Six Exercises That Will Get Your Arms Ready For Summer Tank Tops

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.

Summer Ready 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.

Use a heavier weight for the curl

Take care not to lift the elbow on the curl.

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.

Bend over from the waist and work against gravity.

Push the arm away from the elbow rather than swinging from the shoulder.

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.

This picture shows the exercise from a sitting position. To better incorporate the core, stand up.

This shows the lift 3/4 of the way to the top position. Take care not to lift 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.

Use a weight that you can only lift for 10 – 12 repetitions.

Push through a full range of motion.

 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.

Standing or sitting, lean over slightly from the hips.

Think of squeezing the shoulder blades together. Lift with the back not the shoulder.

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.

Lay on a bench so you can work against gravity. Release the weights out to the side.

As you pull the weights together think of the chest muscles as the primary movers.

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.