Get ready to bare arms (and rock your favorite sleeveless dress!) in less time than it takes to fold a load of laundry. This 6-minute arm workout from Lashaun Dale, senior national creative manager of group fitness for Equinox Fitness Clubs, may be simple, but it’ll challenge your biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest (among other body parts), leaving you with stronger, beautifully defined upper body. Do this arm workout 2 to 3 times per week for best results.
1. Shoulder Grooving: Stand holding a wooden dowel, broomstick or curtain rod in front of you with both hands, arms wide (A). Without arching or rounding your back, raise the bar up and over your head, going as far back as is comfortable (B). Return to starting position. That’s one rep; do 10 reps.
2. Walking Push-Up: Lie face down, hands beneath your shoulders with elbows bent, legs straight with toes tucked; inhale, draw in your belly button, and raise your body off the floor, keeping elbows bent (A). Exhale, pushing yourself up to plank position with arms straight; your body should form a straight line from head to heels (B). While still in plank, inhale and move your right hand and left foot forward (C), then exhale and move your left hand and right foot forward. Inhale, lowering back down to A position, then repeat, moving backward to your original spot. That’s one rep; do 10 reps.
3. Triceps Pull-Over & Press: Lie face-up on a bench or step with a dumbbell in each hand (palms in), arms by your sides with elbows bent, knees bent with feet on the floor (A). Drawing your belly button in, arc the dumbbells up and over behind your head, keeping elbows bent (B); return to previous position. Press the dumbbells straight up above you (C), then return to starting position. That’s one rep; do 10 reps.
4. Flying Circles: Lie face-down on a bench or step with your legs straight and feet against a wall; hold a dumbbell in each hand (palms in), arms hanging down. Pull your belly button in and lift your chest so your body forms a straight line from head to heels, Keeping your chest lifted, raise the dumbbells forward and up to shoulder height (A), then out to the sides at shoulder level (B), then straight back beside your hips (C); return to starting position. That’s one rep; do 10 reps.
5. Side Plank with Pull: Get into plank position with hands below your shoulders, right hand on a dumbbell, legs straight with toes tucked; your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Pull your belly button in, shift your weight to your left hand, and bend your right elbow to draw the weight back to your ribs (A). Twist your body to the right, letting both feet come to the floor on their sides as you come into side plank (B). Push the weight straight up toward the ceiling, following it with your gaze (C). Bend your elbow to draw the weight back down; return to starting position. That’s one rep; do 10 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
6. Dumbbell Turkish Get-Up: Lie on your back with legs straight; hold a dumbbell in your right hand straight above your shoulder (up toward the ceiling). Pull your belly button in and use your left arm to help you do a sit-up, keeping the dumbbell overhead (A). Once you’re sitting all the way up, bend both knees, placing your right foot on the floor in front of you and drawing your left foot behind you (B). Push off your legs and feet to come to standing with dumbbell still raised (C). Reverse the movements, slowly lowering to return to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Do a total of 10 reps, alternating sides.
Follow Lashaun on Facebook at Lashaun Dale and on Twitter at @lashaundale.