Every woman who writes to me seems to want toned arms. In this post I will go through some of the basics of an arms toning workout and then put it all together in a routine that you can take to the gym.
The Essentials of Arm Toning
If you have only just found this site then there are a few things we talk about over and over that you need to know when you are trying to tone your arms.
1 – To tone a muscle you need to lose fat
This is the big essential tip that you need to learn from this post. Arm toning is not possible without losing fat. And, sadly, it is not possible to lose fat off of only your arms. This means that if you want to tone your arms you need to start a weight loss program that will help you lose weight off of your whole body.
It is only when your body has a low body fat percentage that your muscles will start to shine through as defined and firm. So, weight loss is just as important as muscle gain when it comes to arm toning.
2 – You need to work with weights to build muscle
On the other side of the equation is it the muscle that you build that shows through whatever fat you have on your arm. The bigger the muscles the better they will show through.
Many women worry about getting bulky but this isn’t really a concern as women do not have the necessary testosterone to get big. However, if you WANT to get big there are many ways to do it but that is for another post.
3 – You need to work with heavy weights
If anyone at your gym tells you to use light weights with high reps to tone your arms then I want you to spit on their shoes! Just kidding. Working out with lighter weights and higher reps is a bad rumor that we should all ignore.
The reason is simple. When you weight train your break your muscles slightly and them rebuilding is muscle growth. Heavy weights obviously stresses them more and will amount to more muscles being torn and rebuilt. Heavy weights will also speed up your metabolism which in turn will burn more fat thus helping you tone your arms.
The exercises for the workout
The exercises you will be using for your arm toning workout are simple weight lifting exercises that are done with free weights (bar bells and dumb bells). They are:
1 – Bar bell curl
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart grab a bar bell about shoulder width apart. With your elbows locked firmly to a position by your side, lift the weight up using your biceps to the top of your chest. Lower it slowly down without moving your elbows and repeat.
2 – Alternate dumb bell curl
Standing with feet shoulder width apart grab two dumb bells and let them rest at your side. Tensing your bicep curl one dumb bell up and twist it so that when the dumb bell reaches it’s top position near your shoulder your palm is facing your shoulder. As you lower this dumb bell down to it’s starting position repeat with the opposite arm.
1 – Close grip bench press
Laying on a bench take a medium heavy bar bell a bit narrower than shoulder width grip and bring it down to your lower ribs. Push the weight up using your triceps and lower it to the same position. Just before it reaches your chest fire it up in the pushing direction again before it gets a chance to rest on your body. This prevents your chest from taking over with the weight lifting.
2 – Tricep kickbacks
Take a light dumb bell in your right hand. Place your left hand and left knee on a low flat bench. Keeping your back straight lift your elbow so that your upper arm is in line with your torso. Slowly tense your tricep and lift the dumb bell to a position where you arm is almost locked out straight. Lower and repeat.
The arm toning workout
These are the basic four exercises that you will use to build your foundation of strength and technique. Remember, without perfect technique you will not make any progress so exert yourself in making sure that your posture and lifting method is perfect.
- Warm up with some cardio, stretching and light weights.
- Bar bell curls – 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Narrow grip bench press – 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Alternate dumb bell curls – 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Tricep kickbacks – 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Remember, when a rep number says 8-10 it means that you should pick a weight that causes you to ‘fail’ in that rep range. It does not mean that you pick a light weight and only do 8 reps. It means you should be struggling to get to 8.
Perform each exercise with care and slowly. Do not be tempted to pump out the reps quickly.
For more workout routines see Muscle&Strength.
Mixing this weights training workout with a good diet and some cardio will bring results in no time. Soon I will post an intermediate workout and then an expert workout that we can use to progress with our arms training.