Summer is coming, and with it come all sorts of lovely strappy summer dresses – a great way to show off your beautiful, toned arms and shoulders! If you’d rather stick with shapeless sweaters, in an attempt to hide your equally shapeless arms, consider instead adding this set of exercise to your workout routine – three or four times each week.
What you need:
– a stability ball
– 5 ft of resistance band or tubing
– some mid-weight dumbbells (10 pounds?)
– some light-weight dumbbells (3-5 pounds?)
Standing, take a dumbbell in each hand; start with your arms down by your sides, and your palms facing in. Keep your elbows close to your ribs, and raise both dumbbells, turning your palms up as soon as the weights clear your thighs. Stop when your elbows are bent at a 45 degree angle – squeeze your elbows against your ribs, and turn your palms out, hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 1 minute (30 reps?). If this is too easy, increase the weight.
Stability Ball Tricep Extensions
Lie down with your shoulders supported by the stability ball, elbows directly above your shoulders, and a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing each other. Keeping your elbows motionless, lower the dumbbells completely, then raise back up so that your elbows are straight. Turn your hands so that your thumbs are facing out, hold for a few seconds while squeezing your triceps, then return to starting position. Repeat for 1 minute (30 reps?). If this is too easy, increase the weight.
Dumbbell Front / Lateral Raise
Standing, take a dumbbell in each hand (a lighter one this time – 3 pounds, or maybe 5); start with your arms down by your sides, and your palms facing in. Pull your shoulders back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keeping your arms straight, and your shoulders back, raise the dumbbells to your sides until they are at shoulder level. Hold for a second, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then bring the dumbbells forward, so that your arms are straight out in front of you (shoulders still back, palms facing down). Lower your arms in front of you til they are down by your thighs. Raise your arms in front of you til your arms are straight out in front of you. Hold for a second, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then bring the dumbbells back, so that your arms are straight out to the sides (shoulders still back, palms facing down). Lower your arms back to the starting position. This is one repetition. Repeat for 60 seconds (up, front, down, up, side, down…)
Resistance Band Seated Row
Sit on the floor, with your legs out in front of you, knees slightly bent, back straight and upright. Loop resistance band around the soles of your feet (if the band has a tendency to move or slip, loop it over your big toes and under the rest of your toes). With your shoulders back, pull your hands back until they are beside your ribs, palms facing up, shoulder blades squeezed tightly together. Hold for a second, then release til your arms are stretched out in front of you. Repeat for 60 seconds (30 reps?)
If 60 seconds is a bit much, you can try this workout Tabata-style : do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a ten-second break, twice.