From the abs to the buttocks — now to the arms

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 10, 2014

Do your arms keep moving after you stop waving them?

Don’t you hate it? I was speaking with a member 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. To find out the difference between “flab” and muscle, tighten your arm muscle and try to wave or move your arm back and forth. If the waving is still going on, you have flab.

Same as the last few weeks about the abs and buttocks — 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 sensible (less calories than you burn and healthier), your body fat will go down. Can you tighten up your arms and shoulders by working out? Absolutely. With hard work, dedication, and patience, you too can have firm arms. I will give two different workouts; one for muscle building, one for muscle toning. Understand that to get distinct definition from shoulder to arm, you need to do the muscle building workout.

2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions


Side lateral raises

Front lateral raises

Bent over flies


Barbell curls

Alternating dumbbell curls

Standing concentration curls


Triceps push downs with bar


One arm triceps kick backs

3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions


Military press

Barbell upright rowing

Dumbbells shoulder press


Preacher curls

EZ bar curls

Seated concentration curls


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 change between the two. Make sure for toning, you do more toning reps and less building reps.

However, the exercises I used for the muscle building workout are typically your strength exercises. You can (most of the time) use a lot more weight so you can challenge your muscles to build.

If you need help with the explanation of the exercises, any reputable trainer will be able to explain them to you. Make sure before you work the same muscle group, you rest at least 48 hours. And before you know it, your arm stops waving when you do!

Ester h Marsh ACSM Cpt and Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA