Happy Flex Friday, sweaties!
Today for #flexfriday, we’re talking arm strength with Bob’s Red Mill. A lot of my activities end up working out my arms: paddling, bootcamp and circuit training, all the yoga… Even running and skiing work your arms! I’ll admit most of my upper body strength does come from yoga. All the chaturanga push-ups and arm balances add up, that’s for sure!
For me it’s not about having the muscle definition, though I’m definitely not complaining come tank top season… But it’s about building the strength for and while doing the activities I love! I build strength for handstand while practicing handstand. I lift weights to get stronger for those arm balances I love.
Here are 5 of my favorite moves for building arm strength!
A yoga push up is deceptively hard! It’s completely different than a classic chest-to-deck push-up. Elbows hug in towards the ribs, focusing more on triceps rather than biceps. You only lower halfway (until the elbows are at 90-degrees) and then pull through for upward-facing dog or press back up to high plank. It’s slow and controlled, giving you even more burn with the resistance. And there should be a ton of focus on core engagement. Don’t forget that chaturanga is a pose. It’s not a transition. Try and hold it and let me know what you think… 😉
HANDSTAND (ANY ARM BALANCING)
I tell my classes all the time that the secret to arm balancing is core. And this is true. But let’s be real. To balance all of your weight on your hands also takes a certain level of arm strength. I’ve found that the best way to build strength for these poses is to work on these poses! Nothing gets you ready for handstand like crow, L-pose, and handstand kick ups!
One reason I love tricep dips, other than I think that defined line on a toned arm is super sexy, is because you can bust these out anywhere! A bench, a fence, a log… It’s a great way to take a faux break while running, too!
I grew up paddling, mostly canoeing with my dad and then kayaking. Lately my family has gotten super into stand-up paddle boarding (seriously, we’re a family of three and my parents have seven paddle boards… seven, y’all). I love the core work and arm strength building you get from paddling. Add in the balance challenge while SUP-ing and cardio when paddling hard, and you have yourself a full-body workout!
I’ve never been a true weight lifter. But I love having weight circuits built into my workouts. I used to do it in chunks: running on the treadmill and then all of my weight exercises. Now I love mixing it all in together! Our Flex & Flow bootcamps have us moving through circuits of bicep curls, mountain climbers, jump squats, and weighted sprints. I’ll run to the gym to do weights and PT, and run home. I love weight circuits in my spin classes or personal bike workouts. Bicep curls, arm raises, tricep extensions, I try to hit them all! Rows are big for me right now. I need to strengthen my rhomboids to keep my shoulders and rib happy!
Sometimes you really don’t want to do the hard exercises. You feel the burn, and it burns so good. But it pays off! But let’s be honest, BOSU burpees definitely merits this face…
What are your favorite arm toning exercises? Join the #summerstrong #fuelyourawesomeness challenge! Check out Insta and tag all the tags: #sweatpink #summerstrong #fuelyourawesomeness @FitApproach @bobsredmill