A few weeks ago, a 40-something client asked me if I could design a new exercise routine to sculpt her arms and shoulders in preparation for beach season. Yikes, Memorial Day is less than two months away! After three weeks of training, her guns are starting to morph from Olive Oyl peashooters into Dirty Harry Magnums. That got me thinking…everyone should have the right to go sleeveless by Memorial Day. If you start to pump iron now, you can do it, too.
Strong arms are more than a fashion statement to show off at the beach. They embody form following function. Everything you grasp, push, pull, lift, swing and throw involves your arms. Strong yet flexible rotator cuffs help stabilize the head of the humerus in the shoulder joint and reduce the chance of dislocations.
All in the Wrist
Since the wrist is often the site of osteoporosis, developing strong bones and muscles in the lower arm is important, especially for women. Strengthening the wrist extensors and flexors will benefit anyone who uses a computer or swings a bat, racquet or club. I particularly like a device called an Arme Wrist Roller to exercise these muscles. Depending on the weight and repetitions, the resultant burn can range from warm glow to nuclear meltdown.
Show vs. Go Muscles
Many people want large and highly defined biceps, aka “Big Guns.” Just about everyone knows how to do biceps curls with barbells, dumbbells or an exercise machine. Biceps are great “show” muscles because they are highly visible in the front of the arm. The back of the arm holds a three-headed muscle called the triceps. Since this muscle group is not as visible, it is often overlooked and underdeveloped. Triceps get no respect. Too bad because elbow extension exercises can help firm up the underarms.
How to Win the Arms Race
The development of your arms should be integrated into a whole-body approach, which emphasizes core stability and large muscle groups. A coordinated attack on reducing flab and increasing definition is the only way to win the arms race. Click here to download a free copy of Get Ready for the Beach Now: Trainer Joe’s Top Ten Arm and Shoulder Exercises.
Whether you desire big guns or gently sculpted limbs, start now. You’ll be exercising your right to bare arms on Memorial Day.