If you're a female reading this, chances are very good that at some point you've looked at Jessica Biel and wished that you could get your body to resemble this—or perhaps it's some other well-toned celebrity you covet.
Whatever the case, understanding some of the basic principles you should take when trying to tone your arms will get you one step closer to achieving your goals.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Chances Are You've Looked At Jessica Biel
& Wished You Could Get A Body Like Hers.
© 2007 - Alexandra Wyman.
If you don't understand the basic principles behind getting your arms defined the way you want them, you're likely to spend a lot of time doing ineffective exercises that aren't going to be getting you the results you deserve for your hard work. Here are some big things to know.
Body Fat Levels
First off, probably the most important thing to keep in mind whether you're trying to tone your arms, legs, or get a set of six pack abs, is that you must bring your body fat levels down to a reasonable level so that you can actually see the muscle definition.
If you've got too high of a body fat percentage, it's going to be hard to see definition regardless of how much you work the muscles since that layer is covering them.
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You Must Bring Your Body Fat
Levels Down To A Reasonable Level.
© 2006 - Dimitrios Kambouris.
In terms of reducing your body fat levels, you're best approach is focusing on your diet and then adding in additional cardio if necessary. This is, of course, assuming you are already on some form of strength training program, which is a must.
Don't Be Scared To Lift!
The next thing you absolutely must realize is that in order to get good results you should be lifting weights. Not lifting tiny five pound dumbbells—you need to really be challenging your body here.
Most women are much stronger than they realize, they just fail to recognize this for the simple fact they thinking lifting heavier weights will make them 'big and bulky'.
This is completely untrue as in order to get big and bulky you will have to have the diet supporting muscle growth, not to mention the hormonal profile in your body that supports that kind of muscle development; something that females just don't have naturally.
So, don't be afraid to challenge yourself a little. Pick up ten pounds weights, pick up fifteens—pick up whatever is going to fatigue you within 8-12 reps.
If you can do 15+ reps with a weight without really breaking a sweat, that's an incredibly good indication you aren't going to see a whole lot of results from that particular gym session. You simply need more stimulus than that.
Alternate Between Exercises
Another big problem that many women have with their workout program is lack of variety. Whether they just don't know any other weight lifting exercises for the muscles they are trying to target or they simply don't acknowledge how long they've been doing a particular workout and just keep carrying on, constantly changing around your workout will be vital to your success.
For instance, change up your classic bicep curl with some incline curls, hammer curls, or cable curls. All of these will provide a slightly different stimulus on the bicep muscles, which is what will greatly increase the results you see.
You should aim to make some adjustments to your workout at least once every four weeks. You want to spend enough time on an exercise so that you do see results, but at the same time change it up before you hit that dreaded plateau.
Focus On Compound Lifts First
When structuring your upper body workout, focus on the big compound movements first, as these will be of the highest intensity and will call upon your energy reserves the most.
This includes the bench press, bent-over row, shoulder press, and pull-up. By being sure these are forming the base of your program, you will also ensure that you do work all the major muscle groups you need to.
From there, then you can move over to the biceps curl variations, triceps extension movements, and lateral raises, both to the front and to the side.
Place Emphasis On Triceps Movements
When it comes to specific lifts you'll want to focus on, really paying attention to the triceps is a smart move. Many women complain about the 'underarm jiggle', or they want to have a more toned looking upper arm.
Since the triceps muscle is largely the muscle that comprises the upper arm, pay it a little more attention than the biceps. This is not to say you shouldn't do biceps exercises as well, just that you want to double check you have appropriate triceps movements in your program.
Forget Cardio With Weights
Finally, some women out there believe that they will tone their arms by holding hand weights when doing their cardio workout. Again with this, the weight is likely not enough to provide many benefits in the way of actual muscle development, and it's not really going to burn all that many additional calories to begin with.
What it will do however, is set you up for an increased chance of injury during your cardio session, so for that reason, you're actually best left to just do cardio when it's cardio time and do strength training when it's time for strength training. That is what will deliver optimal results.
So, keep these points in mind when trying to transform your body and get a jump start on the coming sleeveless season. It's never too early to start really paying attention to training the arms as for some women they can take some time to get to where you want them to be.