Ready to get toned, strong arms? Not only will these exercises help strengthen your biceps, triceps and everything in between, you'll also see the difference in your... armpits?
If that little extra fold of skin between your arm and chest bugs the daylights out of you, don't freak. It's common — and nothing to feel bad about.
While it's common knowledge that there's no way to spot-reduce fat, it's also true that daily fat-burning cardio and strength training can tighten muscle groups. So try these eight targeted arm exercises to help blast away armpit fat. Aim to complete three sets of this workout three times a week.
For this workout you'll need the following equipment:
- light dumbbells (3-5 lbs)
- heavy dumbbells (8-12 lbs)
- squishy ball (or a throw pillow)
1. Tricep Pushup
Step 1: Get into a standard pushup position with your hands directly in front of your chest, squeezing your elbows to your sides. Lower your chest toward the floor while keeping your upper arms parallel to your sides and your elbows pointing straight back.
Step 2: Push back up to start.
» Do the work: Perform 8 triceps pushups; move on to Move #2.
Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, holding a set of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Roll the shoulders back and down and brace the core.
Step 2: Exhale and lift the arms: One comes forward and the other moves out to the side, creating an “L” shape. Keep the arms at shoulder height. Lower to the hips and repeat on the other side. Control the move — no swinging! Use 3-5 lb. dumbbells.
» Do the work: Perform 20 L-raises (10 on each side); move on to move #3.
Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Grab a dumbbell in either hand and raise them over the chest with your wrists curled slightly inward. Keep your elbows soft.
Step 2: Keeping the elbows soft and wrists curled, pull the dumbbells away from each other out to a "T." You'll control the range of motion, stopping it before your elbows hit the floor. Close the fly and repeat.
» Do the work: Perform 10 lying chest flys; move on to move #4.
4. Triceps Extension
Step 1: Hold one dumbbell with both hands and raise it over your head, keeping the weight vertical. Pull the elbows in closely so they're nearly squeezing your head. Keep your stance neutral.
Step 2: Dip the weight behind your head. Keep your elbows in close to your head — when you dip the weight back, your elbows will want to flare out. Instead, keep it tight and depend on the triceps to hold it together.
» Do the work: Perform 10 triceps extensions; move on to move #5.
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips and lean forward so your hips go behind your heels and the back is flat. Keep your gaze in front of you at the floor and hold the dumbbells in front of you with arms extended, palms facing in.
Step 2: Keeping your arms straight (without locking the elbows), lift your dumbbells to the side of your body. If you have to jerk your body to complete this movement, decrease your weight. Avoid putting the work in your lower back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together then release the weights back under the chest with control. That is one rep.
» Do the work: Perform 10 standing rear delt raises; move on to move #6.
6. Pyramid Pulse
Step 1: Stand tall and hold a squishy ball between your elbows as the arms extend straight out from the shoulders. Bend the arms at 90 degrees and bring the hands together. Pull your belly button into the spine.
Step 2: Raise your elbows up a few inches and back down to the starting position. This is your pulse range. Keep the same amount of pressure on the ball, and keep your hands together. The shoulders should stay down — if they creep up, rest and restart.
» Do the work: Perform 20 pyramid pulses; move on to move #7.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart, a light weight in each hand. Extended your arms out to each side, parallel to the ground with your palms facing the ground.
Step 2: Draw small, controlled circles in a clockwise motion with your weights for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, switch to a counter-clockwise motion for 30 seconds. Remember to keep your back straight and abs in tight. Do not arch your back. If you feel yourself compromising your form, drop to a lighter set of dumbbells.
» Do the work: Perform 20 weighted arm circles (10 forward and 10 reverse); move on to move #8.
8. Dumbbell Floor Press
Step 1: Lie on your back and hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with straight arms. Keep your knees bent with feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Lower your arms down until your upper arms quickly touch the floor (do not rest them on the floor), and then press upwards to the starting position. That is one rep. Pause briefly at the top before slowly reversing the movement.
» Do the work: Perform 10 dumbbell floor presses; repeat entire workout 2 more times.