On Fridays we flex…also on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays…. Strong arms are so much more than toned muscles. They represent your strength as a beautiful, bold, and confident woman! You should be SO proud to show off and love the arms you work so hard for.
Understand Your Arms
Today we’re taking you into a little anatomy lesson of how the muscles of your arms work. We’ll also be sharing some toning moves to target your arms in alllll the right places. Understanding form, the jobs of your muscles, and how to care for them are all such important aspects of loving your body. And as you form lean muscle, you’ll also gain a sense of empowerment and you’ll absolutely EXUDE confidence!
Your arms are your complex, beautiful assets ~ and understanding the muscles that shape them will deliver much greater results! When we refer to the muscles involved in doing most arm-focused toning moves, we usually break it down to biceps, triceps, and deltoids (AKA shoulders). There are many other smaller muscles that contribute to arm work, but understanding these three main ones is the best place to start!
Your biceps are powerhouse muscles that you may already be pretty familiar with. They’re involved in lots of actions including biceps curls, curling your hair, raising that glass of vino…you get the picture. “Bi,” meaning two, and “ceps,” meaning head, means that your biceps have two heads that attach at two different points in your body.
Your triceps are important players in motions that require your arms to extend. When your triceps are flexed, your biceps are relaxed, and vice versa. The name “triceps” means that the muscle has three points of attachment (catching on? ) One point of attachment is on your shoulder blade, making your triceps an excellent stabilizing muscle for movements involving your shoulder!
Your deltoid is a large, triangular-shaped muscle located on your shoulder. It’s comprised of three main muscle fibers that have three points of attachment ~ this gives you the ability to do lateral, reverse, and forward raises! Your deltoid is also responsible for the rotation of your shoulder and protecting the joint where your arm connects to your body! Toning this muscle gives you those strong, lifted shoulders!
Upper Bod GOALS
A little toning goes a long way! We’re breaking down a few of our favorite, super effective toning moves to target each muscle group ~ biceps, triceps, and deltoids! When you’re picking weights, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself! You can always perform a drop set ~ starting with a heavier set and dropping down. When working our biceps and triceps, we usually pick between 5-8lb weights. For deltoids, we use a little bit lighter, about 3-5lbs, to protect our shoulders. Aim to do these moves 2 – 3 times per week for the best results. You can pair them with your upper body routines on the Weekly Schedule!
The Arnold Press is one of our all-time favorite shoulder sculpting moves. It’s amazing because, in one rep, you’re working your deltoid vertically and laterally. This move will do some major toning to your shoulders, so make sure you’re lifting your lighter set of weights to protect them!
Start by holding 2 dumbbells directly in front of your face with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. Open your arms out to the side, maintaining the bend at your elbow. From there, press your arms directly up to full extension. Return to start by reversing the entire movement.
Pro tip: Try to do this move as slow and controlled as possible, that way you’ll protect your shoulder joint!
We love the hammer curl because it calls on your brachialis (one of the smaller muscles in your arm) to incorporate some forearm work into your bicep toning. For this move you can pick up your heavier set of weights ~ your biceps are powerful muscles, so give them a little challenge!
To start, hold your dumbbells in each hand, palms facing toward each other. Curl your hands toward your shoulders until your biceps are fully engaged. With control, lower your dumbbells all the way down to your sides so that your arms are straight.
Pro tip: Keep your elbows glued to your side throughout the entire exercise! This isolates your biceps and brachialis so they get all the toning!
Overhead Triceps Extension
Overhead triceps extensions are one of the best ways to activate those triceps and do some serious sculpting! For this move start by lifting your heavier set of dumbbells ~ remember, you can always drop set!
To begin, step your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in both hands directly above your head. Keeping your elbows locked into position, lower the dumbbell behind you with control. Then extend your arms to the starting position. During the exercise, make sure your biceps stay glued by your ears and you’re only moving your forearms. This isolates the toning to your triceps!
Pro tip: For a little extra sculpting, try balancing on one leg! This helps you activate your core and challenges your balance!
LOVE Your Arms
We use our arms to help out our neighbors and hug our best friends…to show our love to others! Today we want you to give some lovin’ back to those arms. The design of your body is so unique, there is literally no one else just like you! Be so thankful for that and be confident in how special you are!
Take care of your arms and for as much as you work them, give them the rest and recovery they need! Make sure you’re doing stretching routines regularly so that your arm muscles become more elastic and you’ll avoid tension or discomfort in your upper body. And when you wake up in the morning, allow yourself a big yawn and stretch those arms! You’ll bring oxygen and blood flow to your muscles and it will feel amazing!