Exercises designed to bulk up the muscles in your arms also go a long way in toning up your shoulders, neck, back and abdomen. By targeting your arm muscles, you’re effectively working out your upper body all at the same time. Push your effort to the limit to net the benefits of a full cardio routine as well without the tedium of using the same running and cycling machines over and over. In fact, the more you alternate your movements during workouts, the quicker your strength and endurance will grow. Here are three tools to use during your exercise routines for a burst of cardio while toning your arms.
The use of a pull buoy allows you to work your arms to failure without worrying about keeping your legs afloat. The buoy also removes the ability to use your legs for propulsion, putting the full impact of your effort on your arms. You will need to hold the buoy between your thighs at first while attempting to move down the lanes at a reasonable speed. Focus on maintaining good form for whichever arm movement style you choose. For an increase in difficulty, place the buoy between your ankles and keep yourself afloat and moving forward with just the use of your arms.
The scooter board offers the same benefits as the pull buoy without needing access to the water. You can use the scooter board to play obstacle course games alone or with friends. Start by positioning yourself on the board kneeling or with your legs crossed. Pull and push just using your arms to make your way across the floor as fast as possible. Tighten up your core to keep your upper body muscles working as hard as possible. Increase the difficulty by holding your legs out in front of you or lying on your belly.
The most versatile arm-toning tool on this list is a set of dumbbells. Make sure the set ranges from three pounds all the way up to twenty pounds in weight. You can complete dozens of moves while holding dumbbells firmly in your grip. Start your training sessions with sets of bicep curls, overhead presses and row kickbacks. Remember to regularly use the dumbbells to complete goblet squats, single arm dead lifts, chest flies and weighted lunges. You can also pump your arms while carrying the dumbbells on your walks, runs or hikes around your region.
Settling Into a Routine
Despite how fun it is to use the above tools in your workouts, you have to remember to give your arms, and the rest of your upper body, as rest day or two in between sessions. By integrating rest days into your workout, you maximize muscle growth gains by completing the movements. You will actually see better toning results when you schedule days off than when you do not. Take photographs of your progress to actually see this phenomenon in action.