BY CHRIS FREYTAG

During my years in the fitness industry, the arm area (shoulders, triceps, and biceps) was a hotspot of women’s attention. Why do women find their arms so “unbareable”?

The answer lies in the fact that like your hips and thighs, the back of the upper arm is a spot where women typically store fat. Without healthy diet and exercise, this fat storage combined with flabby triceps muscles can leave you with the jiggly arms most women loathe. The good news is that upper-arm exercises with hand weights can provide fairly quick gratification.

I would add that beyond looking good in whatever outfit you want to wear, having strong arms is empowering! If you regularly do upper body exercises, I guarantee you’ll get a kick out of how much stronger and self-reliant you’ll feel. Instead of asking for help with those stubborn jars, you’ll be able to open them yourself.

Garbage bags and laundry hampers will feel lighter and picking up your toddlers or grandchildren will feel much easier!

If you start today and stay consistent, you’ll start feeling stronger and look sleeker in 4 to 6 weeks.

4 Exercises for Sleeker Arms

For all four moves below, choose hand weights that are heavy enough to fatigue somewhere between 12-15 repetitions. If you can do 15 reps and feel like it is easy, try one a little heavier…but don’t overdo it either!

1 Front Shoulder Raise:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding weights down in front of your thighs, palms facing you. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms up in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Don’t shrug—keep shoulders relaxed and don’t raise your arms above shoulder level. Lower back to starting position

2 Lateral Shoulder Raise:

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold weights at your sides this time, palms facing each other. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise arms straight out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor. Again do not go higher than your shoulder level. Lower back to starting position

3 Biceps Curl:

This is a classic. With feet hip to shoulder width apart and knees bent slightly, hold a weight in each hand with your arms down by your sides, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to lift the weights toward your shoulders, stopping when they are at chest height, palms facing your body. Slowly lower back to the starting position.

4 Triceps Overhead Press:

Stand with feet hip-width apart or sit in a chair. Clasp one weight with both hands. Extend your arms straight overhead, elbows close to your ears. Bend your elbows to slowly lower the weight behind you. Keep your elbows close to your ears. Contract your triceps and straighten your elbows to return to the starting position.

Body Weight Exercises ­

Push ups: Stretch out on the mat or floor, or if you are a beginner, start on your knees instead of your toes. Keep your hands under your shoulders and a little wider than shoulder-width. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and lower your body, keeping your abs tight. Don’t sag in the low back – keep a neutral spine. ­

Tricep dips: Sit on a bench, with your hands next to your thighs. Lift your butt off the seat and move your body so it’s slightly in front of the seat. Keep your knees slightly bent. Bend at the elbows and lower your body several inches. Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows pointed back. Push back up to starting position.

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