(8) BEST Arm Toning Exercises For Summer

(8) BEST Arm Toning Exercises For Summer

What's the secret to TONED ARMS FAST? Try these 8 strength training exercises and your arms will be tank top ready in time for summer!

Published: June 17, 2021

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: Mollie McGurk

Are you looking to get in better shape for the summer? Let’s face it--we all want to get toned and ready for the beach. To get that “toned” look, we want more definition in our muscles. How can we achieve this? Through cardio, a healthy diet, and strengthening exercises.

Boxing is an excellent way to tone your arms as well as your whole body, by combining strength training and cardio to help you reach your goals. Since building arm strength is a big part of boxing training, here are some boxers’ favorite exercises to get you feeling - and looking - strong and confident.

Arm-Toning Workout

Push-Ups

Equipment Needed: None

  • Begin in a plank position with your toes and palms on the ground and back and neck straight

  • Bend at your elbows to lower your body towards the ground without touching

  • Push yourself back up to a plank position

  • Repeat 10-15 times

  • Increase the repetitions as you feel comfortable

*You can modify the push-up by kneeling instead of doing a full plank

Tricep Push-Ups

Equipment Needed: None

  • Begin in a plank (or kneeling) position

  • Place your hands under your chest, closer together with elbows slightly outwards so your two index fingers and thumbs form a triangle on the ground

  • Bend at your elbows and lower your body to the ground without touching

  • Push yourself back up

  • Repeat 10-15 times

  • Increase the repetitions as you feel comfortable

Pull-Ups

Equipment Needed: Pull-up bar

  • Grab a pull-up bar with your palms and forearms facing towards you

  • Slowly pull your body up as high as you can

  • Lower down slowly

  • Repeat 5 times

  • Rest 1 minute

  • Repeat

*If you don’t have a pull-up bar, try the bent over row to target the same muscle groups

Bent Over Row

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inwards, feet shoulder-width apart

  • Bend at the hips at a 45-degree angle, keeping your back straight

  • Let your arms hang naturally

  • Bending at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight upwards

  • Slowly lower them back to starting position

  • Repeat for three (3) sets of 10 repetitions

Bicep Curl

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

  • Stand with your arms close at your sides, feet shoulder-width apart, and a dumbbell in each hand

  • Hold each dumbbell with your palms facing outwards

  • Starting with your right arm, bend at the elbow to raise the dumbbell toward your shoulder

  • Slowly lower the dumbbell back down

  • Repeat with the left arm

  • Repeat for three (3) sets of 10 repetitions

Tricep Extensions

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

  • Stand with one dumbbell in your right hand, palms inward, arm by your side, feet shoulder-width apart

  • Fully extend your right arm, raising the dumbbell straight over the top of your head

  • Keeping your upper arm still, bend at your elbow to carefully bring the dumbbell down behind your head

  • Slowly raise the dumbbell to starting position and repeat 10 times

  • Switch to your left arm from another 10 repetitions

  • Continue to alternate for three (3) sets on each side

Tricep Dips

Equipment Needed: Sturdy bench, chair, or table

  • Begin in a seated position on a sturdy bench, chair, or the edge of a table

  • Grip the edge of the surface on either side of your hips

  • Slide yourself forward so you are supporting yourself only with your arms (and feet on the floor)

  • Bend at your elbows to lower your body 3-5 inches down

  • Push yourself back up

  • Repeat for three (3) sets of 10 repetitions

*For an added challenge, you can extend your legs further in front of you

Lateral Raise

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand

  • Keep your palms facing inwards and your elbows slightly bent

  • Slowly raise both your arms out and up to shoulder height

  • Lower both arms slowly back to starting position

  • Repeat for three (3) sets of 10 repetitions

*Start with much lighter weight than you would for bicep curls or tricep extensions (under 5 lbs.)

Front Raise

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand

  • Keep your palms facing backward and elbows slightly bent

  • Slowly raise both arms straight out in front of you

  • Lower both arms slowly back to starting position

  • Repeat for three (3) sets of 10 repetitions

Cool Down Stretches

Stretching is important before and after strength training. Here are three (3) of the best stretches that target the arms and shoulders:

Shoulder Stretch

  • Fully extend your right arm in front of you

  • Hold your right elbow with your left hand

  • Gently pull your right arm across your chest until you feel a stretch in your right shoulder

  • Hold for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat for 30 seconds

Tricep Stretch

  • Extend your right arm straight above your head

  • Bend your right arm at the elbow so your right hand is behind your head and your elbow is pointed upwards

  • Use your left hand to hold your elbow, slightly pulling your right arm further behind you until you feel the stretch in your triceps

  • Hold for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat for 30 seconds

Bicep and Chest Stretch

  • Interlace your fingers, linking your hands together behind your lower back

  • Fully extend both arms back

  • Slowly lift both arms, hands together, as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your biceps and chest

  • Hold for 30 seconds

There you go! Your arms will definitely be feeling the burn after these toning exercises. That’s how you know you are well on your way to sculpted summer arms! Remember to stay hydrated and nourish your body with healthy foods and lean protein during recovery--don’t strain yourself or you’ll stunt your progress!

How can I tone my arms?

All body toning requires a combination of cardio, healthy diet, and of course, strengthening exercises. Consistency and commitment to your training program will deliver results. In our mind, boxing training is one of the most enjoyable ways to reach your goals and start to see toned arms.

How many minutes should an arm workout be?

The length of your arm workout depends on your skill level. As little as 15 minutes a day is a great start. You never want to overwork any part of your body in one session, so starting slow is important to avoid injury or burnout. Listen to your body. Remember, your muscles need time to repair after every workout – this is how they get stronger and more toned.

How long does it take to tone arms?

This really depends on your starting level, your training, your body type, and your goals. Again, increasing muscle tone anywhere in your body takes commitment – you need to be ready to put in the work. Having a structured exercise program with support from a trainer can be extremely helpful.

With a multi-faceted approach of healthy eating, moderate to high intensity cardio, and strength training, you can expect to feel and see results in a matter of weeks.

Getting more toned for summer is possible with the right approach. Commitment and consistency are key, but it should also be fun! Boxing training can sculpt and shape your whole body quickly while being one of the most enjoyable workouts of your life.

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Mollie McGurk

Mollie McGurk is a writer and has trained in boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and HIIT for over 10 years. She has also studied personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) program.

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