Lateral rasies for your shoulders and dips or tricep pushdowns work the best for me, but you might need a female perspective.
I think that good 'ol pushups work really well in toning my arms. It uses your own body weight to tone and strengthen multiple muscles at the same time- core, shoulders, forearms, back, and pectorals.
pushups give a good workout for the arms and chest. Tricep dips are great too, as kjrzeek1 said. These are good exercises because they can be done anywhere and without needing any special equipment.
The barbell curls work very well. I have tried them and they worked wonders in my arms.
I learned these exercises some years ago in an exercise class run by a former boxing champion. You need no weights and you don't have to do push ups. And at over 60, I do NOT have "bingo wings".
Stand upright for all of these exercises, knees soft. Work up being able to do 1 minute on each exercise. You may want to start at 20 seconds per exercise first. You can do them in any order.
1. Arms held straight out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing down. "Paddle" your arms up and down quickly, a distance of about 6 inches in each direction.
2. Arms held out straight in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing. "Clap" your hands, without them actually touching. Keep moving your hands back and fore quickly, in the clapping motion.
3. Arms straight in front at shoulder height, palms facing down. Make a fist with each hand, then straighten your hand out. Again, keep doing this quickly.
4. Arms held straight but now pointing to the ceiling at about 45 degrees. Cross hands over one another in a scissor movement, alternating which hand is on top.
5. Repeat this with hands straight up in the air.
6. Arms straight out to your side at shoulder height. Palms facing down to the floor. Paddle your hands up and down quickly just a small distance.
7. Arms out to your side at shoulder height, palms facing front. Rotate your whole arm in a small circle, as if your fingers were outlining a cricket or tennis ball.
8. Repeat in the opposite direction.
If you can do all 8 exercises one after the other for 1 minute each, you will be doing better than the men attending the exercise class!
Pushups and chair dips.
One of my favorite exercise machines, I call the "reverse" machine because the less weight you you the higher the resistance - the machine is commonly known as the "assisted pull up" machine, however, it is excellent for the classic chair dip exercise - only the machine "assists you" by lessening the amount of weight.
As the photo shows, the chair dip position target that difficult part of the arm opposite the bicep.
This is also a fantastic machine for the shoulders.
As we age, both men and women alike loose upper body strength and muscle tone. This is the best machine and perhaps the least understood.
Once people try it out and understand it - they LOVE it!
A little bit late to this discussion but thought I'd add my 2 cents. Like people have said, pushups are great for toning your arms as well as your core as well as other major muscles. When you're ready, moving on to light dumbbell exercises have proven to be very effective for me. They add a really nice tone to your deltoids where they meet with your biceps/triceps.
Here are two exercises that I use regularly. (You can start with 5-pound dumbbells and each hand and slowly work your way up. You probably don't need to go anymore than 10 pounds).
1) stand with your hands at your side then raise both arms up and to the side. Keep your arms as straight as you can and try to raise them to a parallel level with your shoulders (if that sounds confusing, raise them so that it looks like you are making wings). Do this about 10 to 15 times and 3 or 4 sets.
2) stand with your hands at your side with your palms facing back. Then raise them up straight ahead of you to a parallel shoulder level. Again, do this 10-15 times and 3-4 sets.
** When going for tone, be sure to have proper form and go slow so that you can feel your muscles. Going to fast and just trying to get through it will not help you achieve proper results.
*** A set of dumbbells like above typically come in handy not only for these exercises but also many others.
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