Weight lifting is one of the best ways to tone your arms. Many people believe that this simply bulks up the muscle you already have, but in actuality it helps make your muscles lean and strong. Muscle takes up less room than fat, so when you exercise using weight lifting you are not adding bulk. There are a few exercises that are especially effective for toning arms.
Lying Tricep Extensions
These are great weight lifting exercises that work and tone your triceps and biceps. Lie down on a fitness bench or raised, flat surface on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Hold a dumbbell or barbell in both of your hands, with palms facing the ceiling. Slowly raise the weight, keeping your arms straight, above your body and lower it over your head. After you have lowered the weight as far it can go, slowly bring it back up over your head to the starting position. Repeat as many times necessary to complete a set.
Alternating Bicep Curl
The bicep curl is a simple weight lifting exercise that will add definition to your arms. Begin by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and a dumbbell or barbell in each hand with palms facing toward the ceiling. Curl your arm in, pulling the weight steadily toward your body. Slowly release your arm back down and repeat with the opposite arm. It is important to keep your elbows at your sides while doing this exercise. Repeat this movement as many times as needed to complete one set.
Overhead extensions are perfect for toning your triceps, one of the most difficult places on your body to tone. They are easy to do and take very little time or space. To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, your back tall and strong and posture straight. Using a dumbbell or barbell, grasp the weight with both hands just above and behind your head. Slowly lower the weight down behind your head. When you have lowered it as much as possible, slowly bring it back up to the starting position, contracting your triceps. Be careful not to over work your tricep muscles in this exercise. Simply lower the weight until you feel a slight pull on them.
The triceps and upper arms are some of the toughest areas to get rid of fat, especially for women. It is a common fear to worry about gaining bulk when trying to lose fat, but don't be fooled by the common misconception that weight lifting will lead to bulk. If you perform the right exercises in the right way, you will be able to trim down the fat to reveal the muscle beneath. Then, it is a simple matter of toning and sculpting that muscle. Use these exercises to target those trouble areas in your arms, but focus on keeping your elbows at your sides and your back straight to ensure that your muscles are getting the appropriate work out.