5 of the Best Arm Workouts for Women
Ladies, do you shy away from the heavy lifting when you’re in the gym because you’re afraid of getting too bulky-looking? Fear not! Lifting weights will not make you look masculine; in fact, it is one of the most important components to include in your workout to get a lean, toned shape. If your triceps are starting to feel a bit soft, or you are looking to get great defined shoulders or increased strength in your biceps, these are the five best arm workouts you must have in your training arsenal.
Starting with the mother of all arm crushers…
Why it’s great: The biceps muscle flexes the forearm at the elbow and supinates the forearm. These movements are used when opening a bottle with a corkscrew on your weekend cheat day! The biceps also makes a nice little peak when flexed, showcasing how much work you’ve put into your training. The biceps curl is the gold standard in weight training for the arms. There are many different variations of the curl, including the preacher curl, concentration curl, hammer curl, E-Z bar curl, cable curl, and dumbbell curl. These are just a few variations—the list can go on and on. But each one of these exercises has a specific way of targeting the biceps muscle and forearm.
Why it’s great: Dips target the triceps muscle, which lies on the back of your arm and is responsible for extension of the elbow. Dips are an effective way of training the triceps muscle using just your body weight. They can be included in between sets for active rest or used in a superset on International Chest Day. The traditional triceps dip is done off the side of a bench, feet flat on the floor or extended outward, with a raising and lowering of your body while you push through the triceps muscle. As you progress, you can start adding variations like alternating feet, putting your feet up on another bench across from you, or setting a weight in your lap for added resistance. There are also dip machines that emulate the same movement.
3. Shoulder Press
Why it’s great: If you want the full visual and functional impact of a strong set of arms, your shoulders are every bit as important as the biceps and triceps. One of the tried-and-true workouts for shoulders is the shoulder press. This movement targets the deltoids and not only develops power but also sculpts some great-looking caps, like those of four-time IFBB Figure Olympia Champion and UFC GYM spokeswoman Nicole Wilkins! You can perform the shoulder press using a bar or a set of dumbbells. It is best to have a spotter for this movement to help you control the weight throughout the movement.
Why it’s great: Why are pushups on a list for the best arm workouts? Because even though the anterior deltoids and pectoralis major muscles do a large majority of the work, the upper arms are also activated during the upward phase of a pushup. This includes the triceps brachii muscles, which work hard to extend the elbow joints so that the arms can be fully extended. And like the triceps dip, the pushup can be done anywhere.
Why it’s great: Boxing will not only give you a great cardiovascular workout that will sculpt your arms, but it also helps develop strength as well. The boxing stance itself forces you to keep your hands up to guard your face for the majority of the class or training session. This isometric hold itself will help train the shoulders, but couple that with the power and speedwork necessary for the proper completion of punching combinations and you have a recipe for an arm blaster.
These are just a few of the best arm workouts for women to include in their training. As stated, there are many different variations, machines, and training styles that can turn an average workout into an arm crusher. Contact a trainer today, or sign up for a free pass to a boxing or kickboxing class, to find out more about what you can do to get strong, toned arms.