“Your arms are one of the first muscles to show toning results after starting a weight training routine,” says Adam Kant, owner of Intrepid Gym in Hoboken, New Jersey. “You don’t have to be lifting heavy to tone up (although it tends to show results faster if you do!)—doing lightweight movements with higher reps will help firm everything up ASAP.” Here’s how to sculpt your arms without stepping foot in the gym:
What you’ll need:
A yoga mat or towel to stand on
Two dumbbells (5-10 pounds)
A kettlebell (15-20 pounds)
The routine: Perform 3 rounds, 12 reps per move, 2-3 times per week. Pair with a cardio workout for optimal results. And try not to rest in between moves or rounds, to keep up your heart rate and those calories burning!
“Push-ups are a classic move that really get the job done!” says Kant. Start out parallel to the floor in a plank position then lower your body, bending your elbows until your chest touches the floor. Return to starting position and repeat. “If this is too challenging for you, rest your knees on the floor for an assisted push-up.”
2. Kettlebell Swings
“Kettlebell swings are an amazing full body exercise,” says Kant. “They work your core more than you realize, while also toning your arms at the same time.” Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of your body, arms loose. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your weight in your heels. Slightly swing the kettlebell through your legs toward your rear then explode with your hips forward sending the kettlebell up toward the ceiling, overhead or at least chest-height. Be sure to keep your arms straight and extended throughout the entire exercise. Bring the kettlebell back to the start position between your legs and repeat, using the momentum you’ve built up! “Remember to keep your weight in your heels and your core tight the whole time,” says Kant.
3. Triceps Kickbacks
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your side. Bend your upper body at your waist slightly to make a 45-degree angle. Push the dumbbells back until they are parallel with your lower back. Return them to the start position, bending your elbows, bringing the dumbbells in line with your chest.
4. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bring the dumbbells (one in each hand) up to your shoulders. With a slight bend in your knees, thrust the dumbbells up overhead to meet at the top. Return to the starting position with dumbbells at your shoulders and repeat.
5. Floor Bench Presses
Lie on the floor, knees bent with a flat back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, press them toward the ceiling then lower the weights until your triceps touch the floor. Repeat.
6. Plank Rows
Start in a plank position, holding a dumbbell in each hand on the floor. Row one dumbbell up until it reaches your waist. Return to floor and repeat on other side. “To up the intensity, complete a push-up between the rows,” suggests Kant. “It’s called a ‘man maker.’ ”