Toning the arms, like the legs, is one of the most sought after women’s fitness information on the internet. I am constantly getting emails asking how to tone the arms. Here are the top 5 exercises for toning your arms.
As I have said many times before, if you want to get a toned muscle you need to lose fat. If you have built some nice muscles but there is a layer of fat covering it then you will never have the firm, defined muscle that you so desire.
However, weight training is a big part of muscle toning too. Not only does it build the actual muscles that you want to show off, but it speeds up the weight loss process so they get toned faster.
So, if you want to tone a muscle you need to remember these things:
- Weight training is essential;
- You need to lose the fat covering the muscle;
- Cardio and a good diet are essential;
- The right exercises are second in importance to doing the exercises right.
Top 5 Arm Toning Exercises
Here are my favorite exercises for working the arms and getting them nice and toned. I use them myself and get many of my clients to do the same.
NB – When I talk about toning the arms I mean the biceps and the triceps. I will not be looking at forearms or shoulders in this post.
1 – Barbell Bicep Curls
This should be the core bicep exercise in your bicep routine. It allows you to go heavy and is one of the easiest to do in terms of getting the technique correct.
How to – Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lift up the bar bell. Lift up your chest so that your shoulders are lower than your chest but your back is still straight. Curl the bar bell up to just above your pectoral muscles and slowly lower back down.
It is of paramount importance that your elbows do not move during this exercise. Make sure they stay solid next to your side.
2 – Skull Crushers
This is a tricep exercise that will pack on the progress if you do it correctly. If you don’t, it might pack on the injuries!
How to – Lie on a flat bench and take light bar bell. Lift the weight over your head with your palms facing the roof. Now shift the weight backwards so if you were to drop it it would land on the floor behind your head and so that your triceps are pointing behind you instead of straight up. In this fixed position, lift the weight up until you have a straight arm and then lower it slowly until you get a deep stretch.
This is one of my all time favorite triceps exercises and has allowed me to make some significant growth.
3 – Alternate Dumb Bell Curl
The alternate dumb bell curl is a great biceps exercise as it allows you to focus on one arm at a time and gives the other arm a rest. For this reason you can handle more weight and perfect your technique at the same time.
How to – Take two dumb bells and stand with your back straight. Assuming the same position as in the bar bell curl, curl one dumb bell up to your shoulder as if you were trying to curl it PAST your shoulder. This gives a tighter contraction. Slowly lower the dumb bell and rotating it until it is in the resting position by your side, lift the other weight at the same time.
Tip – Make sure this exercise is down slowly and with extra control.
4 – Close Grip Bench Press
This exercise allows you to use a heavy weight in a safe way. However, it is slightly more tricky to perform than it looks.
How to – Take a medium bar bell and lie on a flat bench. Push the bar bell up until you arms are locked and then lower it down slowly. Just before it hits your chest push it up quickly with a little bouncing motion for about two inches. This short stop and bounce stops your chest muscles coming into play here and keeps the weight on your triceps. It’s a great secret.
5 – Cable Curls
As you know I’m not a big fan of exercise equipment but the cables allowed me to build my biceps so fast I got stretch marks at one point! This exercise has been core in my biceps routine for a long time.
How to – It is exactly the same as the bar bell curl but there is a constant tension on your muscles because the cable is always trying to pull the weight back down. For this reason you will fid it much harder to handle a lot of weight. Remember to keep your elbows still and your chest up.
Those are the top 5 exercises for toning the arms. What other favorites do you use?