Posted in Uncategorized, tagged arm exercises, arm exercises for women, arm workout, biceps, exercises arms, exercises for arms, flabby arms, flabby upper arms, how to tone up, Marie Winsor Pilates, THe Firm, tone arms, toning workouts, triceps on February 1, 2012 |
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Give me a new moisturizer and with five minutes I can decode the ingredients and studies to determine if this product has the mojo to deliver promised results. But when it comes to fitness, I’m still drilling down to find the same kind of cause and effect info that will help me choose the right exercises to firm up my arms.
For example, most articles and books dismiss the fear of bulging muscles, implying that women just don’t have the male hormones to bulk up. But flipping through books and videos, I can see women in workout clothes that certainly look chunky and muscle- bound. Turns out that push-ups which are recommended by so many trainers, builds up the deltoid muscles ( top of the arms) and the trapezius muscles at the top of the shoulder. The results? Bulges rather than a sleek smooth line. I don’t want to look flabby, but I also don’t want to work so hard and then look like Popeye.
While I search for the science behind a beautifu shape, I’m road testing more exercise videos. This week, I tried The Firm, Upper Body tape that I found for $1 at the Columbus Avenue Flea Market. Actually its a little troubling that thrift shops and fleas have such an large selection of discarded exercise tapes and disks.
The Firm promised visible results in 10 sessions and I definately like something that has an endpoint. The instructions were clear and given before the exercises so that they were easy to follow. As with Winsor Pilates, the warm-up seemed endless. Over 1o minutes long, by the time it ended, I was tired and my muscles were quivering. The actual arms exercises seemed to be textbook moves for upper arm fitness. The alternating triceps and biceps lifts required two sets of sixteen reps– pretty standard and good as far as it went. But the actual arm work-out lasts less than five minutes, certainly not enough time to get buff. Next, I’m trying out a totally different approach to fit, firm arms. The result looks smooth and polished rather than lumpy, exactly what I want. We’ll see.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged arm exercises, arm exercises for women, arm workout, exercises arms, exercises for arms, flabby arms, how to tone up, tone arms, tone up, toning workouts on January 18, 2012 |
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So here are my baseline photos. I’ve done a lot of before photos, but these are definately the worst. In the top photo I’m wearring my favorite red dress and with my arms flat on my sides, I look pretty good. No bulges or sags. However I tend to move my arms to pick up a glass, wave a cab or tie on a scarf and then you can see where attention needs to be paid. In the second picture you can see the wrinkly bits under the arms and the skin hangs lose where the triceps are invisable. In the third photo I am actually trying to flex my biceps on top and you can see there are no biceps. The best I can say is that there is much room for improvement.
There are literally hundreds of trainers, books, and videos that PROMISE to help you lose weight and shape-up. Reputable experts admit that spot exercises that aim to mold specific areas do not reduce weight but build muscle for a better line. When I carried an extra ten pounds I didn’t even try to include weight bearing exercies, since I felt the extra fat would make spot exercises pretty useless. Currently I’m a trim size eight so its a perfect time to test out body shaping.
In the past my exercise plans started with a shopping trip to buy the right clothes, sneakers and equipment. Some of the experts recommend using a big ball while others swear by rubber bands with handles. Rather than go out for more toys, this time I’ve decided to start simply with the set of three pound weights I already own and concentrate on my triceps and biceps. And rather than buying another book or video, I went online and downloaded some free exercises. Trying to read the exercises, follow the instructions and watching my form in the mirror I managed to clonk myself on my forehead or neck with almost every move. Each move called for 2-3 sets of 10 reps and I kept getting clobbered. Clearly I needed more help. Next I’m going to try a video so I can follow along.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged arm exercises, arm exercises for women, arm workouts for women, exercise arms, exercises for arms, how to lose arm fat, how to tone arms, lose arm fat, tone arms on January 4, 2012 |
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A set of toned shapely arms is one of my biggest beauty goals for 2012. Michelle Obama looks beautiful wearing bright little cardigans over sleeveless dresses, but when I do that, I just look like I’m cold. Its time to feel good about my” guns” And there is certainly no shortage of tools and experts on the subject. Handweights, exercise bands, push-ups, pilates, yoga and the list of solutions just seems to go on and on. So before going out and buying that Groupon coupon for a class on Kettlebell Kickboxing ( I’m not making that up) I decided to go fundamental and find out why my arms are crinkly and wrinkly. Just like getting to the causes of facial aging to choose the most effective solution, I needed to explore the anatomy of the arm.
Aging of the arms is actually a much simpler process than the aging of the face. Basically the upper arm the strength and beauty of the upper arms is dependant on two muscles — the biceps on top and the triceps on the bottom. Smooth shapely contours depend on three factors– the amount of muscle, the amount of fat and the basic elasticity of the skin. As we get older we naturally lose muscle mass and this decline means the skin becomes looser– like a pillow that loses its stuffing. However excess fat creates a squishy filling that creates a limp shape on the arm. Elasticity of the skin can be affected by weight gain and loss, leading to stretched out crinkly skin. And don’t forget that sunexposure destroys the connective fibers in the skin, and if you’re spent a lot of time on a beach without a sunblock, your arms are going to be extra flabby.
The solution seems remarkably simple. You need to build up muscle mass in both the triceps and biceps to create a better filling for the skin on your arm. Spot exercise cannot reduce fat, but it can change the underlying contours to create a smoother and firmer appearance. Most women worry that building up arms muscles will lead to a Popeye effect, but we just don’t have the hormones for that.
Next step will be to take a before shot of the problem and then find a plan that sounds reasonable and would work for me. I’d love to hear about what you’ve tried out for arm beauty. It would be amazing to know what has actually worked for you. If it didn’t work, it will save me wasting time on something that just does not deliver.
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