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7 Best arm workouts for women

Best Arm Workouts for Women.

A list of 7 best arm workouts for women to sculpt the perfect arms.

Your arms are a walking billboard that show off all of your hard work in the gym.

A well toned pair of arms shows you not only care about your looks and level of physical fitness, but you are willing to work hard to achieve the look you want.

They are the perfect accent to a summer wardrobe and more attractive than any accessories you can wear.

According to John Porcari, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist with the University of Wisconsin and former personal trainer, women are as obsessed for jiggle-free arms as men are for losing their bellies.

He said "Guys always want to get rid of their bellies, while women always seem to want to tone their triceps". 

So, how can we tone the arms up? and most importantly, how to lose arm fat?  

Many women struggle with jiggling arms, especially with age.

It's because we tend to lose muscle mass with age unless we do the work to maintain it. 

Yet, believe it or not, losing arm fat and getting sexy sculpted arms is possible at any age, and thankfully we have many idols over 40 such as Michelle Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Dara Torres who showed us it can certainly be done. 

As a start, Amy McAuliffe, University of Notre Dam alumni writer said "a healthy diet and regular workouts go a long way to reaching the goal of flab-free arms.".

But if you want to take it one step further and build a lean, sexy sculpted pair of upper arms, adding the best set of arm workout is crucial in building leanness and definitions in your arms.

There are generally two types of arm workouts: 

Bicep Workouts

They primarily target your biceps. One major characteristic of bicep workouts is they include the motion of arm flexing.

Arm "guns" you start to see after series of arm workouts is due to the development of your bicep muscles.

Tricep Workouts

They mainly engage your triceps (Located in the back of your arms between the elbow and the shoulder). It's this triceps that jiggle, not your biceps.

Most tricep workouts follow the motion of arm extension. It's because triceps are chief extensor of forearm responsible for straightening of the arm (University of Washington Medicine).

While biceps are what most arm exercises target and engage, it's the triceps that jiggle and need most of your attention. 

According to Livestrong.com, the triceps consisting of three heads comprise roughly 75 percent of the arm

It's no secret how placing a heavier emphasis on the larger arm muscle (triceps) over the smaller muscle (biceps) give you the faster road to slimmer arms and result in more effective arm workouts. 

Because we know you want results - fast! and we want to make sure you leave here with the best bicep exercises and triceps exercises, we compiled a list of 7 best arm workouts for women to sculpt the sexy, toned arms based on ACE's studies on best bicep and tricep exercises.

If you are interested in their studies, you can read more on their site: ACE Biceps Study and ACE Triceps Study.

A list of 7 of the best arm workouts for women [ image litst]

7 best arm workouts for women

See below to learn how to do each exercise with proper form.

How to do a standing bicep curls

Dumbbell biceps curl

  1. To begin, stand up straight with your arms down by your sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your palms should be facing forward. 
  2. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, slowly bend your arms at the elbow and raise the dumbbells to your shoulders. 
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position. This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

How to do a dumbbell hammer curl

Dumbbell hammer curl arm exercise for women

  1. Stand straight with your arms by your sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your abdominal muscles should be tight. 
  2. Slowly raise your arms until they are straight out in front of you. Your palms should be facing each other. 
  3. From this position, slowly bend your arms and curl the dumbbells to your shoulders.
  4. After holding this position for 2 seconds, slowly straighten your arms back in front of you, and then lower them back down to your sides. This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

How to do one legged cable curls

One legged cable biceps curls

  1. This exercise is not only excellent for toning your arms, but also for strengthening your core, which will enhance your stability and balance.
  2. Stand on one leg while facing a cable machine. Your knees should be slightly bent and your arms should be down by your sides while holding a cable in each hand.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly bend your elbows while curling the cable toward your shoulders.
  4. Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower the cable back to the starting position. This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

Triceps Exercises

The following list of exercises works to firm and tone the triceps muscles. This is the muscle that extends down the back of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow.

How to do tricep dips (bench or chair)

Tricep dips exercise for women

  1. To begin, stand about 3 feet away from a sturdy chair, with your back facing it. Reaching behind you, place your hands on the seat of the chair, one hand on each side. 
  2. With your feet planted firmly on the floor, slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then slowly raise your body by straightening your arms.
  4. This is one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

How to do a triceps cable push down

Tricep pushdown exercise

  1. Stand in front of a high pulley cable machine and select the amount of weight that will allow you to perform 10 reps without sacrificing form. With your palms facing downward, grasp the bar, then step back 2 steps.
  2. With your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart, lean your upper body forward about 30 degrees while keeping your back straight.
  3. Keeping your upper arms still and abdominal muscles tight, push down on the cable until your elbows are straight. Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  4. This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

How to do a dumbbell triceps extensions

Incline tricep extension exercise for women

  1. Lie on your back on a incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells straight overhead, with your palms facing each other. 
  2. Keeping your upper arms still, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until they are near your head.
  3. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then slowly straighten your arms to the beginning position. This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

How to do cable triceps kickbacks

Cable Kickbacks tricep exercise

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip width apart facing a cable machine. There should be a cable in each hand.
  2. With a slight bend in the knee, bend forward, keeping your back flat, and bring your elbows up to your sides.
  3. Keeping your upper arms still, extend your arms until they are straight.
  4. Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position (still bent over, elbows by your sides). This counts as one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

There you go! These exercises should be performed 3 times per week on non- consecutive days. For example; Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Originally published April 2014. Updated August 2015.




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