Good morning and happy Tuesday to you! Today, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite arm exercises with you. I get asked pretty often if I use heavy weights for upper body workouts…answer- no, usually not. I’m a big fan of light weights/resistance coupled with high reps to maintain a toned, lean upper body. I will typically utilize heavier weights for lower body exercises (think dead lifts, weighted squats, etc.) We have the Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set, which I use for leg work, and Matt uses for both upper and lower body workouts.
Sometimes, I’ll whip out 5, 6, or 8 lb weights, but on a whole, I find myself coming back to 2-3 lb weights and a resistance band for most of my arm exercises. That’s not to say I think using heavier weights is wrong, I just love the results I get going the light-weight route. Having said this, as a Pure Barre teacher, I demo push-ups quite a bit throughout the week, so I’m very conscious that demoing, in of itself, gives me an extra upper-body workout. If I didn’t routinely demo push-ups and other upper-body exercises, I might use slightly heavier weights on a regular basis for my own workouts.
Although the moves I’m sharing today are basic, they are effective and they focus on the shoulders, biceps, and triceps. I put together a little workout you can do with these moves (literally anywhere…do it while you’re watching your favorite T.V. show). All you need is a resistance band and a set of light weights. (I think this–> set of 3 weights (2’s, 3’s and 5’s) with the stand is fantastic).
- TRICEP KICKBACKS 8-12 reps
- LATERAL RAISES 8-12 reps
- RESISTANCE BAND BICEP CURLS 8-12 reps
- SKULL CRUSHERS 8-12 reps
- SHOULDER PLANK TAPS 8-12 reps
Complete 2-3 sets of each exercise. You can do these exercises after a power walk or run for an extra resistance boost!
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Soften your knees, hinge forward from your hips with a flat back. Draw the elbows back, holding them close to the sides of the body. Keeping your neck in line with your spine, extend your arms straight back behind you, squeezing from the tops of the arms. Pause for a moment as the top (arms should be parallel to the floor), then return to the starting position with control (avoid just swinging the arms).
Stand tall with 1 weight in each hand, feet hip-width apart, take a slight bend through both elbows, then raise the arms up toward shoulder level, forming a “T.” Then, slowly lower the arms back to the starting position.
RESISTANCE BAND BICEP CURLS
Hold onto the band handles, step your feet onto the center of band. Feet should be hip-width apart. Arms are at your sides to start. Bend both elbows, bringing your palms toward your body. Slowly straighten the arms down, returning to start.
Lie on your back, 1 weight in each hand. Feet are flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Make sure to anchor your low back into the floor. Extend the arms up toward the ceiling so they are at chest level, arms should be straight, but do not lock your elbows. Bend both elbows, bring the weights to either side of your head. Lift the arms back up to the starting position.
PLANK SHOULDER TAPS
Come to a full plank position. Walk the feet out wider than the hips (for a wider base of support). Carefully tap the right finger tips to the left shoulder, keeping the abs in tight and both hips facing downward. Set the right hand down and repeat on the other side. This counts as 1 rep.
- Top: Alo Yoga Heat Wave Tank (wearing a size small) I love the eggplant color as well- perfect for fall!
- Bottoms: Fabletics (old, similar here)
- Bra: Old, (similar here)
- Shoes: Nike Women’s Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2
- Socks: Nike training footie
- Activity tracker: Fitbit Alta HR
Helpful at-home workout gear:
*DISCLAIMER: Though I am a certified personal trainer, my workouts may not be right for you. Always consult a medical professional before starting any new fitness routine.