As the sunshine and warmer weather returns, it’s wonderful to be able to shed some layers, especially when heading out for a run in the spring sunshine. But many of us will find that our upper arms have gone a bit flabby over the winter. Don’t panic! It’s easy to incorporate a few simple exercises into your routine and your arms will be looking toned and short-sleeve ready in no time.
Give it some elbow grease
Arm jiggle will be a thing of the past if you incorporate these movements into your exercise routine. If you’re worried that you’ll get big muscles, fear not. You won’t bulk up but your arms will look firmer and your muscles more defined.
By the end of these exercises, your arms should be aching. You can do them first thing in the morning, or before a run to maximise the effect (moving your arms afterwards will prolong the burn!). Fit them into your day whenever you can - at the bus stop, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or even while watching TV.
Doing all of these exercises should take about 10 minutes. Rest and repeat if you can, up to 3 times. Try and do them at least 3 times a week and you’ll be well on your way to having sleek arms by summer time! And don't forget to stretch.
Upper arm toning exercises
Stand with your feet hip width apart and bring your fists up like a boxer. Jab punches into the air in front of you with each fist in turn. Three sets of 15.
Use the edge of a park bench, or the edge of a bath. Stand with your back to the bench or bath, with your feet hip width apart, place the heels of your hands on the bench behind you so that your back and thighs are at right angles. Lower yourself gently down, taking your weight with your arms. Slow and steady does it.
Do 15 reps, rest, and do 15 more if you can.
Stand with your arms outstretched to the side and your palms facing down. Move your arms slowly in small circles, as if you are painting a circle with your fingertips.
Do 10 circles in one direction, reverse and do 10 in the other direction.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, arms by your side, and bend your elbows at 90 degree angles, palms up, like you are carrying a tray of drinks. Reach up with one arm like you are picking an apple off a high branch, and bring the apple down to the start position.
Repeat in rapid succession, do 20 reps.
Park bench press-ups
Place your hands wide apart on the edge of the park bench seat (or the edge of the bath at home) and get into a plank position. Engage your core and lower yourself slowly till your elbows are bent at 90 degree angles and then press down to straighten your arms and return to start position.
Repeat 10 times.
Combine your arm workout with these top 5 bodyweight exercises and you'll be in optimum shape by summertime!