Several Great Ways to Exercise Your Arms

If one of your goals this year is to keep your arms in better shape, you need to learn the right exercises to get the best results. There are many benefits to having a strong upper body, such as improved posture, a stronger core and bones, and increased muscle mass that will also help increase your metabolic rate.

These benefits also apply to sports such as running, swimming, rowing or rock climbing. But having strong arms will also make everyday activities like lifting heavy shopping bags, carrying furniture or walking around with a toddler easier. Whether you go to the gym or work out at home, you can build stronger arms with minimal or no equipment.

Row House's director of education, Caley Crawford, suggests starting out by choosing a few moves and doing three to five sets of 12 to 15 reps, with rest between each round. She says: "I usually do a combination of workouts and may focus specifically on the arms, but I usually do a full-body workout." "I encourage you to combine arm workouts with full-body workouts to train how your muscles work together, not just independently."

If you're ready for a challenge, add the following workouts to your exercise program at least twice a week

Bicep curls
Bicep curls are one of the most popular arm exercises, so you've probably seen or done them before. This exercise targets your biceps - the muscle in the front of your upper arm that serves as a stabilizer for your arm and shoulder.

To do bicep curls, you'll need a set of medium-weight dumbbells. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on each side of your body with your palms facing forward. Bend your elbows and slowly lift the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Keeping your elbows locked at your sides, slowly lower your back until your arms are almost fully extended.

Dumbbell shoulder press
The dumbbell shoulder press, also known as the dumbbell military press, targets your shoulders, chest and arms. When you first learn how to do this exercise, dumbbells are usually used because they allow you to do this movement more safely than using a barbell.

To do the dumbbell shoulder press, you'll need to hold a medium weight dumbbell (or a weight you can handle) in each hand. Stand with your arms bent outward at a 90-degree angle and your palms forward. From this position, brace your core muscles and press your arms above your head so that your biceps are in line with your ears. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Arnold's Press
The Arnold press was invented by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's a variation of the shoulder press that targets the biceps and the entire shoulder head. Crawford says: "It's a multi-planar movement that requires more muscles than the traditional overhead press."

To do this exercise, you can sit, kneel or stand. Using a set of dumbbells, start with the dumbbells at shoulder height and your arms bent with your palms facing your body (like flexing your biceps). Rotate the dumbbells outward and press them upward until your palms are facing forward at the top of the press. Then slowly lower the weight by twisting and rotating so that the elbows are bent and the palms are facing the body at the bottom of the press. Crawford explains, "One thing to keep in mind is to not arch your back as you press, and if you have limited shoulder flexibility, you might consider doing one arm at a time."

Triceps push-ups
Push-ups not only work the arms, but also the chest, back, core and gluteus maximus muscles. Triceps push-ups differ from regular push-ups because your arms are placed directly on the sides of your body, whereas with traditional push-ups, your arms are at a 45-degree angle. To do a tricep dip, start by doing a firm, high plank support, keeping your spine neutral and keeping your elbows close to your body. This will help train your triceps while protecting your shoulders. Lower your body slowly, leading with your chest. Keep your body engaged as your chest taps the floor and push the floor out of the way as you return to the high plank.

If you can't do push-ups with your feet, you can do push-ups by kneeling, or by placing your hands on an elevated surface so your body is at a 45-degree angle.

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