We may have traded our swimsuit and sunglass pairings in for our favorite statement coat and fall denim, but more coverage shouldn’t mean we stop working hard in the gym to be strong, sexy and toned all over. In fact, the winter months might just be the best time to perfect the tough-love workouts you’ve been rocking in summer. So we caught up with Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute Member Jay Cardiello to get the insider info on the best moves to get totally toned arms that will be ready to rock any sweater vest that heads your way.
But before we get into the moves, Jay notes, “The magic for any muscular development happens away from the gym. Focus on recovery — get at least seven hours of sleep, eat anti-inflammatory foods — you have to strengthen yourself internally first before focusing on the exterior.”
Once you’ve grabbed a good night’s sleep and ate your leafy greens, check out Jay’s workout below, designed specifically to tone your entire arm, not one specific muscle group. He suggests performing each exercise for 30 seconds for as many repetitions as possible.
1. Caterpillars: Stand tall. Reach down to place your palms on the ground. Walk out until you are in a plank position. Reverse direction, walking your hands back to your feet. Return to standing.
2. Seagulls: Place hands on a pillow on the floor; walk feet to plank position. Extend right arm out to side, fingertips grazing the floor, then raise arm. Pause; lower to start. Holding plank position, extend arm in front of you along the floor, then up, then back to plank position. Do for 30 seconds, switch arms and repeat. To kick it up a notch, follow this with a 30-second cardio blast.
3. Turn-It Down: Start with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out. It’s important to note that your knees should be in line with your toes. Keep your spine in a neutral position, chin up and hips pulled in. Next, fully extend both arms outward (right arm directly over right knee and vice versa) with your hands in the thumbs-up position. Next, rotate the thumbs in and downward (as if you were pouring out a can — don’t drink soda!). Slowly lower your arms, thumbs brushing closely inside the thighs until they meet back at starting position. Then in one quick motion, raise the arms up as high as possible, following the same angle as the descent.
4. Balance Beams: Get in a plank position. While keeping your back flat, raise your right arm and left leg parallel to the floor. Return to the plank position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
5. Shoulder Stabilizers: Begin in a push-up position and then bend your elbows 90 degrees so your forearms lie flat. Keeping your body in a straight line, reach one arm straight out to the side as you balance on the other. Then reach it forward. Continue for 15 seconds and then repeat on the other arm.
6. High-Fives: Lie on your back on the bed and plant your feet flat. Bridge your hips up so your butt is raised. Reach up with one arm alternately, as if you’re giving a high five. Keep your hips elevated. Increase difficulty by performing this exercise on your mattress.
7. Tri-Backs: Sit with hands on floor, fingers facing away from you, knees bent, feet flat. Lift hips, and extend left leg up, foot flexed. Bend elbows and lower butt toward floor. Pause, then press back to start (keep leg lifted). Do for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Finish with 30 seconds of cardio.
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(Photos via Getty)