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Getting in Shape

Toning my arms.

I'm pretty confident with how my body looks at the moment, all except for my arms. I definitely have a little bit of the lunch lady arm syndrome going on, and really want to get them more toned in time for my wedding (which is a little over two months away). I got some five pound weights for Christmas and have been doing various exercises with them (I heard that low weight, high repetition is good for toning). But I feel like I'm not sure the best exercises for efficient and speedy toning. I want to focus most on my triceps in particular. I'm pairing this with a good diet, lots of H20 and 30 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week. Any suggestions on good free weight exercises? Is two months even enough time to really tone up my arms??
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carynaudenried

Re: Toning my arms.

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I love this website.  You can select videos that will focus just on upper body, or even arms.

    I have also found that planks is one of the best postures for arm and core strengthening.

    http://www.fitnessblender.com/
    KatieinBkln
  • Body weight exercises are great for toning arms - pushups, tricep dips, static planks - and can be done during TV commercials. All of these also tone up your core too. They're sort of boring, but they work if you commit to doing them every day.
    rcher912arrrghmatey
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Body weight exercises are great for toning arms - pushups, tricep dips, static planks - and can be done during TV commercials. All of these also tone up your core too. They're sort of boring, but they work if you commit to doing them every day.

    This. Also, use heavier weights. 5 lbs. really isn't going to do much. 

    amelishahaleyk620rcher912MesmrEwe
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited March 2015
    Yeah, if you really want to see a difference, much heavier weights is the way to go. There are lots of great programs out there like Stronglifts and New Rules of Lifting for Women. Some of them seem really overwhelming but they are way, way more effective than anything you could possibly do with 5lb weights. Those kind of programs focus on compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc.) that will do so much more for your body than the isolated stuff you're doing now with the little weights. That low-weight, high-rep thing is a total myth and it's kind of a waste of time, frankly.

    It's also important to remember that you can't spot reduce - if there is fat on your upper arms, nothing is going to fix that besides overall fat reduction. Strengthening the muscles underneath can improve the look of your arms but if there's still fat on top of it, it won't look like you want it to, unfortunately.

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    KatieinBklnKnottie48804623Knottie1452098987
  • The way to get "toned" arms is to build muscle and lose fat. You can't spot reduce fat (specifically lose weight from one area and not others), but you can gain muscle in specific areas. To gain muscles in your arms, exercise those bad ladies with weights that are heavy for you. If you are working those 5 pound dumbells and feeling like you couldn't do another rep, then those are heavy for you. If you could curl those things for a zillion reps, they are too light. Doing low weight, high rep exercise is the least efficient way to build muscle, so stop doing that. Instead, lift heavy for you and focus of compound exercises. Those are ones that work several muscle groups at once. I like pull-ups (if you are working on arms, might as well have a nice looking back to go with them), over head press, and tricep dips or pull downs. Good luck!

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    [Deleted User]doclagoKnottie1452098987
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    Ooh, this is a timely thread for me! I just ordered a barbell set (goes up to 40 lbs but you can build up to it) and I definitely need some guidance. I'm strong as hell in certain places but the triceps/lats need work!
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    This baby knows exactly how I feel
    rcher912blueeyedkat
  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary

    The way to get "toned" arms is to build muscle and lose fat. You can't spot reduce fat (specifically lose weight from one area and not others), but you can gain muscle in specific areas. To gain muscles in your arms, exercise those bad ladies with weights that are heavy for you. If you are working those 5 pound dumbells and feeling like you couldn't do another rep, then those are heavy for you. If you could curl those things for a zillion reps, they are too light. Doing low weight, high rep exercise is the least efficient way to build muscle, so stop doing that. Instead, lift heavy for you and focus of compound exercises. Those are ones that work several muscle groups at once. I like pull-ups (if you are working on arms, might as well have a nice looking back to go with them), over head press, and tricep dips or pull downs. Good luck!

    I agree with all of this.
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  • Going to start using my 8lb weights and do more body exercises (tricep dips are awesome). I've also taken yoga classes in the past and enjoyed them - is yoga a pretty efficient way to tone up?
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    rcher912
  • suteki325 said:

    Going to start using my 8lb weights and do more body exercises (tricep dips are awesome). I've also taken yoga classes in the past and enjoyed them - is yoga a pretty efficient way to tone up?

    Yoga is great and I love it, but it is not the most efficient way to build muscle. You will build muscle doing yoga, you will build muscle faster lifting heavy.
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    doclago
  • Yeah, a common misconception of "toning up" is lifting light. If you lift heavy, you're not going to assume a body building physique or anything like that. You can also work your way up on different exercises. My general rule of thumb is about 3 sets of 10. If by the mid-end of the 2nd set you're feeling a burn, you're doing something right. It shouldn't be so difficult that you're struggling to make it through all 3 sets, but you should be feeling it by the middle of the sets. 

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  • Body weight exercises are great for toning arms - pushups, tricep dips, static planks - and can be done during TV commercials. All of these also tone up your core too. They're sort of boring, but they work if you commit to doing them every day.

    This ^ I have to say that my arms look pretty damn good, and it's because I don't use any weights. I do the Insanity and Insanity Max:30 workouts, which focus on using only your body as resistance. Look up v-pushups, tricep dips, moving planks, push-ups, push-up jacks.

    Boxing is also great for the arms (not to mention the abs). Look up some non-impact boxing workouts online. I've done Les Mills Combat and my arms get a killer workout doing non-impact boxing.
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  • Really the bottom line is that you need to lose the fat. And to do that you need to change how you are eating.  70% of body change comes from diet. 
    Lifting heavy and regularly helps build muscle and ramp up your metabolism. But if you aren't eating right, you can do this all day long and not see the results you want. 
    MesmrEwe
  • suteki325 said:
    Going to start using my 8lb weights and do more body exercises (tricep dips are awesome). I've also taken yoga classes in the past and enjoyed them - is yoga a pretty efficient way to tone up?
    Use more weight ... Like 20's or 25's...  You're really not using REMOTELY enough weight to put on tone.  You're using enough weight to be functional at the Nursing Home Senior games (no offense to my 90-yo friends who can bench 135+ pounds, and yes, I have seen this done, cheered him on as he was qualifying for Nationals in powerlifting and a friend of mine just posted a video of a client of his doing around 100lbs. after just a short time training)...  Think about this - 5-8lbs isn't even a gallon of milk nor newborn baby.  "Light weight" means you can do 10 reps to start with but don't even think about 12.  Light weight is also based on the individual, your perception of "light weight" is going to be different, however it's going to be closer to "it's no big deal for me to pick this heavy grocery bag" or carry two gallons of milk into the house with one hand type of where is "light weight" in terms of fitness and weight training. 
    doclago said:
    Really the bottom line is that you need to lose the fat. And to do that you need to change how you are eating.  70% of body change comes from diet. 
    Lifting heavy and regularly helps build muscle and ramp up your metabolism. But if you aren't eating right, you can do this all day long and not see the results you want. 
    And All of this!!!! 
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    blueeyedkatKnottie1452098987
  • suteki325 said:
    Going to start using my 8lb weights and do more body exercises (tricep dips are awesome). I've also taken yoga classes in the past and enjoyed them - is yoga a pretty efficient way to tone up?
    Just go and get 15 lb weights at least. The 8 lb will do NOTHING for you. You will not bulk up using heavier weights. Repeat after me "YOU WILL NOT BULK UP USING HEAVIER WEIGHTS." If you can do 3 sets of 10 and not feel it get hard in your 2nd set, you're doing it wrong. So get heavier weights, maybe even 20 lbs if 15 lbs won't do it, and get to toning. If you go to the store to buy them, I suggest just grab a pair and try to do 3 sets of 10 right there, so that you know if they're right for you. 

    Also, body exercises are great for you as other PPs have said. Yoga is great to add into your routine, but it should not replace any of the cardio or weight training. Check out FitnessRX for great workouts. 
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    MesmrEwe
  • Ugh - Sucked into a zombie thread!!!! 
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