When it comes to having toned arms and back for those slinky backless dresses and spaghetti strap tank tops in summertime, you have to have the right program.
The six basic exercises you need for smoking arms and a sculpted back are assisted pull-ups, seated cable row, seated dumbbell press, skull crushers, and bicep curls.
Trainer tip: Always start out with your biggest exercises and leave the accessory exercises for last. This way, you can get more bang for your buck and not tire yourself out for the major exercises.
Here are the 6 exercises you need to get your arms and back ready for summer:
1. Assisted Pull-ups
Start with a band and loop it over a bar that is far enough off the ground that you cannot touch the ground at a dead hang. Stand on something that is high enough for you to grab the bar and place your foot into the band. A neutral grip (palms facing each other), will be the most comfortable position to start with. Pull your chest all the way up to the bar focusing on pulling with your back. Keep your chest high and proud and then lower yourself back down to hanging and you have now completed one rep and you are well on your way to a sculpted back.
2. Seated Cable Row
Start with a V-handle on the seated cable row. Place your feet on the small placements in front of you with your knees bent. Take hold of the handle and push yourself back using your legs. Sit up nice and tall with a slight lean back. Pull the V-bar to your chest pulling your shoulder blades together. Keep your core braced through the entire exercise. Slowly release the bar back to starting position with arms ending in a straight position.
3. Seated Shoulder Press
While holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit on a bench that has back support. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height. Make sure to rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward. Now, exhale and push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top. Then, after a brief pause at the top contracted position, slowly lower the weights back down to about a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Make sure to have a spotter when you are pushing heavier weight.
4. Skull Crushers
Take a bar and lay flat on a bench. Keep your upper arms perpendicular to the floor. Only extend your elbows. Avoid allowing your upper arms to move back and forth from their position as you raise and lower the weight. Lower the weight under control. As you push the weight back up, stop just short of full extension so that you're unable to rest, to keep tension on the muscle throughout the entire range of motion. Keep your elbows in tight as much as possible and avoid elbows from flaring.
5. EZ Bar Bicep Curls
Stand up straight while holding an EZ curl bar at the wide outer handle. The palms of your hands should be facing forward. Keep your elbows close and tight to your sides. While keeping your upper arms still, exhale and curl the weights upwards while contracting the biceps. Focus on only moving your forearms and continue to raise the weight until your biceps are contracted and the bar is up to your shoulder height. Then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
6. Reverse Peck Deck
Adjust the seat height so the handles are at shoulder level. Grasp the handles with your hands facing either down or in. In a semicircular motion, pull your hands out to your side and back, contracting your rear delts. Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the movement, with all of the motion occurring at the shoulder. Return to starting position without loosing tension.
Remember that a big part of seeing those beautiful sculpted arms is making sure the your body fat percentage is low enough to actually see the muscle tone underneath.
Come in to a Steve Nash Fitness World near you for a fitness and nutrition consultation to find the best program for you to achieve your lean and toned back and arms just in time for dress season!