Ester Marsh: Work arms to gain definition
Wrapping up the articles on fat bellies and tight butts, I believe it is appropriate to close this series with some thoughts about firm arms.
Typically, the No. 1 body part we like to be perfect is the belly, for both men and women. The butt and legs are the second main concern for women. Tight arms are the second favorite body part for men, while arms a close No. 3 for most women.
Again, body fat needs to typically be 18 percent or lower for women and 12 percent for men to see muscle definition. (Like the great ěsix packî you have that hides behind that ěinsulation.î)
It is the same with arms and shoulders. By decreasing your calories and increasing your activity level and strengthening the muscles, you can have great looking arms.
But donít be afraid to lift some weights. To get the arms and shapely shoulders that you wish for, you have to increase your weights. Men are OK lifting heavy weights and most of the time the arms are the first part to look very good on a man. Just donít forget those legs.
Women on the other hand are so scared to get ěArnold Schwarzeneggerî arms that they often do not use an adequate weight to improve the looks of their arms. Therefore, not getting the definition they desire. So pump that iron.
It takes years of training, correct nutrition, supplements and so on to get those huge arms. When I started body building many moons ago, my arms actually looked more defined the harder I worked out and the stronger I got, but the size of them actually became smaller.
Same with the shoulders. You have to lift hard and heavy to get the deltoid muscle to become defined.
To start your workout, start slow and get your body ready for a strength workout. Begin with one to two sets of about 12 repetitions. Always work the whole body in a week, preferably twice for each muscle group. Donít just ěspotî workout your favorite (or most needed) part.
After you have a good base you can go to three to five sets of anywhere from six to 10 repetitions.
With a split body workout program you can pick four to five exercises per muscle group, with a full-body workout of two to three exercises per muscle group. Make sure you have 48 hours of rest in between muscle groups.
My favorite arm and shoulder exercises are the following:
EZ bar curls, cable curls, D-bell curls, concentration curls and straight-bar curls.
Triceps push down with rope, skull crushers, D-bell triceps kick backs, overhead extensions and dips.
Upright rowing, front lateral D-bell raises, side lateral raises, Bent over flies. Another great shoulder exercise is military press, but itís not for people with neck issues.
Any exercises that hurt should not be performed.
There are so many options available for each muscle group that you should find the exercises that will work for you.
A trainer can help you with that when needed.
So get ready to ě Pump it up!î
Ester H Marsh, ACSM Cpt