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Tighter arms by summer

March 11, 2010

This is one promise that is totally doable.

If you start NOW–by eating sensibly and doing this workout twice a week without fail–you CAN have sleeker, tighter arms by summer. And that means you’ll be able to don your tank tops and sleeveless dresses without a second thought.

The upper arm–specifically the back of the upper arm–is a prime site for fat storage for women. This is especially evident after the age of 50, when the skin starts to slacken.  That fleshy pillow back there can be dismaying, as we all know. No need for any flappy arm jokes.


We’ll start at the top, with shoulders, because there’s no sense in having great arms if your shoulders are sad. Plus, when you work your shoulders with exercises like DB presses, the triceps are also activated–which is nice! Your triceps can use all the work they can get!

So, it’s…

  • 2 exercises for shoulders
  • 2 exercises for triceps (back of the upper arm)
  • 2 exercises for biceps (front of the upper arm)

BTW, a very smart rule in bodybuilding (you ARE building your body!) is:

When training more than one body part, work your larger muscles first.

That’s why we’ll start with shoulders, which have 3 heads to the muscle, before advancing to triceps (also 3 heads) and, finally, biceps (2 heads).

NOTE: If you are doing a workout where you’re training only your biceps and triceps, or you are doing some sort of full-body routine, perform triceps before biceps.  (But DON’T do back or chest after arms; you arms will be too fatigued for you to adequately train those larger body parts.)

That said, you CAN alternate your exercise order when training bis and tris alone. (In fact, anyone whose focus is building bigger biceps may want to put their energy into training that muscle group first.) At any rate, the “workout police” will not come and seize your DBs.


  • If you own some DBs, you can easily do this workout at home or gym.  Some exercises can be performed seated, which will force you to use better form (your body won’t be called upon to “help” move the weight).
  • Pick 2 days to do these exercises. Leave a day or two in between them so your arms can recover a bit. (Unless, of course, you are already doing a different sort of “split.”)
  • Have a couple pairs of DBs handy. You’ll want DBs heavy enough that you can get just about 8-10 reps before you have to set them down. Some exercises are tougher to do and require more precise form. For these you may need lighter DBs.

DB Shoulder Press (shoulders)

DB Upright Rows (shoulders)

Two-arm DB Overhead Extensions (triceps)

Lying 2-arm DB Extensions (triceps)

Alternating DB Curls (biceps)

Simultaneous Hammer Curls (bcieps)

That’s it!

Important tip! Don’t just “go through the motions.” Keep your mind in the muscle you’re working.  And squeeeeze that muscle on every contraction!

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