4 Tips to Tone Your Upper Arms

Top trainer Eric Grimes gives the lowdown on how to get those guns into display-worthy shape


Photo: Fotolia/Microgen

Upper-arm flab seems to pile on as the years roll by, but don’t set fire to those sleeveless shirts just yet. We asked accomplished local trainer Eric Grimes, owner and operator of Yonkers-based Iron Body Fit Club, for his advice on how to get your limbs into tip-top form.


Eat Clean  

Before you break out the weights, Grimes advises that diet and reducing overall body fat are the first predictors for whether you will sport ogle-worthy arms. “Eating clean will lower your entire body fat percentage, not specifically just your arms,” Grimes elaborates. “However, doing exercises that focus on your arms will help to tone, build muscle, and help burn fat in that area.”


Eat Often

“Think of your body as the fire and your food intake as the fuel that keeps the fire going,” says Grimes. “You want to keep feeding your body healthy proteins, fats, and carbohydrates every two to three hours to keep your body's metabolism burning calories throughout the entire day. Having a light protein shake before bed should help you maintain muscle growth.”


Try Bodyweight Exercises

Grimes says push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips are all great ways to tone the upper arms. He recommends those who require a little extra aid have a spotter or complete push-ups on their knees.


Don’t Neglect the Dumbbells

Grimes points to several weight-training workouts to hone those biceps and shoulders, all of which he recommends completing in three sets of eight to ten repetitions each.


  • Dumbbell Jumping Jacks “Start with your feet together while holding the dumbbells together at chin level,” says Grimes. “Jump, extending your feet out, while simultaneously pressing the dumbbells upward.”


  • Tricep Kick-Back “Stand to the right of your weight bench and lean over it, putting your left palm on the bench,” he directs. “With a dumbbell in your right hand, bring your elbow up so it's leveled with your back. Extend your arm back from your elbow, point the front of the dumbbell straight back. Repeat and switch arms.”


  • Incline Dumbbell Curls “Start by sitting on a weight bench set at an incline of about 45 degrees, with a dumbbell in each hand,” Grimes instructs. “Bring the dumbbell up like you are doing a curl, twisting your wrist to your shoulder and back down. Repeat, alternating arms.”


  • Overhead Tricep Extension “Stand shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in both hands,” says Grimes. “Bring your arms up over your head, with the dumbbell resting in your palms. Lower the dumbbell so it is behind your neck, extend back up, and repeat.”




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