After months of winter weather, temperatures are finally on the rise, which means shedding winter layers. Say goodbye to sweaters and jackets, and hello to tank tops and swimsuits. You can camouflage

certain body parts, but unless you plan on wearing long sleeves all summer, it’s hard to hide your arms. If you’d like to tone up so you’re more confident for the “big reveal,” then it’s time for some spring training.

 A Call to Arms

I get a LOT of questions about toning the back of the arm (the tricep area). It’s right up there with tightening tummies and getting better buns as one of our major areas of concern.

I’ve said many times there is no such thing as “spot reducing,” but when it comes to reshaping specific areas of the body- like arms and shoulders – strength training is your greatest weapon.

So let’s start by busting some myths…

 1. You must have dumbbells

Dumbbells are the classic, but you can sculpt your arms plenty of other ways. Kettlebells can bring you the shape you’re looking for.

Click here for a quick “fit in a minute” video how-to.

2. Concentrate on one move at a time

For more effective results, it’s better to work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Working with Kettlebells, for example, allows you to incorporate full-body moves that not only save time and burn calories more efficiently, but they also tone the shoulders, arms, abs, buns, and legs….at the same time!

3. It’s all about lifting

Actually, that’s only half the battle. Strength training involves BOTH lifting (the concentric movement that happens when muscles shorten and contract) AND lowering (the eccentric movement that happens when muscles lengthen). It’s the lowering motion that provides resistance training. So on your next set of bicep curls, don’t just curl up and then drop the weights back down for your next rep; slowly lower back to the starting position, so that you feel the tension throughout the entire movement.

Try using my Kettlebell Solution for a fun spin on strength training.

4. You’re going to get big and bulky

No worries here. Women just don’t have enough testosterone to develop a bodybuilder’s physique. Most of the hulking gymgoers you see are spending hours lifting heavy weights, following a specific regimen of supplements. For the rest of us, strength training has a very different effect – creating the sculpted, toned look we all want.

5. Muscles grow while you’re working out

Believe it or not, muscle change takes place after exercising. During a workout you’re trying to “damage” the muscles (it’s what you want!), and the repair or rebuilding happens afterward, which is why rest and healthy nutrition are important elements to any exercise plan.

6. Strength training is only for the young

Who said there’s an age limit to improving muscle tone? We lose muscle mass as we age, so staying strong becomes even MORE important with every single year.

Sure, a sculpted upper body looks great in short sleeves or a bathing suit, but don’t forget it also helps with everyday activities, like carrying groceries, twisting lids off jars, and picking up little ones. And the benefits don’t stop there; strength training also can burn fat, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures.

It makes you feel empowered, confident, and energized…So pick up those Kettlebells, spring training starts TODAY!

 

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