It doesn’t matter whether you’re a guy or a girl; everyone wants well-shaped arms. While men want it to become bigger and rounder, women want to lose some extra fat because arms can often be a problem area for them.
The answer actually is the same for both of them, what they need is strength training. In fact, ladies need to stop shying away from weights because you’re never going to get rid of the stubborn fat by just walking on the treadmill. And NO you won’t bulk up like Arnold Schwarzenegger, that’s like expecting to become Jimi Hendrix the day you pick up a guitar. Also, women just don’t have the same amount of testosterone as men which means their bodies don’t naturally have the capacity to bulk up. Here are some great strength training exercises for the two primary muscles in the arms — the biceps and the triceps.
Exercises for the biceps
Biceps curl (Dumbbell, barbell, E-Z bar or cable machine)
The biceps curl is one of the most popular exercises among gym-goers of all vintage and can be done with a variety of different equipment including the cable machine, dumbbells, barbells, E-Z or ‘bent’ bars. They all help strengthen and build-up the brachii muscle in the biceps. Read how to do a proper biceps curl.
Preacher curls are done on an inclined surface in which you assume the position of a preacher with your arms placed on the surface. It can be done with either an E-Z bar or dumbbells and is another great exercise for biceps. Read how to do preacher curls.
Another variation of curls, this one can be done while you’re standing or sitting. In this you’ve arm downwards with the elbows on your thigh with your palm facing the other thigh. The standing version should be avoided by those who’ve lower back issues. The standing version’s harder because the elbow doesn’t have support which means you’ll be working them more. Read how to do concentration curls properly.
The hammer is another favourite exercise which can be performed either with alternate arms or with both arms at the same time using two dumbbells. In this exercise, you need to be standing, your palms need to be facing in and you need to do the lifting with your elbows. Read how you should do the hammer properly.
Exercises for the triceps
Perhaps the first exercise you’ll do for triceps in the gym, this is a simple exercise which is great for your biceps. But it needs to be done properly, engaging only your triceps and no other part of your upper body. Read how to do the triceps cable push-down.
This is an easier variation of the dips, which needs you to hoist yourself from parallel bars. All you need is a bench, failing which any sort of chair will do. The exercise also works the chest and shoulder and helps add upper body strength and can literally be done anywhere. Check out how to do it properly.
Close grip push-up
The push-up can also double up as a triceps exercise. The logic goes that the closer your arms are while doing the push-up, the more you target your triceps and the further they’re apart, the greater it’s for the chest. The push-up is another great bodyweight exercise to work your arms when a gym’s not available. Read how to do a push-up properly
Close grip bench press
Another exercise which exploits the close-grip-far-grip theory, you should make sure you don’t attempt to do this exercise with the kind of weight you lift for chest bench presses. Start with a lesser weight. Read how to do a bench press properly.
Cardio and diet
Remember it’s impossible to lose weight from any part of your body without following a proper diet. For example, some things you need to keep in mind is to eat more meals (but smaller ones), eat more fibre, stay away from saturated fats, stay hydrated, cut down on sugar, cut down on alcohol and most importantly keep track of what you eat. Along with that you need to follow a proper cardio regime with running, walking, cycling, swimming and other aerobic exercises which will improve your cardiovascular health and also help you lose weight.
Check out our healthy foods section and healthy recipes section for more ideas. Also check out these articles.
You could also try out these exercises for specific body parts:
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