Shapely arms are within your reach

“I want to have arms like Kelly Ripa.”  I hear this a lot.  And, hey, I love Kelly Ripa, too!  If you admire her sexy, smooth defined arms, stop wishing for them and start building them!  Here’s how.

Of course, I can tell you how to tone up your arms; but it’s up to you to shed the layer of fat that’s hiding them first.  Whole foods, water, veggies, lean meats and regular exercise are the ticket.  Oh, have I said that before?

Here’s something else I know.  Whatever you truly focus on, and fully commit to, will come to fruition.  This philosophy applies to many things in life, including your pursuit of sleek, sexy arms. 

First, start your morning by cranking out a quick arm blast: 12 push-ups, 12 bicep curls and 12 tricep dips. 

It’s important to find your individual ability level and move on from there.  You may be able to jump right into full military style push-ups, or you may have to begin by pushing off of a wall. It doesn’t matter where you start – just do it!  On the bicep curls, use whatever you have handy: bands, dumbbells or even soup cans.  Do your tricep dips off a chair or staircase. Reach behind you and place your hands a little wider than shoulder distance.  “Dip” down by lowering your body until your upper arm is parallel with the floor; or just until you feel a nice stretch across your chest and shoulders. 

Do 12 repetitions of each exercise, and repeat this little circuit three times for at least four weeks.   Be sure to mentally focus on which muscles you are using.  You should feel a burn that then leads to the feeling that the muscle is “pumped” or “full.”  No need to worry about resting for 24 hours between routines, because you aren’t stressing your muscles enough to require extended repair time. This is a circuit you can do whenever, wherever.  

Then, once these exercises become easier, it’s time to change it up.  You can add reps, going from 12 to 15 or 20.  Or add weight, progressing from soup cans (approximately two pounds) to five pounds, and so on.

Don’t forget: You should always check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.

Another little secret to flashing shapely arms is to “pump” your muscles before going out.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I did this for years! 

Before heading out in your strapless dress or tank top, grab some weights, or an exercise band, or whatever you have handy.  Do about 20 biceps curls, or side laterals or shoulder presses.  My favorite is to do pull-ups.  (You can buy a pull-up bar to hang in your door frame and work yourself up to this one.  If you need help, use a chair under your feet to modify your pull-ups.) 

Doing this will not only help you look more toned, but your energy level will increase and you’ll just feel great!  I’m not suggesting using heavy weights.  After all, you don’t want to get sweaty after you’ve gotten yourself all prettied up and ready to head out on the town!  Our purpose here is purely visual.  Think Hans and Franz: “We are going to pump…you up!”

The goal is to bring blood to your muscles, which creates that “pumped-up” or burning sensation.  Your arms will look more toned and “fuller,” and you’ll see those sleek arms pushing through.  Give it a try; it works!

Chani Overstreet is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and co-owner of Strada Fitness & Wellness Center with her husband, Luke.  Strada is a state-of-the-art fitness studio located at 3041 Churchill Drive, Suite 100, in Flower Mound, across from Lifetime Fitness.  Call 972.330.4300 or visit for more information.


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