Arms race heats up with warmer weather on the way

It’s that time again when we start packing up the winter coats and pulling out the summer wear. It’s always a little scary putting on those shorts or tank tops for the first time. How did your body fare through the winter?

Last month, I focused on abdominal muscles, what makes up the ab region and what exercises you can perform to get great-looking abs. Moving on, let’s concentrate on the arms. Well-defined and toned arms are the goal and you can achieve them!

Before working on any area of the body, it’s important to understand the physical aspects of the muscle group. The forearm, biceps and triceps make up the arm region. When looking at the arms, the most visible is the bicep — bi meaning two muscles. They’re the muscles you see when you flex your arms into the “look at these guns” position.

The triceps are muscles found in the upper arms between the elbow and the shoulder. They’re located on the back side of the upper arm. Made up of three bundles of muscles, they all join together at the elbow. What most people don’t know is the triceps make up two-thirds of the muscles in the arm, so don’t forget to work this muscle group to lose the jiggle in this area.

There are many exercises you can do to sculpt your arms. Such simple exercises as arm circles are effective and easy. Hold your arms straight out from your sides to make a “T.” Make small circles and big circles with your arms. Circle forward and then backward. This easy exercise can be done anywhere.

You work your triceps in many daily activities. Anytime you “push” something, your triceps are engaged. A simple exercise for the triceps is called the “tricep dip.” You can perform this on a stable bench that doesn’t move easily. Sit on the edge of the bench with your hands on the bench on each side of you close to your body. Walk your feet out enough for your seat to come off the bench. Gradually lower yourself down and back up, keeping your seat close to the edge of the bench. Maintain good posture with your back straight and shoulders down.

If toning is more important to you than building large muscles, perform more repetitions of an exercise with less weight or no weight. Resistance bands offer a great tool when working the arms.

Work your arms out at least three times a week, taking a day off in between to let your muscles recover.

Don’t forget that cardiovascular exercise remains important in losing weight and toning up any area of the body. You can’t target where your body takes fat from when you exercise. Engaging in cardiovascular activity every day will help you get better results in getting thinner, toned arms.

Begin today. Summer is on its way!