Arm Workouts For Women
Ladies, I’m not gonna lie—staying fit while pregnant is definitely an uphill battle. I’ve tried to maintain my workouts as much as possible, but I said goodbye to HIIT (high intensity interval training), spinning, and hot yoga a long time ago.
Instead, I’ve been practicing barre at Go Figure Studio in my hometown of New Canaan, participating in as many Aaptiv workouts as possible (I did almost all of the second trimester workouts!), and getting in at least two cardio sessions per week at the gym.
The areas where I’ve noticed the most change? My booty and arms. I tend to accumulate weight in my thighs, butt, and back of my arms—so in other words, I’m prone to “saddlebags” and “bat wings.” 😂
My toned arms have slowly started to diminish, but between barre and my own workouts at home, I’m doing my best to maintain their shape. I wanted to share my favorite arm workouts for women with you, so you could see what I've been up to!
When women think about toning, they tend to focus on a single muscle group. Unfortunately, according to physiology, that’s simply not the way it works.
For example, no matter how many crunches you do, you may never have those six-pack abs you desire—and probably for good reason. Where I accumulate fat around my booty, many women accumulate fat around their abdomen. It’s nature, my loves, and the sooner we learn to adopt and love our own body types, the happier we’ll all become.
The same goes for arms. I’m never going to have crazy muscular arms because it’s not in my body’s nature. I have somewhat substantial shoulder and tricep muscles from years of yoga and lifting. But I’ll never be “jacked.”
And...I’m okay with that. I don’t need every body part to be tight and toned. I’m always going to have a booty, and I’m fortunate enough to have abs (outside of pregnancy, at least!). Knowing your body and understanding your own physiology is the key to figuring out what workouts best suite you!
The thing is, we often get into trouble when we try to look like someone else. I see so many women hoping to achieve body perfection at the cost of their own happiness. I don’t know about you ladies, but I’d rather have some dessert and wine every now and then and enjoy my life!
If you think big-time fitness gurus aren’t sacrificing for their perfect six-pack abs, you'd be mistaken. There’s plenty of sacrifice that goes into maintaining their slim physiques. So again, it’s all about what’s most important to you. There’s a lot you don’t see in their lives, so instead of constantly judging yourself, LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE, take care of yourself by eating well and exercising, and allow your body to do its thing. It literally can be so simple if you allow it to be.
Back to arm workouts for women (I know, I ranted). I try to get in an arm workout of at least 20 minutes 2-3 times per week. Free weights are inexpensive and can be purchased anywhere from Target to Dick’s Sporting Goods. The best part about an arm workout is it can be done in whatever free time you have: in front of the TV at night, in the morning while you’re drinking your coffee and watching the news, or of course, at the gym.
Whatever you do, be consistent in your frequency and mix up the types of workouts you try. Weight lifting will absolutely help build toned arms, but cardio goes a long way as well. Pre-pregnancy, HIIT and boxing workouts were my favorite way to build muscle, as is my Yoga Sculpt Class. I’m thinking of doing a video of this class after baby in the New Year to share with you guys!
Here are a few of my favorite moves:
1. Shoulder Press: Start with arms in a cactus position, palms facing forward. Inhale, and exhale as you press straight up above your head. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
2. Tricep dips: You can do these with or without weights, either on the floor, couch, or bench. The tricep is made up of three muscles and is often neglected behind our desire to have sculpted biceps, but it’s important to keep both strong! This move is an easy one to do even sitting on the couch. Bend elbows to 90 degrees, weights touching, behind your head. Inhale, and exhale as you lift the weights above your head, still touching. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
3. Bicep curls: You can mix up your curls by doing a standard bicep curl (pictured), wide arm bicep curl (elbows turned out more toward 45 degrees), or hammer curl (palms facing each other). Inhale as you hold the weights down by your sides, exhale as you lift the weights up towards your shoulders. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
4. Chest press: Lay down on your back, feet behind our booty and knees to the ceiling (as if you’re setting up for bridge pose). Bring your arms to a T or cactus position, weights above elbows. Inhale, exhale lift weights directly above shoulders as you press. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
5. Reverse flys: Stand in a chair pose with legs hip-width distance apart (or with one leg in front of the other if this is more comfortable for your low back). Place dumbbells straight down in front of knees, palms facing each other, with a slight bend in your elbows. Keep your back flat and abs engaged, inhale, and exhale as you lift arms out towards your sides, keeping the slight bend in your elbows. Repeat for 15-20 reps.
Now get to it, ladies! ;)