It's a spring ritual for most of us: pre-summer assessment of the body's winterization. We can't help but anticipate the change to warm-weather clothing that hides none of the sins of holiday indulgences. If you're dreading T-shirts, tank tops and sleeveless dresses, you still have time to give those arms some shape and improve strength before the bulky clothes come off.
The good news is you don't have to hit the gym or pump big iron to have sculpted, sexy arms. The fat-blasting, muscle-sculpting exercises below require nothing more than your own body weight, a chair, jump rope and set of 1- to 2-pound hand weights. No counting repetitions. Just get yourself a timer and do each move in order without rest for 60 seconds (or until your muscles are exhausted). Then repeat the entire routine twice more. Dedicate yourself to three times a week, and you should see results in a month or less.
1. Start with a jump rope end in each hand.
2. Begin skipping, lifting up just enough to allow the rope to pass beneath your feet.
3. As you get the rhythm, slowly extend arms out from your sides as far as possible as you skip.
4. The goal is to make big circles with your arms so you feel as if you're rowing a boat.
5. Continue skipping for 60 seconds.
1. Assume push-up position with feet together and hands spaced wider than shoulder-width apart. Fingers should point out to the sides.
2. Lean to the right side, bending your elbow so you tilt to the right.
3. Return to center and repeat with the left arm. Alternate for 60 seconds or until fatigued. (If this position is too difficult to do at first, start with knees on the floor.)
1. Find a chair or bench that can support your weight.
2. While seated, put your palms on front edge of the bench with fingers facing forward.
3. Position feet out in front and cross your legs.
4. Keeping back straight and close to the bench, lower yourself down as far as elbows will bend.
5. Now, raise yourself back up. Continue for 60 seconds or until muscles are fatigued.
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a 1- to 2-pound weight in each hand. Position fists in front of your face, palms facing each other. Keep core muscles tight.
2. Without moving left fist, punch right fist up as high as possible without locking your elbow.
3. Quickly pull right fist back to starting position as you simultaneously punch left fist upward.
4. Continue alternating for 60 seconds; start slowly and gradually increase speed until moving as fast as you can.
1. Stand holding a 1- to 2-pound weight in each hand. Keep abdominal muscles tight as you perform this exercise.
2. Hold fists in front of your face with palms facing each other.
3. Position left foot 6 inches forward and right foot 6 inches back.
4. Punch with left fist, then right. Start slowly, speeding up until going as fast as you can.
5. Repeat for 60 seconds. Switch feet and repeat.