How to Tone Your Arms

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When the warm weather rolls around again, be prepared to present arms by starting a trimming and toning regimen that will sculpt your guns and trim those bingo wings.

1. Check your menu. Before you even begin thinking about exercise, remember that hitting fat deposits for a six is heavily reliant on eating right. Cut down fat, sugar and kilojoules consumed, and ensure you’re getting plenty of protein (lean meats, legumes, tofu), a serve of healthy fats (olive oil, salmon, avocado) and a serve of fresh vegetables with each meal.

2. Get the heart pumping. If you’re not already doing it, add cardio exercise to your routine so that you become calorie deficient (i.e. you’re using more calories than you’re taking in). Likely the minimum you’ll need to do is 30 to 45 minutes of medium-intensity exercise three to five days a week. You could also utilise your workout time more effectively by doing five sessions a week, and alternating between high- and low-intensity workouts each day.

For instance, for a high-intensity session, you might do some interval sprinting ¬– one minute as fast as you can, one minute recovery, repeated – on a stationary bike, treadmill or while out jogging.

If you’re short on time, do body-weight interval training instead, comprising doing as many reps of one exercise for 30 seconds before resting for 30 to 60 seconds and moving on to the next one. The exercises could include burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jumping lunges, deep squats, star jumps, jack-knife crunches and high knees (or variations on these depending on fitness levels). Aim for 15 to 20 minutes in total.

3. Work those muscles. Building muscle is incredibly important for weight loss because it is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories around the clock. Obviously, it’s easier to do a resistance session at the gym where you have a choice of dumbbells, barbells, weights and resistance machines (which are great for beginners) to use. The key factor is to ensure you do a combination of exercises that work biceps, triceps, shoulders, pecs and back muscles. For instance, you might do two sets of 12 reps each of bicep curls, overhead extensions, side raises, shoulder presses, bench presses and lat pull downs.

4. No gym, no problem. If you’re working out at home, with little equipment, you can do some of the above exercises using plastic bottles filled with sand or knocking out sets of tricep dips, push-ups, crab walks (also great for stability), plank ups, plank jacks, diamond push-ups, pull-ups (if you have a bar) and any variation of all of these.

5. The finishing touch. Don’t forget, too, that yoga, with its downward dogs and plank poses, is also great for all-over toning and strength.

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