By Christine Dailey
Whether you want to look stunning in your wedding dress or perfectly toned in a tank top, we’ve got you covered for summer! Do these exercises twice a week and wave goodbye to flabby arms and bra fat, compliments of Anthony Pedraza, Private Trainer at Sports Club/LA – Miami
and Geneva Fortson, Private Trainer at Sports Club/LA – San Francisco
. Pedraza explains that most people attempt to achieve the “toned look” by focusing on isolation exercises. While that’s part of it, being toned has a lot to do with body fat percentage. Isolation exercises generally build strength but do little for reducing body fat. Fortson agrees: “These exercises are perfect for strengthening and toning arms because high reps work the muscles into fatigue.”
Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise.
Do as many pushups as possible on your toes (not on your knees). Squeeze your butt tight and keep your abs pulled in toward your spine. Lower your chest to the floor and push back up as powerfully as possible. Do as many as you can. Rest for a minute and do another set.
Single-arm Kettlebell Bottom-up Press
This exercise will strengthen your arms and shoulders while putting load on your core to increase midline stabilization. Using a lighter kettlebell, grab onto the handle and bring the kettlebell up to about shoulder height. The bottom of the kettlebell should be facing the ceiling (upside down). Press the kettlebell up until your arm is straight, then bring it back down in a controlled manner. You’ll notice this takes a lot of shoulder stability, so you may have to use a lighter weight than you would for a dumbbell press. Switch arms and repeat.
Triceps Bench Dips
Not only is this a great triceps exercise, but it also takes a lot of cardio-respiratory endurance. Using a bench, box or step, sit in front of it and place your hands on the box with elbows facing backward. Lift your body off the floor with your arms so you’re holding onto the edge of the bench about shoulder-width apart. Arms should be extended all the way in the starting position. To begin, slowly lower your arms down so that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbows as close as possible the whole time with forearms facing down. Repeat movement by bringing yourself up again.
Single-leg Standing Curl to Press
Grab a dumbbell in your right hand with your elbow straight at your sides. Stand on your right foot. Curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulders, leading with your thumbs (which should be pointed up). Once you’ve reached your shoulder, immediately press the weight overhead. Reverse the movement in a controlled manner and return to starting position. Do 12 reps and then switch sides.
Front/side Shoulder Raise
With 5-10 pound dumbbells in each hand, raise both dumbbells to shoulder height and then back down in a controlled motion. Immediately lift into a lateral raise – slightly bending and lifting your elbows out to the side up to shoulder height. That’s one repetition.
Using the same weights as the previous exercise, stand with dumbbells in each hand and elbows slightly bent. Bend slightly at the hips. Bring the weights out to your side until they’re just about shoulder level before you slowly bring them back down in a controlled motion. Make sure you squeeze your shoulder blades together and relax your neck.
This is perfect for your upper back and anything strapless! Grab a dumbbell in each hand and start standing with a slight bend in the hips so your chest is in line with your feet. Keep your abs strong to support your back and row the dumbbells in toward your chest with elbows pointing behind you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.