The hotter the summer gets, the less clothing you want to wear – and the first thing to go are sleeves. But, are your arms ready for their big reveal?
While there are a lot of body parts you can cover – the arms are not one of them if you really want to stay cool. Many women shutter at the thought of wearing a sleeveless top or strapless dress. They immediately think of sagging underarms that jiggle, and continue to wave even after you stop waving.
So how do you combat the flab? Do you do weights or cardio? Is the problem excess fat or loose muscle? Well, in my experience, there are three important factors that play a big role in getting the arms you’ve always wanted.
Attack the Fat with Full Body Cardio
If you suffer from arm flab, it’s important to understand the flab is a result of excess body fat. Since you can’t target the fat loss in only one specific area, you will need to lose body fat all over your body if you want to lose the fat on your arms.
While you can burn a lot of calories running or doing other weight bearing cardiovascular exercises, you can tone your arms and burn fat at the same time if you choose the right cardio.
Here are 10 body toning and fat burning exercises to try.
1. Power walking with hand weights
4. Swimming Laps (not just playing in the pool)
5. Jump Rope (Try this 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout by FitSugar)
6. Calisthenics (Give this 15-minute full body boot camp workout a whirl)
7. Kickboxing Workout (Like Beach Body’s Turbo Jam)
9. Pound Fit Rocker Workout (a killer new workout using drumsticks)
10. BCx Treadz Full Body Treadmill Training
Firm Up with Resistance Exercise
Next on the list of arm-toning tricks is weight training. Whether you use your own body weight or use free weights, resistance training is the key to beautifully sculpted arms.
Below are a list of arm-shaping upper body exercises in order of hardest (heaviest) to easiest (lightest).
1. Push Ups
2. Pull Ups (or Pull Downs)
3. Shoulder Press
4. Upright Rows
5. Bent Rows
6. Tricep Dips
7. Tricep Extensions
8. Bicep Curls
9. Lateral Raises
10. Rear Delts
Uncover Your Hard Work in the Kitchen
Even if you lift weights in the gym, and burn a ton of calories on the elliptical, you may never see the results if you just replace the calories you burned in the gym with poor food choices. The final secret to defined arms is a clean low-calorie, high-protein diet.
Increasing protein will help rebuild and repair your muscle and a low calorie diet will encourage weight loss. The leaner you are, the more that new tight and tone muscle will show.
Here are 10 diet tips for faster results in the gym.
1. Count calories to learn where all your calories are coming from. Counting calories always proves to be quite an eye opener for most people. Decrease your caloric intake by 500-1000 calories a day if you want to lose weight.
2. Shop healthy. You can’t expect to eat healthy if you don’t shop healthy.
3. Eat 5-6 small snacks and meals a day to keep your metabolism revved and to prevent storing fat.
4. Prepare for success. Prep your food over the weekend so it’s easier to eat healthy during the week. If you fail to plan, you will fail to succeed.
5. Eat your carbs before you hit the weights. If you like carbs, put them to good use. Save your higher carb meals when your body needs fuel the most, like before intense resistance training.
6. Ditch the sugar. Sugar can cause all kinds of inflammatory responses. Reduce body fat and pain by reducing sugar.
7. Limit carbs at night. Carbs are a great fuel source, but you don’t need them to sleep!
8. Eat a high protein meal for dinner. Your body could use the protein as it does most of it’s muscle repair while you sleep.
9. Make treats treats. What do I mean? I mean, a treat should really be a treat, not a daily habit. Sodas, sweets and dinners out should be a special event, not a part of your daily diet regimen.
10. Never give up. Diets can be frustrating, but eating clean is a learning process. Never give up trying to succeed. You will learn something new with every attempt – and get one step closer to a leaner, healthier you with every single try.
Once you are happy with you new lean arms, you can increase your calories to maintain your new weight and keep up with your fitness training – and you’ll never have to worry about going sleeveless again!