In order to gain the benefits of resistance training for visible toned arms, you will not only need to engage in consistent physical activity, but you will also have to make nutrition a priority. This is because in order to see the lean muscle mass you have worked so hard to build in the gym, you will need to shed excess fat and any excess water retention. This will be achieved with a caloric deficit and supporting your liver and kidneys through proper nutrition. This enables your body to effectively filter toxins and reduce any inflammation that can leave you feeling puffy and bloated.
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With that being said, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite exercises you can do in the gym, or simply with any dumbbells to sculpt your best arms!
When sculpting your arms, it is important to consider the strength of your upper body as a whole. This means that strengthening your arms will be best achieved when engaging in a full range of exercises and movements. To do this, you will be engaging your back, chest and shoulders, in addition to your triceps and biceps.
Here are our favourite exercises for a full upper-body sculpt.
EXERCISE 1: Dumbbell shoulder press
This exercise creates that round, toned look to your shoulders. When your shoulders appear muscular and toned, it actually gives your waist a smaller appearance! The dumbbell shoulder press also engages your upper chest, trapezius muscles, and triceps. Perform this exercise with a weight that allows you to perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
EXERCISE 2: Bicep curls
Good ol’ bicep curls, who isn’t familiar with this exercise?! The bicep curl is a great way to achieve the look of strength and definition in your arms, especially when you go in for the FLEX. The important thing to note about this exercise is that you should not be swinging your arms like a teeter totter. When curling the dumbbell towards your shoulders, keep your elbows locked into your side and curl the weights in a controlled fashion towards your shoulders. Perform this exercise with a weight you can lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
EXERCISE 3: Overhead tricep extension.
The triceps extension is an isolation exercise, meaning it specifically targets and isolates the tricep muscles of the arm. The triceps are posterior to the biceps, so toning them gives your overall arms that long and lean look. With this exercise, it is important that your arms when overhead, remain shoulder-width apart when lowering and raising the dumbbells. Perform this exercise with a weight you can lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
EXERCISE 4: Rear felt fly with dumbbells
Rear delt flys are another isolation exercise that are going to focus on the back side of your shoulder, but give your shoulder that overall round, muscular look. To preform this exercise, hold each dumbbell with palms facing your body, stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward at the hips. Raise both arms with a slight bend out to the sides as you squeeze the shoulder blades together. Perform this exercise with a weight you can lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
EXERCISE 5: Bent over dumbbell row
This is a great compound movement that uses many muscles in the body, burns more calories, and gives your upper body a beautiful, toned look! This is primarily a back exercise that will help you avoid any unwanted “back-fat”, but also recruits the muscles of the biceps, traps and latts, and Erector Spinae to help with postural muscles. To preform this exercise, grab a dumbbell for each hand and have your palms facing your torso. Bend your knees and bend slightly forward at the hips, keeping your spine neutral, nat arched. Once in this position, keep your elbows close to your body and row each dumbbell back, almost as if you are pulling on a lawnmower cord. Perform this exercise with a weight you can lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure that you keep the head up.
EXERCISE 6: Lateral Raise
We have hit the front of the shoulders and the back of the shoulders, but this specific movement targets the middle of the shoulder. Remember, rounder, toned shoulders give the waist a smaller appearance! To preform this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand, keep your back straight and have your palms facing your torso. With a slight bend at the elbows, raise each arm laterally like wings to shoulder heights and then lower. Perform this exercise with a weight you can lift for 3 sets of 10 repetitions without sacrificing form.
In addition to these amazing upper-body resistance exercises, it is also recommended to perform cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, stair-stepping, elliptical, bicycle, swimming, or any preferred form of cardio at least 3-4 days per week. This will ensure maximum caloric expenditure to achieve a caloric deficit and ultimately fat loss.
Don’t forget to add our nutrition and fitness packages when building your custom wedding experience! When your nutrition and fitness are on point, your confidence will be too! (click here to design your experience now – LINK**)
Marissa, the lead nutrition expert at NV Bridal Société.