Summer is coming. And no warning Game of Thrones can issue about the seasons’ change can match the dread of bearing bulging arms in scintillating sweet summertime clothes. This spring, I picked up (pun intended) the obligatory pair of purple five pound dumbbells (cause lavender means they’re for ladies), and have been working to find the best exercises to keep things high and tight. Three of my favorite tips come from Women’s Health Magazine online, where the glossy shared trainer Joe Stankowski’s moves for tight triceps and shapely shoulders.
Stankowski’s Standing V-Raise works shoulders with a simplicity: “Grab a 5-to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides. With arms straight but not locked, raise the weights in a V shape until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold for 1 second, then return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps. Tip If you arch your back or swing the dumbbells for momentum, use less weight.”
To sculpt the shoulders, upper back, and biceps, try his intense Shoulder Press: “Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells just above your shoulders, palms facing each other (A). Press the weights up until your arms are straight overhead (B). Hold for 1 second, then take 3 seconds to lower the dumbbells back to start. Do 6 to 8 reps.”
Ready? Now things get really fun. Stankowski’s Renegade Row kills your core, shoulders, upper back, biceps, and triceps in one move: “Grab the dumbbells and get into the top of a pushup position with your hands on the weights and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend your right arm and raise the dumbbell to chest level, pressing the left dumbbell into the floor for balance. Lower the weight to the floor, then repeat the move on the left side. That’s 1 rep; do 6 to 8.”
What’s your favorite way to keep your arms and upper body firm? — Casandra Armour