The season of sundresses and swimsuits and having your arms on full display may be over, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be keeping your arms under wraps until next summer. Strapless tops and sleeveless little black dresses that you wear most of the year will keep your arms front and center (er, side and parallel?).
Make sure they’re firm and toned with these five super effective moves, designed by Katherine “Kado” Simmons, a certified personal trainer with Body Space Fitness in New York City. Bonus: Simmons’s moves chisel the arms to perfection but also work other muscles, too.
Plyometric Push Ups
Balance on toes and palms in a plank position. Bend the arms and lower your body until the upper arms are parallel to floor. “Explode” upward to return to start position, rising up onto fingertips as you reach the top. Do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps.
Weighted Shadow Boxing
Shadow box for up to 1 minute while holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Move quickly but avoid snapping shoulders or wrists. Work up to 3 rounds, resting 30 seconds between.
Single Leg Balance Curl & Press
Hold light dumbbells with your arms at your side, palms facing in. Balance on the left leg by bending and lifting the right leg up to hip height. Bend arms to curl dumbbells to shoulders, and then press arms up overhead. Lower the arms to start. Do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps each side.
Bow & Arrow Plank
Hold a light dumbbell in your right hand. Get into plank position so you’re balanced on the dumbbell with the right hand and have your left palm and toes touching the floor. Rotate to left into side plank as you lift and draw dumbbell across body and straight up overhead. Return to start. Do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps each side.
Facing a pull-up bar set to chest height, grasp the bar with palms facing away from you. Squat low, and extend arms straight. Keeping shoulders down and relaxed, bend arms to lift the chest to the bar. Slowly lower down for a count of 10. Repeat 3 times per set, doing 1 to 3 sets. (You can also use an assisted pull-up machine or a higher bar with someone holding your legs for support for this move.)
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