Lose those batwings! 5 weeks, 5 exercises for arms and shoulders
Get tank top ready from home with this upper body workout designed by certified trainer Jessica Smith. All you’ll need is a set of dumbbells (3-10 pounds) or similar weighted objects (such as two 16-ounce water bottles). Do each exercise back-to-back with little to no rest in between, repeating the circuit three times. To get nicely sculpted arms in as little as five weeks, do this routine every other day, plus 30-45 minutes of cardio on most days and eat a healthy diet.
This exercise doubles as a warm up and vital workout for your arms, shoulders, chest and abs. Get into push-up position, only on your forearms. Brace the abs tight and lift your hips, creating a straight line from heels to head. Push off and straighten your left arm so that you're holding yourself up with the right forearm and left palm. Straighten your right arm so the body is in a full push-up position. Lower back down to your right forearm, then left, to return to start. Do four repetitions leading with your left arm and then four leading with the right. If the full plank is too much, use a modified plank position [shown in photo B] by bending your knees.
Kneeling reverse fly
Sculpt your upper back, arms and abs with this multi-muscle move. Kneel on all fours, holding a dumbbell in your right hand [shown in photo A]. Engage abs and raise right arm out to shoulder height (elbow should only be slightly bent), palm facing down [shown in photo B]. Lower to start. Do 15 repetitions; repeat on opposite side.
Inverted grip biceps curl and press
This double-duty combo move sculpts your shoulders and arms while also strengthening the often-overlooked muscles in your forearms and wrist. Stand with feet together holding dumbbells, palms in front of thighs. Pull abs in tight, and without moving your torso, curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders, palms facing forward [shown in photo A]. Then extend arms overhead [shown in photo B]. Return to starting position and do 15 repetitions.
This is the perfect back-of-the-arms sculptor. Stand with dumbbells in hand, feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hinge forward from the hips until your chest is almost parallel to floor and bend your arms so that your elbows are behind your body and the dumbbells are by your chest [shown in photo A]. Extend arms behind you, rotating palms up to ceiling [shown in photo B]. Keeping arms straight, raise arms a few inches higher. Bend elbows and return to start. Do 15 repetitions.
Create a more defined cleavage line and a flatter tummy with this multitasking exercise. Lie face up on the floor, with knees bent and together, feet flat on the floor. Arms should be straight out from the shoulders with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms just above the ground, palms facing up [shown in photo A]. Draw your knees up into chest, bring your arms together so they are hugging the outside of your knees, and lift your head and shoulders off the floor [shown in photo B] – yes, all at the same time. Return to start. Do 15 repetitions.
A version of this article originally appeared on iVillage.