Your Ticket to the Gun Show: 4 Shortcuts to Toned Arms

Use these four easy exercises to get toned and strong arms quickly that everyone will be jealous of.

Whether you’re rocking a bikini, little black dress, or an old t-shirt, your arms are on display. And, while they’re probably already in good shape, you might want to upgrade them to great shape. Luckily, it doesn’t take much to do so; in fact, a short daily routine can transform your arms from average to amazing.

Want to know how to tone your arms? Below are four moves to try out whether you’re creating a brand-new exercise regimen or adding them to the routine you already follow.

#1 Hammer Curls

Woman in gym sport exercising with dumbbells lifting weights

Even if you’re just learning how to tone your arms, you probably know to start with your biceps. You’ll only need a pair of dumbbells for this simple move, in which you’ll stand with your hips shoulder-width apart.

Hold the dumbbells like candlesticks – palms facing in, weights straight up – and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Lift the weights up to your shoulders without moving your elbows then return them to 90 degrees. That’s one rep.

There are a few ways to make every exercise in this list a little harder for you:

1. Add More Weight: If 5lbs is already a breeze for you, upgrade your dumbbells to 8lb to give you more of a challenge and, once again, to tone those arm muscles.

2. Do More Reps: Instead of doing 3 sets of 8 reps, do 3 sets of 12 reps. More reps – even with a lighter weight – will give your arms more definition versus less reps with higher weight, which will make you bulk up on muscle.

3. Do it More Slowly: For any exercise that you want to make more challenging, take the time to go through the action more slowly while putting emphasis on really feeling that muscle being worked. Slowing down your rep will take the momentum out of it and make it much harder to lift, squat, or whatever exercise you are doing. Doing it slower will engage your muscles for longer and therefore give you more of a workout.

#2 Tricep Kickbacks


Next up on the how-to-tone-your-arms crash course: Triceps. This area causes women a lot of grief. It’s tough to tone and famous for being a bit jiggly – especially when you wave. Shake no more with a few sets of tricep kickbacks.

Hold the dumbbells in both hands with palms facing in and bend forward slightly while bending your knees. Bend your elbows so that the tops of your arms are parallel with the bottom of the floor. Press the weight back so that yours arms are as straight as possible. You can keep your palms as they are, or rotate while you press so that your palms are facing up once they’re straight. Bring your arms back to the initial bent position to complete one rep.

#3 Arm Circles

Athletic young woman showing muscles of the back

This move might just be the easiest of all, as it doesn’t require any dumbbells. All you have to do is stand with your legs hip-width apart and extend your arms straight out to your sides so that you look like a giant T. Without scrunching your shoulders up to your ears, which will be your body’s natural reaction to this move because it makes it easier, make 20 forward circles with your arms. Then, reverse the circle for 20 more reps. This’ll burn everywhere, but especially in your shoulders, which means the tops of your arms will look super toned the next time you slip on spaghetti straps.

#4 Push-Ups

Female and male fitness instructors doing pushups on the top of the stone wall

You can’t tell someone how to tone their arms without mentioning push-ups. This power move will test all of your arm muscles at once: It works your biceps, triceps, deltoids, and even your chest. Push-ups are especially handy if you want to work your arms for bikini season as it tightens the problem area between your arms and chest that can sometimes puff over the armband of your swimsuit top.

It’s imperative that you use proper form when doing a push-up. Always make sure that your arms are slightly wider than your shoulders but that your hands are directly beneath them. Whether you’re on your feet or knees, keep your back straight as you push up and down.

Don’t let the end of summer let you lose focus on your arms. Start doing these exercises today to start reaping the benefits of toned arms. It’s never too early to start getting ready for the next bikini season!

About the author

Ali Lawrence

More ambitious than Julius Caesar and less predictable than a game of poker, Ali Lawrence is a globetrotter that writes for a living. When not on the road, she enjoys cooking healthy meals, playing tennis and painting.

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