Celebrity Trainer Approved Arm Exercises
5 minutes read
Toned arms are something many people aspire to – whether that’s for extra strength or sculpted limbs – it’s about being strong, no matter what your size, shape or weight.
Beauty Daily spoke to top celebrity trainers for the best arm exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.
How can I tone my arms fast?
“The most effective way to improve strength and tone in the upper arms is to focus on what we call ‘compound’ exercises. This means working across more than one joint simultaneously. Performing more mechanical work and getting more ‘bang for your buck’,” Luke Worthington, Celebrity Personal Trainer whose clients include Hollywood A-listers, world champions and European royalty, tells Beauty Daily.
The most significant benefit of doing compound exercises is the efficient use of your time as they work on joints, muscles, and arm strength at the same time. It is ideal for those who are looking to squeeze in arm exercise into their busy routines.
Worthington says the most effective exercises are:
Push-up (which can be modified by elevating the hands to a bench, box, or even against the wall) to work the muscles on the back of the arms;
Bodyweight row (TRX row) is a suspension training exercise where you use your own body weight as resistance. You hang, suspended from a suspension trainer’s handles or bands, supported by your arms and feet. You pull your upper body up towards your hands. This kind of arm exercise will work the muscles at the front of the arm;
Standing lateral raises (using dumbbells) for the sides of the shoulder. One of the keys to elegant toned arms is to create a balanced shape with the shoulder.
There is no need for expensive tools for compound exercises.
“Most gyms will have a TRX and a set of dumbbells which is all you need to do these exercises. If you don’t have access to a gym, then a TRX is extremely easy to set up at home, or you can even make do with looping a bath towel over the top of a door. Two-litre bottles filled with water can be substituted for light dumbbells, or dumbbell sets are available on Amazon for around £20,” recommends Worthington.
Simple arm exercises to do at home
Gemma Bass-Williams, Head Trainer at Barrecore, one of the UK’s most well-known fitness brands and leading barre brands, shares three arm exercises you can do at home.
“At Barrecore we use a series of movements designed to stretch every muscle group in the body, using a ballet barre, your body strength whilst using isometric and eccentric muscular contractions. As a result, your muscles quickly transform, becoming stronger, leaner, and more flexible. The method uses high repetitions and minimal impact to improve muscular endurance and strength.”
- Position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Your shoulders, hips, and heels in one line with toes tucked under legs straight and pelvis tucked.
- Inhale to lower, exhale to press up. Hold your body in a plank position as you lower – lead with the chest, not the chin or pelvis.
- Draw abdominals up and in, and drag the chest forward over your hands. Repeat ten times. To modify, come down to the knees or use a barre or wall for support.
Muscle focus of a push-up
Total body integration exercise
Push-ups use resistance, i.e. your body strength, and will build your arm muscles to create a more sculpted look.
- Place your hands underneath your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and stretch your legs straight.
- Drag your chest forward over your hands. Achieve posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) by keeping your glutes and inner thighs engaged.
- Hold your position for 30-60 seconds. To modify, come down on to the knees.
Muscle focus of a plank
Total body integrated exercise
Will strengthen the upper body, which will give a more muscular aesthetic.
- Sit feet planted on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders with fingertips facing forward. Press into your palms to lift your body.
- Keep fingertips facing forward and abdominals drawn in. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent. Push yourself back up slowly until your arms are almost straight, and repeat. Feel the work in the back of the arms. Repeat ten times.
Muscle focus of tricep dips
Total body awareness
Tricep dips will tone the back of the arms whilst building shoulder strength.
How many times a week and what is the best time of the day to do arm exercises?
“The best time of day is the one you will be consistent with. There is a minimal physiological difference in the times of day that we exercise. So choose the one that you’ll stick to – if you know you’ll snooze your alarm then there isn’t much point aiming for early workouts – likewise, if you tend to get pulled into after-work social activities, then that’s not going to be a consistent gym time,” says Worthington
Products you can incorporate into your post-arm exercise
To keep your skin firm and tight post-arm exercise, Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager recommends partnering the exercise with an arm and body sculpting lotion.
It is best to remember that “Lotions work on skin, not muscle,” McHale says.
“They will stop you from having saggy skin. They will not however tighten your muscles because that requires exercise. Arm and body sculpting lotions and creams will help if you are about to lose a lot of weight and help keep working on your skin’s elasticity because it is spring back.
Adding: “Also, losing weight slowly and steadily is a better way to keep the skin on the muscle than when people lose it suddenly and get a lot of excess skin. Your skin can’t keep up with dramatic weight loss.”
Exfoliate regularly (once or twice a week) because it helps with blood circulation, which is important when you’re exercising.