I’m definitely more of a pear-shape, so I’ve never really given much thought to my arms when it comes to the whole fitness/body image thing. That is, until I started doing yoga about 2 and a half years ago and realized that positions that others can do with ease, such as downward dog, were a struggle for me because I was severely lacking in arm strength. After that, I began paying attention to my arms and noticed, with horror, that when I hold my arms out to make a T shape, I actually had these saddlebag things that wiggle. Ick. You know how wen daffy duck tries to show off his muscles and a section of his upper arm droops into a U shape? That’s how I felt.
So, in the interest of cute tops and not embarrassing myself in yoga class, I’ve set out to make my arms as strong as my legs, which are toned from endless hours of walking, running and climbing up stairs.Fortunately, there are tons of great exercises out there for arms that can easily be done at your gym. WebMD has some great exercises here, and eDiet’s fitness pro has come up with these tips for banishing arm flab.
As for me, I can spend hours on the elliptical trainer at the gym, but put me on a bench press and I am immediately trying to makes excuses to get out of there. Lifting weights just isn’t fun for me, so I look to other ways to build strength. Power yoga is a good one — something about all those plank poses, plus downward and upward dogs, warrior poses, etc. has taken my arms from flabby to fit and these days I’m pretty proud to show off my biceps. Another great arm workout? Swimming. You can’t not use your arms when you’re trying to stay afloat.
At-home arm exercises can be done with the help of some resistance bands and maybe a small set of weights. Or, if you’re going for the thriftiest workout possible, how about push ups? Here’s another one: grab a sturdy chair and sit on it. Grab the edges of the chair and slide your bum off, keeping your knees at a 90º angle. Lift one leg up, and slowly, using your arms, lower yourself towards the ground, and then back up again. Switch legs and repeat. I read that one in a fitness magazine and have done it ever since, even at work!
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