Having strong arms is important for lots of reasons.
Like lifting heavy things and looking great in a tank top, to name a few.
After all, doesn't everyone stare at Michelle Obama's arms with envy?
But actually getting the lean, toned arms we're all after can be difficult for a lot of women. Because women don't have nearly as much testosterone as men, a few weeks of bicep curls won't get the job done.
In an effort to prevent you from embarking on another unsuccessful journey to get the arms of your dreams, we consulted a few trainers to get some expert advice.
Here's what they had to say.
Keep it light.
While we're all about heavy lifting once in a while, light weights can be helpful in achieving the lean, sculpted look so many women are after.
Xtend Barre's Kristine Storie recommends consistently using 1-2 pound weights to achieve optimal results. She tells Elite Daily,
The lighter weights allow the smaller muscles to participate, not just of the arms but of the upper back. Lighter weights also allow us to focus on the lengthening and extension aspects of the movement, while keeping the shoulders down and chest proud. There is no need to use heavy weights. Use your body’s own weight to create resistance and focus on proper form and proper muscle recruitment.
Body Conceptions' Mahri Relin is all about the light weights, too -- and using them at home. If you don't have weights, she tells Elite Daily using 2 liter-sized water bottles will get the job done.
Here's what she suggests:
Keeping the arms extended, circle them back 24 times, then forward 24 times. Maintain the same position, and pulse the arms slightly up and down 30 times. Hold your arms down by your sides with the palms faced out. Lift your arms up to the ceiling in a shoulder press, twisting your wrists at the top to face the palms out again. Then return down. Repeat 24 times. Hold your arms in the front of your body at a 90-degree angle with the elbows in front of the shoulders (at shoulder level!). Pulse the arms slightly up and down 24 times. Keeping the arms at 90 degrees and at shoulder level, open them out to the side and then back in to the starting position. Repeat 24 times.
That doesn't sound too hard, does it?
Keep it consistent.
Hate to break it to you, but you have to consistently work those arms to see results.
Storie tells Elite Daily,
Three to four times per week is ideal. But consistency is more important than frequency. I’ll take two to three times per week with consistency over four to five times per week sporadically.
Complete Human Performance's Armi Legge agrees shooting for at least two times a week is the way to go.
He tells Elite Daily,
Twice a week is a good minimum, and that's true for all muscle groups.
Sorry, but it looks like you're going to have to get your butt to the gym more than once a week if you actually want to see a change.
Awesome arms aren't just a matter of what types of exercises you're doing.
Food matters, too. If you have body fat to lose, it will be tough to actually expose your muscles. Plus, eating right will provide you with the energy you need to keep your training going.
Relin tells Elite Daily,
Make sure you are taking in enough lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats and are limiting your carb intake (especially processed carbs). Diet helps you achieve your optimal weight and also have the energy you need to exercise effectively. You will be able to do more for longer periods of time - and you will see your body responding to all your hard work more quickly!
Pass the kale, please!
Cardio matters, too.
What's awesome about lifting weights is as you build muscle mass your metabolic rate increases and you burn calories faster.
Still, don't underestimate the power of cardio! Not only is it great for your heart and wellbeing, but it can be key in developing your arm muscles if you need to lose some weight.
Cardio helps reveal these muscles if you need to lose a little bit of extra weight. Cardio combined with strength building exercises allows you to rev your metabolism both during and after your workouts -- and ultimately see the results of all your hard work so much better. Some great cardio ideas include jumping jacks, squat jumps and mountain climbers.
But as Storie tells Elite Daily, cardio alone won't change the look of your body.
Cardio will merely shrink your current body, and this is assuming you don’t increase your diet as a result of your cardio. Keep in mind that cardio workouts -- even intense ones -- are not a license to eat whatever. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.