Arm Toning Exercises

These arm toning exercises for women won’t transform you into the female version of Hulk, but they’ll tone your upper body and slim your arms.  Your shoulders will be stronger and ready to bare when the sun shows up.

The best part? You have strong arms to lug and tug around those sweet kids of yours!  And arms that can chauffer to and fro:)

You can do these effective upper body exercises at home – you don’t have to spend time and money on pricey gym classes!  This arm workout is safe for pregnancy as long as you have your doctor’s permission. Please read all the pregnancy do’s and don’ts before starting any exercise program!


Woodpecker push-ups


Target: core, deltoids/shoulders, upper back, emphasis is in the chest when hands are placed wide, triceps/back of arms, biceps/front of arms

Start: Get down on all fours with your back flat and your head neutral. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

Motion: Flex your elbows away from your body until your upper arms are at a 45 degree angle. Bend at your hips. As you extend your arms pull your belly button towards your spine.

Mommy terms: Get in a push-up position on your knees with hands wide. Bend your elbows so they bow out. Pretend you’re a woodpecker touching your beak to the ground. Make sure to keep abs in so your back does not arch.

Modifications: Place your hands on a stair for modification.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans


O press, light weights


Target: shoulders (deltoids), back of arms (triceps), core (abs, back, pelvic floor and hips)

Start: Place your elbows at a 90-degree angle next to your body with a weight in each hand. Your palms should face forward or up.

Motion: With your elbows against your sides, bring your hands away from your body. Keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle as you press arms overhead. Return your elbows back to hips.

Mommy terms: Place a weight in each hand with elbows at your hips in front of your body. Contract your back muscles by pulling your forearms to your sides. Keep your arms at a 90 degree bend as you bring your arms directly overhead. Then bring your elbows back to your sides, then hands together in front of your body.

Pointers: Engage your abdominals. The only part of your body that moves is your arms. Keep your core straight.

Modification: Sit in a chair if you can’t maintain a neutral spine.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans


Triceps Kickback, light weights


Target: triceps, rear deltoids, core

Start: Square your hips over your knees and hinge forward at the hips. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Flex your arms to 90 degrees with a weight in each hand. Elevate your elbows above your hips with your palm facing forward.

Motion: Fully extend your arms while keeping your elbow stationary. Release.

Mommy terms: Lift your elbows to your hip with weights in each hand. Keep your elbow stationary while you bend and straighten. You should feel the back of your arms working.

Pointers: For more intensity, raise your elbows higher. Keep your wrist straight as you bring the weight back.

Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans


Triceps Dip


Target: triceps/back of arms, deltoids/shoulders, upper back, chest, core/abs/middle-low back)

Start: From a seated position place your wrists directly under your shoulder joints, fingertips facing out.  With bent knees and your feet on the floor, lift your hips.

Motion: Flex your elbows and extend. Squeeze your upper back muscles so your chest stays open.

Pointers: Try not to let elbows bow out, this works different muscle groups.
Repetitions: 1 set of 15 for beginners; 2 sets of 15 for veterans


Posture curls, Heavy Weights


Target: biceps/Front of arms, core/abs and back

Start: Stand with your feet a few inches apart and a free weight in each hand. Keep your upper arms and elbows gently pressed against your body for the duration of the exercise.

Motion: With your palms facing out, bring the weights toward the shoulders. Keep a neutral spine. Flex at the elbows and bring your arms up toward your shoulders.

Mommy terms: Stand with your knees slightly bent and your elbows at your sides. Hold a weight in each hand, palms facing outward. Pull your back muscles together (core activation from intro). Keeping your elbows at your side, bring your hands toward your shoulders and release.

Pointers: Try not to let your elbows leave your sides and do not bend at the wrists. Don’t swing the weights: slowly raise and lower them.

Modification: If this bothers your carpal tunnel you can perform the exercise with your palms facing front instead of out to the sides.

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