Rising temps mean that the sleeveless look is everywhere. Too often, women hide their arms behind sleeves, feeling insecure about their appearance. The good news is that the arms respond well to training, so there is still time to break out your tank tops and sundresses, provided you commit to consistent workouts.
The upper arms get the most attention – the biceps, triceps and shoulders, so target these muscle groups. But the chest and back help to support the torso and arms, and also should be part of a balanced regimen.
Because we tend to store fat in the back of the upper arm, you must perform both cardio and strength exercises to significantly shape up this area. Cardio will help burn fat stores, and strength training tones the muscles to add shape and definition. Doing either one without the other typically won’t get the results you’re after in a short time.
Most cardio modalities, such as jogging, cycling and the stairclimber, are effective at burning calories; however, these only work the lower body, and miss your entire upper body. Better solutions are swimming, a rower, cross trainer or elliptical, where your arms are engaged throughout. Total-body workouts are more efficient and can burn more calories.
Ideally, you should incorporate 3-5 cardio sessions a week, with 2-4 strength training routines. Committed workouts, combined with a healthy diet, are the best way to reshape your arms.
Octane Fitness standing ellipticals, lateral ellipticals, incline ellipticals and the Zero Runner all make total-body, combined cardio and strength workouts simple through the unique CROSS CiRCUIT program. You do total-body cardio intervals on the elliptical and tackle upper-body (and lower-body, if preferred) strength moves in alternating intervals.
Choose from multiple workouts and hundreds of exercises, so you’re in charge of every CROSS CiRCUIT session, and you stay motivated. You can hit your chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps all in a 30-minute efficient workout. Octane provides its exclusive Powerbands with its ellipticals, including several attachment points on the machine to facilitate different exercises. Variety is simple to add with dumbbells, barbells, balance trainers, medicine balls, kettlebells, stability balls and more. Or you can simply use your body weight for valuable exercises like pushups.
Here are some exercises included in various upper-body CROSS CiRCUIT workouts:
- Chest – Pushups, chest presses, chest flies
- Back – Various rows, lat pulldowns, reverse flies
- Shoulders – Lateral raises, front raises, overhead presses, upright rows, rear deltoid presses
- Biceps – Curls, hammer curls, concentration curls, supinating curls
- Triceps – Dips, overhead extensions, kickbacks, French press
CROSS CiRCUIT defines cardio and strength intervals in terms of time, so choose one exercise per interval and aim to perform as many repetitions as you can for the one-minute session. Don’t rush the repetitions, however, and aim to use good form with slow, controlled movements, exhaling on the exertion phase of the move. Slower motion is better.
Use the Powerband or weights that enable you to fatigue the muscles sufficiently during the strength interval. Women tend to err on the side of less resistance, so be sure to challenge yourself so that you are working hard and it’s difficult to perform the last few repetitions.
If you can easily continue, the resistance is too light; however, if you can only complete the exercise for 20 seconds, the resistance is too hard. Find what is suitable for you. And if you’re using dumbbells, you can start with a heavier set and drop to lighter weights part-way through the interval.
With CROSS CiRCUIT, not only will you have sexy arms, but carrying groceries, picking up your kids and housekeeping now will be easier!