Photo Credit: North Shore Dance Society
Sexy arms - everyone wants them but not all have the motivation to build 'em. As a dancer, your arms should be strong and toned so you can execute particular hand styling or arm poses with ease.
Apart from making you look lean and strong on the dance floor, having strong arms also minimizes your risk of injury. Working the arms out stabilize the joints and build strong bones. The muscles become flexible, too, allowing you to perform complex dance moves or lead/follow a dance partner.
Here's the thing, you don't need a gym membership or fancy gym equipment to achieve strong, sculpted, and fit arms. You don’t need any equipment at all! There are loads of arm exercises that do not require weights. And those that do, you can find alternatives at home, like heavy canned goods or bags of sugar.
Benefits of Building Strong Arms
Better heart health: According to the American Heart Association, upper body exercises like lifting weights promote better heart health. You don’t need to carry a lot of weight too; just a little resistance is enough to benefit the heart.
Better posture: Working out improves your posture in many ways. When you train, you have to get the position right. Otherwise, you might end up engaging the wrong muscle groups or suffer an injury. Weight lifting trains the body to take in the proper form, preventing you from slouching, which could, in turn, become a nasty habit.
Reduce the risk of injury: Building strong, toned arms, and upper body strength, in general, minimizes your risk of injury while dancing. Resistance training keeps the muscles flexible and strong, making you less likely to suffer from muscle strains and muscle tears - especially when you’re dancing with a partner!
Stronger bones: As you age, the bones start losing their denseness. Health experts say that resistance training builds bone density, so weight training is recommended for older people. Regular exercise boosts bone density, especially when combined with taking vitamin D supplements.
Better mental health: Exercising is not only good for the body, it’s good for your mental health too. Working out floods the brain with happy hormone endorphins, which improve mood by triggering positive feelings. When you’re achieving your fitness goals, the feeling of positivity from working out triples!
5 Weight-Free Exercises to Tone the Arms
A great workout to tone the arms and shoulders. It's simple, effective, and it can be done in minutes!
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms straight to the sides, forming a T with your entire body. Slowly rotate the shoulders and arms to make small circular motions. Do 3 sets of 15 circles.
An effective workout that tones and defines the arms. No weights are needed; you can do this workout on the floor or a chair.
To start, place your hands shoulders-width-apart on the furniture that you'll use to prop yourself up on. Extend the legs, making sure to give your back and the piece of furniture a little room as you dip down. Hold on to the edge of the furniture, lower your body down, pause for a few seconds, then back up. Engage the triceps as you move. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.
Planking engages the core, but it strengthens the arms too! This exercise has loads of variations, and side planking strengthens the obliques and the arms.
Lie on your right side on the floor, lift yourself and engage the core by pressing your forearms into the ground at a 90-degree angle, then extending the legs using the feet for support. Your body should be forming a relatively straight line. With your free arm, stretch it to the ceiling and hold the position for 30 seconds. Switch to the left side for another 30 seconds. Do 2 sets on either side.
A powerful exercise that engages the lower back, glutes, shoulders, and arms all at the same time! It's super easy to do too, just like on your stomach and extend your arms and legs as if you're flying. Engage your shoulders, arms, glutes, chest, and legs, keeping these off the floor by several inches. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then return to the starting position. Do 10 raises.
An arm-toning strengthening workout that will engage different muscle groups in one fantastic move.
To start, go to a classic plank position but do not bend the arms. Instead, plant your palms firmly on the floor and engage your core and glutes. While planking, take your right hand to your left shoulder, tap, and bring the palms back to the floor. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Do 5 taps on either side, 3 sets.
5 Dumbbell Exercises for Toned Arms
You can't beat the classic! This workout only requires a dumbbell on each hand. Stand up feet hip-width apart and hold the dumbbells at the sides. Bend the elbows and bring the weights up towards the shoulders, do not move the upper arms. Bring the dumbbells down to the starting position; that’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Overhead Triceps Extension
Give the arms an intense workout and achieve sexy definition. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and then extend the arms over the shoulders, palms facing each other. Bring the weights on either side of the temple as you lower them back down, hold the position and then extend the arms again. That's one rep. Do 4 sets of 10 reps.
Stand up with feet about a few inches apart. Lean forward as you bend your knees with dumbbells in each hand, keeping the arms at a 90-degree angle. Lift the dumbbells back and up, squeezing the triceps and arms as you move, then bring the dumbbells back to the starting position. Do 4 sets of 10 reps.
This powerful workout will tone the arm muscles, engage the core muscles, glutes, and leg muscles. To start, take a planking position but hold the dumbbells in either hand on the ground. Pull the right elbow towards the torso, right near the ribs, then slowly back on the floor. Repeat on the other side. Do 4 sets of 10.
Rear Delt Fly
A super easy arm workout that provides great results very quickly. With dumbbells on each hand, stand with hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Bend down, keep the back aligned horizontally, and let the arms hang straight down from the shoulders. Raise both arms out to the sides, elbows slightly bent. Engage the shoulder blades as you raise the dumbbells and then down. Do 4 sets of 10 reps.