Bye bye parka. Hello skimpy, sexy sleeveless shirts. As summer approaches, here are some key exercises to strengthen and sculpt your upper body and get your arms tank-top ready.
According to Marci Lall, a certified personal trainer in Toronto, doing these exercises for just two weeks will make a difference in your arms.
Added bonus: Regular strength training helps keep your bones strong, control your weight, reduce your risk of injury, boost your stamina, sleep better and feel happier.
Here are Lall’s top three exercises to get you “tank-top” ready in two weeks:
1. Bicep Curl + Shoulder Press
• Stand with your back straight, knees bent and head facing forward.
• Perform a biceps curl with weights (start with about 7 lb and work up to 10-12 lbs) as you would normally. At the top of the curl, turn your hands so your palms face forward.
• Flare your elbows out so you are in a shoulder press position.
• Push the weights upward, making sure they do not touch in the middle.
• Lower your arms slowly and perform the reverse motion to get back to your starting position.
• Breathe out every time you lift the weights.
One bicep curl and one shoulder press equals one rep.
2. One-Legged Dips
• Position yourself in front of a bench, facing away from it. Place your palms on top of the bench with your fingers over the edge, pointing down to the ground.
• Bend your legs and place one leg over the other knee.
• Bend your elbows and lower your butt toward the ground.
Push your body up so your elbows are almost locked.
• Repeat using other leg.
3. Elevated Push-Ups
• Like a push-up, hold your body up with your palms and the balls of your feet. Have your hands directly under your shoulders and keep your back straight.
• Place your feet on an elevated platform. Start off small (like a telephone book, stair, stepper) and work your way up to higher objects (like a bench, chair).
• Keeping your back straight and hips level, bend your elbows to whatever level you’re comfortable with and lower your body down to the ground.
• Breathe out as you push yourself back up.
• Repeat each exercise 12-15 times, working towards doing each for one minute, recommends Marci Lall, a certified personal trainer.
• You should aim for at least three to four workouts a week for maximum results in minimum time. “If you’re consistent with it and bump up your intensity on a weekly basis you will see results in two to four weeks,” he says.