginner, bend your knees. To make this move more challenging, keep your legs straight out in front of you.


If you love an elongated muscle look, yoga is great for strengthening and toning your muscles. Yoga in a fast paced setting such as a yoga flow or vinyasa yoga class will get your heart rate up while using upper body muscles during the plank, downward dog, chaturanga, cobra pose and more.

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