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Updated 25 September 2013

Goodbye, bingo arms

It's almost summer, and summer means sleeveless tops and naked arms. Follow these easy steps to tone those flabby bits and give yourself arms you can be proud of.

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With the weather finally starting to warm up, the time for long sleeved shirts and jerseys is almost over. But have you given any thought to what the winter months have done to your arms?

Never fear, we have put together some exercises to help you tone your arms and lose the flab so when T-shirt time rolls around again you'll be more than prepared to bare those arms.

However, while there are indeed a number of exercises to help tone flabby upper arms, FitnessDoc, Dr Ross Tucker, says it's important not to fall into the trap of only working specific areas, as this won't help much at all.

"The mistake people make is that they try to target the muscle group, often at the expense of doing the whole body exercise that is actually more effective. That's not to say that focus on a muscle group or area is bad, because you need it, but it's better to do whole-body exercise.

"This is called cardio training - this includes running, walking, cycling, swimming, tae bo, aerobics and so forth. Anything that is cardiovascular gets the heart pumping and energy-burning is most effective. It is just a question of how you use these cardio sessions. I would suggest at least four days a week of cardio training, each session lasting about 30 to 45 minutes, at least. You have to build up this duration and then keep at it consistently in order to see change."

Exercises to tone the upper arms
Once you have mastered this, some of the exercises you might want to look at include the bicep curl. This can be done either with free weights, on the machine on the circuit or, if you're training at home, a theraband is just as effective.

Try and make sure the movement is as controlled and slow as possible and aim for about three sets on each arm.

Another effective exercise is the bench dip. This can be done on any step big enough or even a bench or low chair. Again the exercise works best if it is slow and controlled, and be careful not to lock the elbows when you lift yourself up.

Aim for three sets of 15. This will really banish those wobbly bits and is an excellent exercise for the triceps.

An additional exercise to work those triceps is the triceps overheard press. This can be done either with a theraband or with weights. It can be quite tiresome though, so if you're just starting out make sure you have light weights.

This exercise is similar to the triceps press down, which can be done with a theraband or the cable-press machine at the gym, usually found on the circuit.

The one arm triceps extension is also an effective workout for those upper arms. It can be done with a theraband or light weights, and can be done sitting down or standing up.

And there you have it – these exercises combined with an effective cardio exercise programme, done regularly, will tone those bingo arms into submission in no time and ensure you a blissfully sleeveless summer. Just don't forget to stretch afterwards!


 
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