With sweaters keeping us warm during the winter, we forget that we have arms to maintain and sculpt. And once we trade the cocoon-like clothing for tank tops come May, we rush to get sexy shoulders like Rosario Dawson‘s shown to the right. To avoid the rush, start doing these moves now three days a week along with your regular fitness routine so you won’t be playing catch up come spring.
– Position yourself on a carpet or towel, resting on your knees and toes. Place hands in front of you, shoulder-width apart, fingers spread. Tuck in abdominals, keeping your upper body in a straight line.
– Slowly inhale and lower your chin and chest down to just above the floor. Exhale as you press up.
Training tip: Make sure your chin comes over your fingertips. If you can lower your body only a few inches, fine. You’ll improve with time.
– Grab a pair of 5-pound dumbbells. Standing in an upward position, knees slightly bent, turn your dumbbells to face thighs.
– Slowly exhale and lift arms straight out to the side; pause, then inhale and lower three quarters of the way down. Note: Always move slowly through each repetition.
Training tip: To prevent injury, concentrate on keeping your neck muscles relaxed as you lift your arms.
Plank + Row
– Holding a dumbbell in each hand, start in a push-up position with your arms straight and your feet in a wide stance. Make sure your palms are facing in and your fists are pointing down towards the floor.
– Keeping your hips very still, perform a “row” by pulling one dumbbell back, arm bent, and keeping your elbow close to your ribs until the weight reaches your armpit. Try to keep your body as still as you can to challenge your core muscles even more.
– Repeat on opposite side to complete one repetition. Do 12-15 repetitions on each side.
– Holding a 1- to 3-pound weight in each hand, with both arms to the left side of your body, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. (Fig 1.) – Hold left arm in place and pull right arm across body to the right side of your hips. Then raise right arm up to a high diagonal and return to starting position. Do 50 reps on each side.