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Great Workouts for Arms

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 20 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Arms Muscle Definition Triceps Biceps

Many women – and some men – despair at the sight of their arms, looking back wistfully at their younger selves and desperately wishing they could turn back the clock.

Women complain that their arms are fat and/or flabby, with the dreaded “bingo wings” that often come with age. Men moan that their arms are skinny and undefined, lacking the muscular definition so many males crave.

Luckily, there are simple techniques you can practice at home to fix your arms and make them look sleek and attractive, no matter your gender. All involve a little work and a lot of determination, but you can get there – promise!

Getting Rid of Bingo Wings

Women develop bingo wings primarily due to a lack of definition of their triceps, or the muscles at the back of the arms. When women gain weight the fat tends to hang there, making the backs of their arms look loose and flabby - not an attractive sight at all!

Losing weight, of course, is the first step in the battle of the bingo wings. But while shedding the excess fat can certainly help, you will still need to concentrate on toning up the triceps to lose that bingo wing look.

Exercises to Get You Started

  • Bench Dips.
  • Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, with your bottom just off the edge. Put your hands down on each side of your hips. Make sure you keep both knees bent, then bring yourself down slowly. Do this until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, making sure that your upper arms are parallel to the ground at all times. Lift up and lower yourself again two or three times, then repeat 10 to 15 times. When you become stronger and more proficient in this exercise, try keeping your knees straight at all times.
  • Prayer Time.
  • Kneel down on the floor, then walk out with your hands until your body is forming a straight line from head to knee. Pull in your abs, and check that your hands are right beneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows back, as long as they stay close to your side, then lower your chest toward the floor (only as far as this remains comfortable). Hold, push yourself up again, then repeat.
  • Baked Bean Event (bicep curl).
  • Hold a tin of baked beans in each hand with palms facing out, then slowly lift up until arm is bent. Do this ten times, then rest and do again. Do whenever you are cooking, in the kitchen, watching telly. Increase the weight to larger cans after a few weeks of regular exercise.

Developing Muscle Definition - for Men and Women

Many men – and some women – want to improve the muscle definition in their arms, including both the triceps and biceps, and why not? Having good muscle definition makes you look fit and strong, and who wants to look fat and flabby?

A Few Basics to Try...

  • Tricep Stretch. A good start. Stand up, bend your elbow and reach for your shoulder blade. Grab the top of it, then reach over the top of your head for the other shoulder with the opposite arm. Hold, repeat, trade arms.
  • Tricep Dip. Get down on your hands and knees, with hands anywhere from six to eight inches apart. Keep your arms straight, then put your feet out and straighten your entire body, like it is a wooden board. Slowly lower yourself back down, then push back up. Repeat several times.
  • Hammer Curl. This is similar to the bicep curl (above), except the palms face in, which means a bit more of the forearm is involved. It’s more challenging that a traditional bicep curl, so you may need to stick to lighter weights.

Slow and Easy

Any exercise programme should be taken slow and easy at first, then worked up to gently. If you have not taken exercise in a while, are pregnant or think you might be, or have any medical concerns or conditions, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP before embarking on any exercise programme at all.

If you are considering any serious weight training, make sure you have a full induction programme first, or you could do yourself serious injury. Always warm up before embarking on any exercise routine, and cool down afterwards.

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