Everyone has a favorite body part they like to work. Some of us like to tone our legs with squats and lunges, others enjoy cardio to feel like we’re getting our heart pumping. For others, ab day is the sweet spot—the day we love to hate. But if your exercise regimen doesn’t include an arm workout for women like the one we’re about to show you, you’re missing out. Sleek, toned arms not only look great, but upper body strength is crucial to staying healthy and capable as you age. (Plus, who doesn’t feel more confident when they’re able to just do more because of their strength?!) Bicep exercises for women don’t need to be performed with light weights, either—we’re going to encourage you to go heavy with your dumbbells if you can and make those biceps work! Ladies, it’s time to flash those guns.
Why You Should Work Your Biceps
The sooner you start incorporating strength training of any kind into your workout, the better. As you age, you start to lose muscle, which can also slow down your metabolism. So if you aren’t currently strength training your arms, it’s time to start. It doesn’t require a big time commitment—ten minutes is all it takes! We’re going to show you an incredible 10-minute arm workout for women that gives you beautiful biceps and also trains your triceps. (Yes, you need to simultaneously train your triceps in order to have sculpted arms.) But before we get to the workout, let’s explore some key reasons why you should start training your arms today:
- Sleek, Toned Arms
Who doesn’t want to sculpt toned, sexy arms? If you feel like you’re fighting flabby arms or don’t like to show off your arms with tank tops, starting to strength train your biceps can help. However, remember that your body is three dimensional. When you train the biceps, you also need to train the triceps since they are opposing muscle groups. Typically, muscles on the front of our bodies tend to be stronger simply because we use them more often. But, to prevent injury and create good muscular balance you need to train both sides of the body, therefore this arm toning workout also incorporates a few tricep exercises too.
- Upper Body Strength & Functional Fitness
More importantly than how we look is how we feel! As you age, do you want to feel strong and confident, or weak and discouraged? That may sound harsh, but keeping up with functional fitness—training that helps us complete basic functions of life and feel capable—does wonders for our mental attitude, too. Women in general tend to lose a lot of upper body strength as we age if not actively replacing it. To combat that, and stay strong and fit, we need to strength train all our muscles, including our upper body. The bicep exercises for women in this blog are a great place to start!
- More Muscle = Better Metabolism
You’ve probably heard that metabolism slows down with age. There’s a simple scientific reason for that. You probably know that muscle is an active tissue in your body that burns calories, According to Harvard Medical School, after the age of 30 we lose as much as 3%-5% of muscle mass per year. That’s not good for burning calories at rest. The more muscle you build, the better your metabolism works and the more calories you burn at rest. Want more convincing? According to Tufts University, strength training will reduce the risks and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, back pain, and depression. What’s not to love about that?
Do’s and Don’ts for Weight Lifting
Most of the moves in this 10-minute workout will require dumbbells. If you’re not currently using weights, here are some basics on arm workouts with dumbbells. Learn the DO’s and DON’Ts for weight lifting in upper body workouts here!
DON’T Be Afraid To Go Heavy
Many arm workouts for women say to use light weights to avoid “bulking up.” Here’s the truth: it would be pretty hard for you to bulk up unless you were eating massive amounts of protein and lifting weights 24/7. Heavier weights are GOOD! Why? The heavier you go, the more muscle fibers you recruit. Meaning you actually challenge your muscles, and that’s what you need to strengthen and tone them. Now, what constitutes a “heavy” weight for you? Everyone is a little different. Start out with 8 pounds; if that is doable, go to 10, 12, etc. Just do what feels hard, but not impossible. You want to PUSH yourself!
DO Focus On Form
When you’re lifting weights, you want to go heavy enough that you’re working hard. But this doesn’t mean you should sacrifice on form. If you have to go a little more slow, that’s fine! You want to have control over your movements when you’re lifting weights. You’ll see better results if you go slow and controlled than you would if you’re trying to go super fast and sacrificing form. Connect the mind to the muscle; slow and steady is just fine!
DO Get Your Weekly Cardio In, Too
If you’re toning your bicep muscles but still have some fat to lose that’s covering it up, you’re not going to be able to see those gorgeous muscles. Make sure you’re still getting in your weekly cardiovascular exercise in addition to other workouts like HIIT, biking, or boot camp-style workouts to keep burning fat and keep your muscles guessing!
10-Minute Arm Workout For Women
Alright, are you finally ready to flash those guns? Here is your 10-minute bicep workout. It’s going to also work your triceps, shoulders, and chest a little too—yippee! Here’s the deal:
You will need:
- A set of dumbbells
- A timer
- Set a timer for ten minutes
- Do 10-12 reps of each exercise below, then take a one minute rest after you complete them all. Begin again from the top.
- Stop working when the timer goes off!
- Do this workout twice a week, combined with cardio, to start seeing stronger, more toned arms.