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Don't Want to Cover up Your Arms This Summer? Start Getting Those Guns Ready Now

Don't wait until the warm weather hits. Start getting those arms ready to be bare while it's still cold outside.

Last summer you might not have been thrilled with the way your arms looked, so you kept those sleeves on — and sweated it out. Well, not this summer! The first official day of summer may not be until June, but that doesn't mean you should wait to get those arms looking great.

Start Hitting 'Em Hard

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance exercises for each major muscle group be performed two to three times each week on nonconsecutive days. So, you can decide if you want to perform full-body workouts a few times each week, or lift more often but alternate muscle groups. Just make sure you rest them so that your muscles can heal and grow. This is what will show all of that hard work.

If you haven't been working out regularly, don't go crazy. Start with two days per week, one or two exercises for each muscle and do two sets of 10-15 repetitions for at least two to four weeks. Then start ramping it up. Aim for three to four sets of 6-12 reps in order to start building those muscles. Ladies, don't worry, your arms are not going to look manly and large. It's not in your genetics. Gentlemen, you also won't get huge in a few weeks. Muscle gains take time and commitment. That's why you need to start now to see some nice definition in your arms for summer.

Play the Angles

You want to perform exercises for your deltoids, or shoulders, biceps and triceps to get great arms. And you want to make sure you hit them from various angles so that they look great from any view. So, choose exercises for your shoulders that work the front, top or side, and the rear portion of the muscle. When you work your biceps and triceps, change up your hand position and arm angle. Using a variety of equipment will help you do this: dumbbells, barbells, bands, cables, machines and even your own body weight can all be used to challenge your arms.

Pick Your Exercises

There are thousands of exercises to choose from when you are designing your arm workout. If you have a gym membership, you'll have more choices. If you workout from home, a set of bands and some dumbbells will give you a lot of options. Here is a sample of exercises for each muscle group:

Shoulders:

  • Military Press
  • Barbell Press
  • Arnold Press
  • Front Raises
  • Lateral Raises
  • Reverse Flys
Biceps:
  • Barbell Curls
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls
  • Concentration Curls
  • Double Arm Cable Curls
  • Band Curls
  • Preacher Curls
Triceps:
  • Dips
  • Kickbacks
  • Overhead Extensions
  • Skullcrushers
  • Pushdowns/Pressdowns
  • Side Lying Single Arm Push-ups
Change It Up
Variety is key to staving off boredom and to see results. You don't have to change your workout every time, but every few weeks at least. For example, start with one exercise from each group and do two sets of 10-15 reps for each one. You may choose dumbbell presses, barbell curls, and dips, and perform these Mondays and Thursdays. After two to four weeks, add in another set and increase the weight so that you only do six to 12 reps. Also, change it up and do two exercises from each group. Keep increasing your weight as needed. If you can finish your reps easily, or feel you can do more reps, it's time to increase the weight.
Keep your body challenged so that by summer, your guns will be out with the sun.
[Image via Shutterstock]

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