What are the best arm exercises for women and men? Are there any tips to achieve slim and toned arms faster? I am asked these questions every week and the answer is simply Yes. Yes, there are exercises that are the most optimal for arm development. And yes, the below tips will help you get toned arms fast. Although, this is not a magic formula. Each tip needs to be followed with consistency and with hard work. Arms can be a stubborn body part to grow so it is important to remain consistent.
The Benefit of Toned Arms
For women, toned arms does not mean excessively muscular arms like bodybuilders have. Toning your arms means getting rid of any “flabby arms” and allowing the contours of your arms to become tighter and more pronounced.
For men, arms are often called the glamour muscles. They fill out the sleeves in your shirt and are often what people notice about you first.
Aesthetics aside, there is a great utilitarian benefit to training arms for men and women. Increased strength. Toning your arms often means you are making them stronger. You may have already knew that but it needed to be reinforced.
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Tips on How to Get Toned Arms
1. Focusing on the Best Exercises
Focusing on the best exercises is a great way to ensure you are making the most out of your time. I do not recommend workout plans which have arms as a whole dedicated day. You can work your arms sufficiently with just a few effective exercises a week, while also introducing compound exercises into your workout plan. Because the isolation time for your arms is limited, perform the best exercises to maximize results.
For the below exercises, focus intently on proper form. The importance of this is covered in tip #2.
Great Arm Exercises
- Barbell Bicep Curls
- Cable Triceps Extension
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls
2. Proper Form
If you have read other fitness articles on this site, then you are accustomed to how much I value form above all else. Improper form is wasted time and can lead to injury. Arm exercises are no different when it comes to the importance of form. Since these movements seem relatively easy to perform, I often see clients become relaxed and loosening their form.
The biggest culprit for arms is swinging or using momentum to get the weight up, typically at the end of the set. Do not swing your arms just to get the weight up. You are not doing yourself any favors by doing this and you are cheating yourself and potential progress. This usually happens when the weight is too much and you need extra force to complete the rep and finish out the set.
It is understandable to have improper form when a beginner. For beginners, I recommend watching a YouTube video from a trustworthy creator on how to perform the desired exercise. When you utilize proper strict form, you will isolate the intended muscle which results in quicker muscle generation and toning.
Check out this article on the Best Chest Workouts for Strength if you would like to grow your chest strength!
3. Training Arms too Frequently
Many people believe that the more they train arms, then the more tone/stronger they will get. Believe it or not, this is the opposite of what is true. Anthony Yeung, C.S.C.S., writes about toning arms – “In the hours after a workout, your muscles lose strength and power as they heal; after 36–48 hours, the muscle actually gets stronger, a process called “supercompensation.”” Arms are tiny muscle groups when compared to your back, chest and legs. Therefore, the arms are not capable of taking on too much stimulus.
The metaphor I like to use is scabs, fun I know. You get a cut from playing hockey and it starts scabbing over. If you play hockey again the day after, then the scab will fall off and the whole process will start again. You are not allowing the cut to fully heal, instead you keep reopening the scab and it is an endless cycle. This is the case with overtraining. You are tearing muscles when working out and you need a rest period before you tear them again. This rest period allows for new muscle fibers to fill in those tears, thus growing your muscles.
4. Slow and Steady
This tip works alongside the proper form tip when learning about how to get toned arms. Slow and steady wins the race to toned arms. There are two aspects of this tip. One relates to form and the other relates to overall fitness routine consistency.
As it relates to form, I want to talk specifically about eccentric traction. This is what happens when you are performing bicep curls, have brought the weight up and now are bringing the weight back down to your waist. Bringing that weight back down to your waist is where eccentric traction occurs. Many and most people tend to bring the weight down extremely fast in a way that does not stress the muscle at all. This is where the slow and steady tip comes into play and was the tip that transformed my arms in as little as two months. With your arm exercises, focus on the slow and steady eccentric traction to really put the muscle under load. This added traction to each exercise will give you results you never thought were possible.
As it relates to fitness routine, do not expect your arms to change overnight or even in a week. Bloggers who tell you that you can tone your arms significantly in a week are slurping from the hype juice. It takes time for muscle to grow and skin to tighten. Do not get discouraged if you do not see visible progress in a week. Rest assured that incremental progress is being made if you remain consistent and stick to these tips and your workout routine.
5. Work on Your Diet
This is the part where I mention that your body is a temple and you roll your eyes. I will not be that cliché but I am a stronger believer that what you put in your body is even more important than the workout routine you are following. If you eat fatty and sugary foods everyday, then you will not get toned arms unless your metabolism is god like. Furthermore, I recommend adding a protein supplement. Muscles feed on protein to grow so it is important to make sure you are consuming enough protein, yes for women as well. My favorite protein supplement that has been effective for me is this clean Vegan Protein Powder.
Summary: How to Get Toned Arms at Home Fast
- Focusing on the Best Exercises
- Proper Form
- Training Arms TOO Frequently
- Slow and Steady
- Work on Your Diet
I hope you learned how to get toned arms and will implement the above tips into your daily routine for great results. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out others in the Fitness Tips category!