Whether you’re a man or a woman, you might be eager to learn how to tone your arms. Toned arm is a physical goal that many people have. Not only is it a good thing to have more muscular strength in your arms to perform basic daily activities more efficiently, but it also looks nice to have toned arms.
Toned, firm and shapely arms can make you feel more comfortable in certain clothing, while also providing you with the physical benefits of increased strength. Toned, strong, or slimmer arms won’t happen overnight. It takes hard work to learn how to tone your arms with regular arm exercises being done consistently.
The secret lies in perfecting your form while doing basic arm exercises and pairing them with strength-training moves that target the triceps, biceps and shoulders. If you want to learn how to tone your arms, below are some fantastic arm exercises that will help you achieve this goal if done regularly:
Tricep dips are one of the best exercises for strengthening and toning the triceps. Toned triceps greatly contribute to the overall look of nicely toned arms. The main focus of this exercise is to work on the outer head of the muscle. Since the muscle fibres that run outward are close to the surface, this exercise more effectively targets them than exercises like pushups and dips where your whole arm is involved. In addition to activating the triceps muscle, which makes up three-fourths of the upper arm, it also adds a surprising twist you won’t see in traditional triceps exercises.
Many YouTube tutorials will easily guide you on how to do tricep dips. If you go for a walk and you see a bench, you can easily do a set of tricep dips by placing your palms behind you on the bench and raising and lowering your body with your knees bent and legs outstretched.
Front Raise to Lateral Raise
If you have a pair of dumbbells handy, the Front Raise to Lateral Raise is a great exercise to help build your shoulder muscles. Although it’s known as a shoulder exercise, it also hits the chest to some degree. It’s effortless on the lower back, making it a low-stress movement that’s great if you have sensitive shoulders.
The front raise targets your anterior deltoids, which are the muscles at the front of your shoulders. It’s a great exercise that can help you to look leaner and tighter. The lateral raise helps work out your shoulder’s external rotators—the muscles responsible for turning your arms outward when you lift them from a resting position—which tend to get weak when you’re hunched over a keyboard all day.
Push-ups with Elevated Arm
Set a block or a book on a mat under your right hand. Next, assume a plank position with your body aligned from head to toe and the core engaged. Slowly lower your arms until your left arm is at a 90-degree angle, and push yourself back up to complete one rep.
Repeat 12 reps, rest for 30 seconds and repeat another two sets of 12 reps (one set on each side), resting for 30 seconds between each set. This exercise is quite effective and allows you to define the breast area and develop good triceps and abs. An uneven pushup targets both sides of your chest, providing an added challenge to the core while still allowing steady progression.
The bicep curl is a relatively simple upper-body exercise that can be performed with dumbbells or weight machines. The bicep curl strengthens the arm, back and shoulder muscles in addition to the forearm and fingers. Use dumbbells for this exercise, curling them up and down in quick, three-second repetitions to gain maximum strength. Using proper form is essential for preventing injury and getting the most out of this movement.
If you’re like most women, you’ve noticed that your arms and shoulders can get a bit loose and jiggly. This is especially true as you begin to age. But it’s not something you have to accept if you make the right moves regularly. One of the best at toning triceps, which is the back of the arm, is a move called an overhead extension.
It works those triceps from a pushup position but requires even more resistance as you are lifting your whole arm instead of just the elbow. This exercise, if performed correctly, can help you maintain a straight upper back and correct rounding of the shoulders that some women experience as they age.
Kickbacks are done by bending your elbows and knees while holding dumbbells, then extending your arms back. This raises the dumbbells over your head. Using lighter weight all the way through this movement instead of heavier weights in the single rep range removes some of the stress on the joints.
Triceps kickbacks are focused on the back of the arm and can be done one leg at a time or with both legs simultaneously. As an essential part of training, triceps kickbacks help increase muscle endurance and overall arm tone. They also help strengthen the smaller muscles in the arm, which gives it a more toned look. Since they use smaller arms, triceps kickbacks have a more excellent range of motion than other upper body exercises.
The V exercise is a simple chest toning exercise that works out your chest, arms, and shoulders simultaneously. The way you perform this particular exercise involves holding dumbbells down at your hips while drawing a V with them—and then releasing them back down. The V goes from the left to the right and back again. You can do this exercise with 1 or 2 sets of 8-12 reps, 3 times a week.
It is a very beneficial exercise in terms of increasing the size of the shoulder muscles and toning them simultaneously. The V exercise is an advanced exercise that works out the anterior portion of your shoulder. Your anterior deltoid muscle sits on the front of your shoulder and aids in pushing off during sports and raises your arm when you reach forward.
Alternating Military Press
Position yourself into a kneeling lunge, back straight and core tight. With a dumbbell in each hand, bring the arms to a 90-degree position, elbows up and out. Press the right arm up until the right bicep is near the right ear. Lower to return to kneeling position, lower left arm to repeat. That’s one rep.
The military press builds strength by targeting the shoulders, triceps, trapezius and core muscles. Your shoulders are engaged because they stabilize your upper arms while you lower the weights. The triceps work during the upward portion of the lift because they help rotate your forearms, so your palms face forward.
The trapezius muscles help raise your elbows to start the lift, while the core provides support throughout the exercise. You can target different parts of these same muscles by using dumbbells or a barbell at various points in the range of motion.
The Bottom Line
To improve your arm strength and master how to tone your arms, you need to work hard. You should also combine these arm exercises with some cardio as well. With any muscle group, you’re looking for progression over time, and toning your body will always take time. The muscles in the arms are much more prone to overtraining, especially because of how many smaller muscles are in the arms.
Overwork the arm muscles, and you’re not only going to negatively impact your strength gains because your muscles don’t have time to recover, but you’ll also impact upper body workouts more generally.
Aim to train your arms no more than twice a week, and plan your training sessions, so an upper-body day precedes a lower body session. This will ensure that your upper body gets adequate rest while still maintaining its strength.
Are You Genetically More Likely to be More or Less Toned?
Some people are genetically more likely to have an easier time toning up compared to others. However, even if your CircleDNA test reveals that you have genetic tendencies to have less muscular strength, all that means is that you have to work harder than other people to get the same result. No matter what’s written in your DNA, you can achieve a more toned physique with hard work, consistency and discipline.