When you talk to people and ask them, for example, what their life goals are for the coming New Year, or what their wish is for their birthday, they will inevitably tell you that they want to be healthier; they want to lose weight and be slimmer or trimmer; and they want to be more fit. Those are great goals, however, they will probably not be realized because they are not specific enough.
Goal setting is one necessary skill for achieving these goals. And studies have shown that the more specific one’s goals are, the better able we will be at achieving them. So, instead of saying: “I want to be healthier” say, for instance, “I will eat at least two cups of raw fruits and vegetables every day, one cup at lunch and one cup at dinner.”
The last goal sounds more practicable, doesn’t it?
It sounds like something we can actually do and adapt as a good eating habit.
So, if you want to be slimmer or trimmer or more fit, what kind of goals should you set? Say, “I want to tone my arm muscles.” That is specific enough for starters.
But which part of your arms do you need to tone?
Is it your biceps or triceps or both?
Do you suffer from stiff shoulders? Well, developing the muscles on your shoulders will reduce the pain and strain you feel there after a long day in front of the computer.
Do you want to tone your muscles in the arms so that you can more easily carry your toddler while balancing a bag of groceries, a diaper bag and your mobile phone?
Well, you will need strong arms for those, but, the kinds of workout routines you will need to do will be different.
Men should consider if they want to build bulk, like bodybuilders, or simply tone and get cut to look great. This distinction will also dictate the type of workouts that will be required.
Most people don’t know their basic anatomy and they need instructions from a fitness trainer or from a personal trainer to make sure that they do the exercises accurately and avoid injury.
Some people rely on a workout video that they can easily follow in order to achieve the fitness goals they have set.
Options For Toning Arm Muscles and Shoulders
- You can work with free weights, such as, dumbbells or kettlebells. Or you can use weight machines, such as, those found at the gym.
- You can do curls (this involves pulling up the arms while holding varying weights). You can also do push downs. This involves pulling on a bar which is set at shoulder height to lift weights which keep the bar at a height.
- You can also do different variations of push-ups. For instance, did you know that the distance between your arms when you do the push-ups actually workout different parts of your arms? When you do push-ups with your hands close together under your chest, you will be working out your biceps and triceps, but, when you do your push-ups with your hands farther apart, you will be working out your pectorals and your shoulder muscles.
- Pull ups and chin ups are also great options for the arms and shoulders and in these you use your own bodyweight to build strength and definition.
Consider Your Goals
The type of exercise you do to build your arms depends upon your goal in building your arms—if you want to compete in a body building competition, then you will need a personal trainer.
But if, like everybody else, you just want to feel better and do more daily activities efficiently and without much injury, then the exercises above will do nicely for starters.
6 Key Things To Remember
- If you’re just getting started, check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise routine.
- You must gently stretch and warm up first before you do any actual weight lifting. Flexible muscles are strong muscles because only flexible muscles can actually stretch without injury.
- You have to remember that you must gradually build up strength. It means starting with one pound dumbbells or five pound dumbbells before moving on to lifting ten pound dumbbells.
- It also means doing repetitions with periods of rest and recovery in between. Remember that working with weights stimulates muscle building but the actual building of muscles happen when you rest because this is the time that your body actually repairs your muscles. It is never recommended to lift weights or do muscle work every day, instead these should be done every other day or 3 times per week.
- You must be consistent in your workout. Even after you have toned your muscles, you have to continue exercising in order to keep the muscles toned.
- Building muscles is not only accomplished through weightlifting or strength-training. It is also done through a sensible diet that is rich in protein and calcium. Without a good protein rich diet, there won’t be sufficient material for your body to use to build the muscles.
REMEMBER: “The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment” – Justin Langer
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