How to Tone Your Arms Without Lifting Weights!

Article posted in: Lifestyle

Remember those dumbbells you bought forever ago in a moment of inspiration? Stop feeling bad that you have no idea where they are. You don’t need weights or a gym membership to tone your arms into tank-top shape. Here are some moves you can try at home—no equipment needed (save for some common pantry staples!). Of course, before starting any new exercise regimen, talk to your doctor.

Overhead Arm Circles:

This is for your upper arms and shoulders.
1. Put both arms straight overhead; lock your elbows.
2. Pointing your fingers toward the ceiling, slowly make 1o small clockwise circles with both arms.
3. Then slowly make 10 large clockwise circles.
4. Repeat until you’ve done fast, slow, large and small circles in both directions.

Side Arm Circles:

This is also for your upper arms.
1. Put both arms straight out to your sides, level with your shoulders, so you make a giant T.
2. Do the same exercises described above: big and small circles, fast and slow, backward and forward.

Can Curls:

This is for your biceps.
1. Head to your kitchen cabinets and grab two cans of soup or vegetables.
2. Hold one in each hand, and hold your elbows in tight at your sides.
3. Slowly curl both cans up to your shoulders, then lower.
4. Repeat 10 times; build up to 20 repetitions before increasing the number of sets. Too easy? Use bigger cans, or fill a water bottle and curl that.

Kitchen Dips:

This is for your triceps, the back of your upper arm.
1. Stand with your back to your sink, and reach both hands behind you so you’re gripping the edge of the sink.
2. Put your feet a comfortable distance in front of you, and put as much of your weight as you can on your heels.
3. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your butt toward the floor, then push back up.
As this gets easier, move to lower surfaces, like the bathtub.

Bent Knee Push-Ups:

1. Kneel down and place your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders, fingers facing forward. Make sure your body is straight from your knees to your head, with no bending at the hips.
2. Keeping your abdominal muscles contracted and head aligned with your spine, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body down until your chest or chin touch the floor. Elbows should remain close to the sides of your body or flare outwards slightly, but don’t let your lower back sag or hips hike upwards.
3. Maintaining the same form, press up through your arms until the elbows are straight. Start slowly, working up to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.*

push up

Standing Shoulder Extensions:

1. Stand about two feet in front of a table in a split-stance position, with your right leg forward. Bend at the hips and put your right hand in the table, keeping your elbow straight, abs tight and spine aligned. With both shoulders square to the table, bend your left arm to form a 90-degree angle at that elbow (with your palm facing inward and left pinky at the table edge).
2. Bring your left elbow up and back so your hand is pointing to the ground; then increase the stretch by keeping your shoulder in place and straightening the arm back with your thumb pointing down. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds–keep your gaze on the table, without letting your head drop toward the ground; avoid leaning into the right support arm; and keep your abs tight to help support your back. Do to 2 to 4 repetitions; then switch sides (left foot forward, left hand on the table for support, right elbow bent)*

Once you’ve worked your arms, show them some stretching love with these simple moves:

Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch:

1. Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Stretch your arms behind you, placing palms flat on the floor, fingers pointed away from your body. Position yourself so your weight is distributed evenly between your feet, butt and arms; keep your back straight and head aligned with your spine.
2. Gently exhale and while keeping your back straight (no arching or slumping), slowly slide your butt forward toward your feet without moving your hands. You should feel a stretch through your biceps and some in the fronts of your shoulders. Push yourself forward so there’s tension in the stretch, but never bounce or push to a point of pain. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to your starting position; do 2 to 4 repetitions.*

Overhead Tricep Stretch:

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders rolled down and back. Reach your right arm to the ceiling, and keeping your shoulder down away from your ears, bend your right elbow placing your right palm toward the middle of your back.
2. Reach your left hand to the ceiling and place your fingers on your right arm, just above the elbow. Apply light pressure to deepen the stretch and hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Do two to four repetitions; try to stretch a little deeper each repetition. Then switch arms and repeat.*


*Adapted from the American Council on Exercise. Before starting any new exercise regimen, talk to your doctor.