It’s almost summer, which means it’s almost time for sleeveless tops and dresses sans cardis and coats-can I get a hallelujah! I think we’ve discussed once or twice before how I am 100% a summer/warm weather girl! Sleeveless outfits and showing more skin also=showing more arms! While I personally prefer to work on the abs or booty (who doesn’t?) working my arms and increasing my upper body strength is a goal I set for 2018! Today, I’m sharing my go-to, no-fail arm workout with focus on the bicep/triceps -I’ve been rotating workout in my routine since my sophomore year of college (9 years)!
Picture Credit: Elizabeth Grant Photography
Outfit details: When a new season rolls around, I always invest in a new workout outfit or two, or I ask for a new workout outfit for my birthday. I was in need of a new pair of shorts so I bought these track shorts from Lululemon and this Free to Be Bra as well (I also have this bra that offers more support). Strappy back bras + open back tanks=best combo. This adidas tank has a fun retro feel (found at TJ Maxx- also similar linked here). I also wore an adidas tank in this post. My blush pink adidas sneaks are a steal if you ask me!
Related: Fashion Activewear Splurge vs. Steal
When it comes to quick and efficient arm workout, there’s really only one answer: back to basics. We’re talking the exercises that may not be the most “fun” or mind-blowing-we’re not here to waste time! The best thing we can do to get the most of these basic exercises is to focus on both the shortening (concentric) and lengthening (eccentric) movements -rushing through one or the other is basically cheating yourself out of half the exercise. One thing that used to deter me from doing arm workouts is the fact they are not usually high intensity-you won’t break much of a sweat compared to a HIIT workout. If not getting cardio is your concern, I hear you. However, I have learned that to achieve my fitness/physique goals, strength exercises are a MUST! My solution? I superset* cardio exercises with my strength routine. This way, my workout stays under an hour and I’m sneaking in that cardio! (Because 1. who wants to be in a gym for over an hour? and 2. who wants to do a mindless cardio machine? Snooze)!
Related: Master a Pull Up with 4 Exercises
This workout is best done in the gym for access to a variety of dumbbells and barbells, but you can just as easily do it at home-I’ve offered an in-home friendly alternative to each exercise if necessary. If you’re at home, grab yourself some dumbbells (8-10 lbs are a great starting point) and some cute workout gear (a must), and get curling.
Disclaimer: This is a simplified plan and explanation of the exercises. I am not a doctor or certified fitness professional. This was written under advisement of a fitness professional. Please use caution and proceed at your own risk.
Arm Workout: Bicep/Triceps
-3×10 curved bar curls or dumbbell curls: 1 second up, pause 1 second, 3 seconds down.
-3×10 skull crusher or overhead tricep extension: laying on your back, lower the bar to your nose. Home: use two dumbbells with the head of the weight facing down.
-10 Air Squats
-3×10 alternating bicep curls: challenging weight. Turn your weight as you curl.
-3×10 tricep dips on bench: legs straight out (Beginner: legs bent. Advanced: hold a dumbbell with your legs). Home: use a chair as a bench!
-50 mountain climbers
-1 min plank hold
-Ladder bicep curls: start with 5 lbs and increase by 5 lbs every 10 reps until heavy. Increase by 2.5 once weight is heavy. No rest between sets of 10 and continue until failure. Rest 30 seconds- 1 minute then work your way back down. Home: get creative with weights! Water bottles, cans, etc! Or, do three-five sets of the same weight, no rest.
-Ladder tricep overhead press: same as bicep ladder. Start with 10 lbs and increase by 5 lbs every 10 reps until heavy. Increase by 2.5 once weight is heavy. No rest between sets of 10 and continue until failure. Rest 30 seconds- 1 minute then work your way back down. Home: same as bicep ladder!
Bonus Final Push: 50 bicycle crunches!
*Superset: perform the exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. Rest 30 seconds-1 minute between each superset.
If you give this workout a try, be sure to let me know how it goes!
Shop the Post:
What other types of workouts would you like to see?