Bare your arms with confidence in four weeks with this targeted routine.
All it takes is this 10-minute routine, which you can tailor to your fitness level. Four firming moves work the chest, shoulders, and arms from every angle to tighten and tone the slackness that can start when you lose lean tissue in your 40s. After a month, you'll be on your way to show-off arms that will look great in sleeveless tops and dresses all summer.What you need
1 to 2.5 kg dumbbells, 3 to 5 kg dumbbells and a mat or carpeted space.
Perform the whole routine 2 or 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. Begin with a 5-minute dynamic warm-up: march in place while scissoring arms overhead (like doing star jumps). For each exercise, do 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions (or 10 on each side). Rest 30 seconds between sets. Begin with the Main Move. If it's too difficult, do the Make It Easier option. Not challenging enough? Try the Make It Harder version.
Do 3 sets and add 30 minutes of cardio (walking, cycling, swimming) 3 to 5 days a week.
Lie face up on floor, knees bent, feet flat, and arms extended overhead with a light dumbbell in each hand. Contract abdominal muscles and slowly curl up, lifting head, shoulders and back off floor. Simultaneously bring arms forwards in an arc towards knees (A). Hold for a second, then slowly reverse move to starting position.
Make it Harder: Add a chest press. With upper body lifted off floor and arms in front of you, bend elbows and lower dumbbells towards chest (B), then straighten arms before returning to starting position.
Make it Easier: Keep head on floor as you raise dumbbells in an arc and bring them down to floor so arms rest at sides. Reverse move to starting position.
2. Main Move: Tricep extensions
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold light dumbbell in right hand, arm extended straight overhead, left hand supporting right elbow (A) to prevent it from flicking away from body. Bend elbow, lowering dumbbell behind head (B), then press back up to starting position. Do all reps, then repeat on opposite side.
Make it Harder: Use the heavier dumbbell.
Make it Easier: Hold each end of a single dumbbell so it's horizontal, to work both arms at the same time.
3. Main Move: Reverse flies
Get into push-up position on knees, hands directly beneath shoulders with light dumbbell in left hand. Engaging abs to stabilise torso, raise left arm out to side (A), parallel to floor. Hold for a second, then slowly lower to starting position. Repeat. Do all reps, then switch arms.
Make it Harder: Bring knees off mat so you're balancing on toes and hands as you do reps.
Make it Easier: Ditch the dumbbell.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides, a heavy dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Bend left arm to 90 degrees, dumbbell vertical. Hold that position as you bend right arm and curl dumbbell to shoulder (A), keeping elbow at side. Complete all reps, then lower both arms and repeat, holding right arm at 90 degrees.
Make it Harder: Hold dumbbell in stationary hand with palm facing up so it's horizontal, not vertical (B).
Make it Easier: Alternate curling each arm up to shoulder without holding either arm stationary.