You Only Need 10 Minutes a Day To Get Your Arms Ready For Summer
If you’re spending most of your workout time on cardio exercise like walking, running, biking or swimming you may be neglecting your arms. Every year at this time I spend a little more of my workout time focusing on upper body exercises so that I’m ready for tank tops when the day comes to bare arms.
The following six exercises will get your arms, shoulder, chest and upper back ready for skimpier summer clothes. You’ll need a set of dumbbells that weigh at least five pounds each – heavier is better – and 10 minutes a day for six weeks.
1.) Bicep Curl
We’ve all done this exercise. The key to doing it so that it’s effective is 1.) use an adequate amount of weight. If you can do more than two sets of 12, the weight is too light, and 2.) don’t lift the elbow on the curl. Pretending your elbow is glued to your waist as you lift the arm will prevent utilizing the shoulder muscles.
2. Tricep Kick Back
Another common exercise when done correctly can develop the back of the arm. Use a bench so that you can bend from the waist and work against gravity. Make sure you don’t swing the arm from the shoulder. Again, as with the bicep curl, the elbow stays at the side.
3. Lateral Shoulder Raise
You may need to lighten up the weight for the lateral shoulder raise. At least at first until you build strength in the shoulder. Take care not to lift the weight higher than the shoulder.
4. Shoulder Press
Work arms one at a time or both together. Push the arm through a full range of motion with a weight that you can lift for 10 – 12 repetitions.
5. Upper Back Fly
The key to a successful upper back fly is to use the back muscles, not the shoulder. Unlike a lateral shoulder raise, the lift comes entirely from the back. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together instead of raising the shoulders.
6. Chest Fly
The opposite of the upper back fly. This exercise focuses on the muscles in the chest. Again, think of pulling the weights together using the pectorals (chest) muscles rather than the shoulder.
Workout Basics – Do the series of exercises every other day for six weeks. Use weights that are heavy enough that you can do two sets of 12. When you’re able to do more repetitions, increase the weight.