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Marsh column: Toning flabby arms

Q. I really enjoyed your belly fat article. Can you give advice on flabby arms and good looking shoulders?
A. Don’t you hate it? You are done waving, but your arms continue to wave good-bye? I was speaking with a colleague the other day and we were comparing arm “movements” while waving.
Understand that when you have muscles in your arm and your arm is relaxed it will be waving with you! Now to find out the difference between flab and muscle, tighten your arm muscles (like you would “making” a biceps); now try to wave or move your arm back and forward. If waving is still going on, you have flab.
Same as last week about the abs, if you want to lose fat on your arms and shoulders, you cannot spot reduce. (Just because you are working your arms and shoulders, your fat will not go away right there!)
So with a total body workout, eating sensibly (fewer calories than you burn and healthier foods), your body fat will go down.
Now can we tighten up our arms and shoulders by working out? Absolutely! With hard work, dedication and patience, I have seen miraculous changes in people’s arms and shoulders. Actually, I have seen complete body make-overs with weight training, exercise and eating sensibly.
I will give two different workouts: one for muscle building, one for muscle toning. Do understand to get distinct definition from shoulder to arm, you need to do the muscle-building workout.
Toning
2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions
Shoulders
Side lateral raises
Front lateral raises
Bent-over flies
BicepsBarbell curls
Alternating dumbbell curls
Standing concentration curls
TricepsTriceps push-downs with bar
Dips
One-arm triceps kick backs.
Muscle building
3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
ShouldersMilitary press
Barbell upright rowing
Dumbbells shoulder press
Biceps
Preacher curls
EZ bar curls
Seated concentration curls
Triceps
Barbell “skull crushers”
Seated overhead dumbbell triceps extension.
Triceps push-down with rope.
Now does this mean you cannot tone with the muscle-building exercises? No, you can alternate between the two. Make sure for toning you do more reps and for building, fewer reps.
However, the exercises I used for the muscle-building workout are typically “strength” exercises. Most of the time, you can use a lot more weight so you can challenge your muscles to build.
Any reputable trainer should be able to explain the exercises to you. Make sure before you work the same muscle group you rest at least 48 hours. Good luck!
Contact Ester Marsh at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@ rowanymca.com.

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