Five Exercises to Tone Your Arms

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Toned arms are an important component of a strong body. Whether you are looking to bulk up or lean out, the moves compiled here are great to tone your arms and gain strength as well. The best part? You don’t need any equipment besides an exercise mat if you so choose.

#1: Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
Not only does this move work your arms, it also works your legs and core as well.

How you do it: Begin on all fours or for an added challenge begin in a high plank position. Slowly raise one leg and the opposite arm until they’re fully extended, creating a long line with your body. Hold for one breath and then release back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Try for 20 reps.

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#2: Downward Dog
This popular yoga pose is a great total body toner, especially your arms.

How to do it: Begin on all fours. Push up with your hips towards the ceiling or sky. Extend your arms and legs, creating an upside down “V” shape with your body. Pedal your legs back and forth until they are able to extend fully. Hold for 5-10 breaths then release. Repeat several times throughout your workout.

#3: Plank Up
A combination move halfway between a typical plank and a push up.

How to do it: Begin in a forearm plank position. Once you have this position mastered, push up and extend your arms, one at a time until you are in a high plank position. Hold for one breath and then lower yourself back to your forearms, again one arm at a time. Repeat 10-15 reps, alternating which side you raise first.

#4: Plank Shoulder Tap
Another variation of a high plank, offering a greater challenge for your arms.

How to do it: Begin in a high plank position. Raise one hand from the ground and tap your shoulder, then slowly release. Alternate sides, while keeping the rest of your body stable. You should only be moving your arms. Try for 10 reps on each side.

#5: Diamond Push Up
A variation of a standard push up, targeting the triceps.

How to do it: Begin in a high plank or push up position. Move your hands in until they are centered below you. Touch your thumbs and forefingers together to create a diamond shape. Keeping your elbows tucked in as close to your body as possible, bend your arms and lower your body. Hold for one breath and then push back up to the starting position. If this is too difficult, you can move to your knees and do the exercise from there. If the move is too easy, try elevating your feet on a nearby bench or chair, this will increase the difficulty of the exercise. Try for 15 reps.

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