Fitness / Strength Training

How to Get Killer Arms in Time for a Summer Wedding

Want to rock Michelle Obama arms this summer? Follow these expert-approved solutions.

Looking to tone your arms in time for those summer weddings? Even if you only have a few weeks before the official start of the season, these fitness expert, Aaptiv approved solutions will help score you killer arms in no time.

When it comes to toning our bodies in time for summer, most of us think about the beach-body areas, such as our abs, legs, and butt. However, the area that tends to get neglected, often simply out of sheer lack of know-how, is our arms. Toned arms are incredibly desirable—just look at our former first lady!—but many of us don’t spend enough time working them out when at the gym, or simply in our day-to-day life. Considering that summer is the season of weddings and other events that you’ll likely pull out your sleeveless, strapless, and halter top dresses for, there’s no time like the present to start toning those guns.

While, of course, there’s the aesthetic reasons to firm up your arms, there are also a slew of health benefits that come along with doing so. In fact, according to Molly Niles Renshaw, Pilates instructor and co-founder of the Santa Monica-based studio Phoenix Classical Pilates, if your arms, biceps, traps, triceps, and lats are balanced and toned, you will be healthier, your circulation will run more efficiently, and your blood flow and metabolism will be improved. “Psychologically there will be improvement because you won’t feel powerless to move heavy items or carry bags or children,” she adds. “You’ll feel more vital as a human, which improves every part of life, [both] physically and mentally.”

Even if the official start to summer is just weeks away, experts say that you have more than enough time to get killer arms in time for a summer wedding, happy hour with friends, a weekend beach day, or simply just to show off to yourself in the mirror. Here’s where and how to begin.

Do arm-strengthening workouts

The road to toned arms starts with building muscle, which you can do in or out of the gym. There are plenty of exercises that can focus on the muscles in your arms. “Bicep curls will help strengthen the front of your arms, push-ups are perfect for toning the back of the arms, and shoulder presses will help tone your shoulders,” says Allen. In particular, triceps are ideal to do anywhere. In fact, you can do them on a bench or table, at the office, the playground, or on the side of your car, according to Renshaw.

Looking to tone up your arms? Check out the strength training section in the Aaptiv app. We have workouts that are perfect for your fitness goals.

Ditch the shopping cart

The next time you’re at the grocery store, try simply shopping for what you can carry. “You’d be amazed by this simple ten to 15 minutes of carrying the 20 pounds of your cart instead of pushing it in the store,” says Renshaw. “Of course, this may mean shopping more times per week, but the side effects are fresher food and leaner arms!” She recommends using both your back and abdominals while holding the shopping basket and keeping your arms balanced by switching it from one hand to the other.

Watch your diet

If you want to be lean and toned, you have to consider what you’re feeding your body. Tara Allen, RN, personal trainer, and health coach recommends that you stick to lean protein, veggies, and whole foods, as well as reduce or eliminate refined flour and sugar.

Mix up your workout

If you’re looking to have equally toned arms as you have legs, you’ll need to establish a workout regimen that includes a healthy balance of exercises. For a balanced physique, Allen recommends changing up the arm attack by doing a vinyasa yoga class one day, a Pilates workout the next, adding a boxing class another day, and then swim some laps the next. “Changing up your workouts will allow the arms and upper body to be toned and strengthened by doing different movements (and you won’t get bored),” she says.

Don’t neglect your legs

In New York City-based orthopedic exercise specialist Cary Raffle’s experience, the best way to toned arms is through the legs. “You will burn more fat doing cardio and working large muscles than you do working small muscles like the arms,” he says. “Include cardio and strength training for the legs, chest and back in the early burning phase of your program, and remember that your arms are getting worked when you do chest and back exercises.”

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