As the weather heats up, the last thing you want is to feel like you're stuck wearing long sleeves. Toning up your arms and shoulders can give you lean and muscular arms ready for short sleeves and sleeveless tops. With the right dietary changes and a dedicated exercise routine, you can get your arms slimmer and tighter.
Eating for tone
When you want to gain more muscle and say goodbye to fat, a high-protein diet is your best bet. Protein is what your body uses to build muscle fat. Of course, you should stick to lean protein to avoid the saturated fat and keep the cholesterol as low as possible. That means consuming more fish and less red meat. Skinless chicken breast and other lean cuts of meat are also good choices for a diet meant to build muscle. You'll want to cut back on grains, sugar, and foods that are high in carbohydrates. Eat lots of vegetables and plenty of fruit to give you the fibers you need. If you follow a healthy and balanced diet that is high in lean protein, you can build a lot of muscle quickly.
Toning, not bulking
Remember, lots of muscle doesn't automatically mean bulky muscle. To get rid of arm flab, what you want is long, lean muscle, and you can get it. Exercises that tighten and tone up the upper arm can also help with your entire body. That means you can combine your workouts, focus on your arms, and still get out of the gym on time.
Push-ups are a great start for an upper body workout. If you don't have a lot of muscle to start with, begin with wall push-ups and gradually move down to the floor. Over time, you can add in modifications that make push-ups more difficult and give you better muscle definition in your arms.
Overhead extensions, chest presses, and shoulder presses all work to help tighten up the upper arm. Using a light dumbbell and adding in more reps each time helps build that lean muscle you want. Don't try for the top range of weights. Instead, work at building lean muscle using a full range of motion exercises with more reps and low weight.
Consistency is the only way to get the tone you want. If you only have a few minutes a day, you can still tone up and get long, sleek arms.
Make sure you're doing the following:
- Exercise your arms at least three times a week.
- Gradually increase the amount of weight you're lifting.
- Don't neglect the rest of your body as you work your arms.
- Eat healthy, high protein meals that give you the energy you need.
Flabby upper arms can make you feel embarrassed, but with the right exercise routine and a healthy diet, you can trim your arm fat.
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About the author:
Nadine Miller has been a professional freelance writer for more than five years from her Baltimore home. She specializes in home and family, small business and nonprofit topics, drawing on her extensive professional experience in these areas. When not working, she enjoys doing social outreach for her favorite charities, curling up with a good book, and pretending to crochet.