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Bridal Fitness on Paper - Upper Arms Tone-Up Monday, April 9, 2012 ~ 8:54 a.m.

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great Easter weekend! Mine was good. I felt like I was drinking all weekend though, which isn't so great for my diet. Dale and I drove an hour north to check out a couple of the many breweries that Colorado has to offer :) I had no idea CO was so well known for beer before I moved here! It was fun, and it was a great way for us to see a little more of the state we only moved to a few months ago. As I'm sure you all know, weekends can be tough on diets as it is, but I don't think it's going to get any better for me today, either! Today is Opening Day here in Denver for the Rockies (baseball), which is supposedly an unofficial holiday here in the city. I've never experienced the craziness myself, but I've heard that it rivals St. Patty's Day, which was definitely unlike anything that I've ever seen! Should be interesting.

Anyway, back to my diet! You may remember me complaining about my weight gain last week, and that worry is still there. It's frustrating, actually, because I was able to shed a couple of pounds last week, but I know that I've most likely gained them all back in the past couple of days with the beer tastings and Easter this past weekend. Doesn't it seem like it's at least twice as easy to gain weight as it is to lose? It is for me, anyway. Gotta love that slow metabolism, huh? ...and I workout a lot! I can only imagine how slow my metabolism would be if I didn't!

More than a year ago, I was at my skinniest for my wedding day. I was so happy to not have to worry about how I was going to look in my wedding dress and bikini down in Mexico for that two week period, but I have to say that I have spent so much time worrying about maintaining since then. I'm terrified that I'll gain that weight back, and it's something that I think about every single day. I was talking to my husband about it the other night...about that constant pressure many of us women feel to stay thin. He didn't get it, which I can understand, because I honestly don't know where all of his food goes! He has always been pretty thin, and he's never really had to worry about his weight. Whereas my weight is something that I think about every. single. day. Sometimes, it seems like I can't win; I think about my weight when I'm thin just as much as I do when I'm carrying extra weight! My diet has always been the tricky part for me...I wish that I was as committed to eating right as I am to working out. Working out has always been the easy part! Monitoring my eating and drinking? Not so much. It seems like I have a lot stacked against me right now, too, given the fact that I'm going to California on Wednesday to visit my family for a week. It's not going to get any easier for me to lose weight anytime soon! All I can do though is remember that I am in control of what goes into my mouth. Me. That's it.

Anyway, what do you think Cameron Diaz, Michelle Obama and Jennifer Aniston all have in common? Why, yes, they're all rich, gorgeous and have killer bodies, but even more specifically? They all have arms that we'd kill for! You know what I'm talking about... that covetable cut in the upper arms, just below the shoulders that we all pump weights for at the gym, but we can never seem to achieve for ourselves. Now, I'm not going to lie to you...I think that amazing shape is partially due to genetics. However, I think that a lot of you women out there probably have the amazing arms gene, and you just don't know it yet! With that, I've pulled together six exercise moves to help you achieve those shapely upper arms that you never knew you had.

Tricep dips

Bridal Fitness on Paper - Upper Arm Tone-Up

Upper Arm Tone-Up
Level of Difficulty:
Three and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews

Stability ball, exercise mat, 5-8 pound hand weights & 10-12 pound hand weights

Time Commitment:
10-15 minutes; Complete each exercise, and cycle through twice
Time / Repetitions Exercise Directions
12 repetitions Tricep Drops Begin by laying down on your exercise mat (you could also perform this exercise on a stability ball to make it more challenging), with a 5-8 lb weight in each hand.

(1) Hold your arms straight out from your shoulders so your hands are up toward the ceiling; arms perpendicular to your body. (2) Keeping your upper arms still, slowly bend your elbows and bring the weights back toward your ears; don't let your weights hit the floor! (3) Straighten your arms back up to starting position to complete the repetition.

12-15 reps Heart Shaped Push-ups You can choose to do these push-ups the traditional way, with your legs straight, but I like to do them on my knees! Begin in your preferred push-up position, but to focus on your triceps, move your hands closer together and angle them toward one another to make a triangle shape.

(1)As you lower your upper body to the floor for your push-up, focus bringing your chest (or heart) down to your hands, while keeping your elbows out and away from your body. (2) Push your hands into the floor to move back up into starting position.

12-15 reps Tricep Dips Most of you are familiar with these! Find a bench (or a chair; I use the end of my coffee table), and sit with your wrists on the edge, fingers pointing away from your body. You can control the level of difficulty by changing the position of your feet; feet on the floor with your knees bent and level with your hips is going to be the easiest; try picking up one foot to make it a little more challenging, and then straightening your legs out all the way, so that your legs are down at an angle is going to be more advanced.

(1) To begin, lift your butt up off the seat so that your arms are holding you up. (2) Bend your arms and lower your seat toward the floor in a dip, so that your elbows and shoulders become in-line with one another. (3) Be careful to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears, and remember that your arms should be doing the moving - not your hips!

12-15 reps Pullover-to-Press Lay down on your stability ball so that your upper body, from your braline and up, are on top of the ball. Bend your knees 90 degrees, with your feet on the floor, shoulders length apart. Your core and lower body should not be supported by the ball; squeeze your butt cheeks up so your hips are in-line with your neck and shoulders. Holding one 10-12 pound weight in both of your hands, extend your arms straight over your chest so they're perpendicular with the floor.

(1) To begin, keep your arms straight as you lower your weight over your head and toward the floor until your arms are parallel with the floor. (2) Raise your arms back up over your chest to starting position, and then lower the weight to your chest. (3) Complete the reptition by pressing the weight back up toward the ceiling, above your chest.

10-12 reps Plank Raises This one will work your upper arms and your core! Begin in a plank position, with yours legs and arms straight, and your hands on the floor supporting your weight. Keep your shoulders over your hands, and focus on maintaining that straight plank position throughout the set.

(1)To begin, slowly bring your right elbow to the mat, and then your left, so your forearms are now supporting your weight (not your hands), while maintaining your plank position. (2) Move back into starting position by straightening your right arm, then your left, to lift yourself back up so that your hands are on the floor once again. This is one rep; repeat again, moving your left arm first, and continue alternating the starting side. The trick is to try to keep your core from moving around too much/shifting from side-to-side.

10-12 reps Weighted Serves This is actually my favorite exercise for shaping my upper arms! Begin standing, with feet shoulders length apart and 5-8 lb. weights vertically in your hands. Keep your arms bent so that your elbows are right against your sides, your weights are in front of you and your forearms are parallel with the floor.

(1)To begin, move your weights outward, keeping your forearms parallel to the floor as you bring the weights out to your sides; like you're serving a platter! (2) Focus on rotating your upper arms only to move the weights in your hands back in front of you and out to the sides. If you're doing it right (and keeping your elbows against your sides), you should feel the front and back of your upper arms working to move the weights.

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1 Comment

nico lynn (NE)

Apr 10, 2012 8:15 AM

I have had issues with my weight my entire life! I know exactly how you feel. It doesn't matter how thin I am, everyday I am always conscious about what I am eating or how hard I'm going to work out that day. What I have realized though is I can't be healthy everyday, I would go INSANE! I live by the 80-20 rule. 80 percent of the time I'm good (eat healthy, work out, etc.) and 20 percent of the time (usually my weekends) I am a bit naughty (drinking, ice cream). Don't get down on yourself (: Enjoy the beers and the baseball game!