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Multitasking Moves! Workouts That Target Arms and Abs

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Multitasking Moves! Workouts That Target Arms and Abs

At times, you want to focus on specific areas of the body,
and two of the most popular – for men and women – are abs and arms. Add these
exercises to your workout routine to enhance your core and strengthen and tone your
arms. Say hello to six-pack abs and goodbye to arm flab!

Cable Machine Workouts

Don’t be intimidated by that cable machine hanging on the
wall of the gym – use it! The cable machine is one of the best tools in the gym
for working the core, especially the obliques and lower abs. (Don’t believe me?
Ask professional bodybuilders!)
Here are two moves get you started –

Stiff-Arm Pull-Down

This exercise gives you a core workout while also working
the lats and arms.

  • Set a cable pull-down bar to the highest setting or use a
    lat pull-down machine.
  • Stand facing the cable and hold the bar with your arms fully
    extended. Keep your arms straight and pull the bar down to hip-height without bending
    forward. Repeat.

One-Arm High Pulley Cable Side Bend

This is a fantastic, yet under-utilized, oblique exercise,
that focuses on each individual oblique, creating constant tension. Again, set
a cable pull-down bar to the highest setting or use a lat pull-down machine.

  • Stand
    with your side facing the cable. With one hand, reach up and grab the handle
    with an underhand grip.
  • Then, pull down the cable until your elbow touches your
    side and the handle is by your shoulder.
  • Position your
    feet hip-width apart then place your free hand on your hip to help gauge the pivot
    point.
  • While keeping your arm in a static position, contract your oblique to
    bring the weight down in a side crunch.

Once you
reach a maximum contraction, slowly release the weight to the starting
position. The weight stack should never be unloaded in a resting position. The
aim is constant tension during the set. Repeat. Then reposition and repeat the
same series of movements on the opposite side.

Dumbbell Exercises

These two exercises can be done from the comfort of home
with just a set of dumbbells!

Front Raise

This move was designed to work your arms, but, in turn,
strengthens the core, too.

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells with arms straight out atyour
    sides. Your palms should face in.
  • Raise your arms straight in front of you, making them parallel
    to the floor and at a right angle to your torso.
  • Hold, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting
    position.

Pushup
Row

Start in
pushup position. Keep your arms straight, holding your dumbbells in each hand.Your
feet should be slightly more than hip-width apart.

  • Lower
    your body to the floor, doing a pushup. After you push yourself back up, pull
    one dumbbell to the side of your chest and hold it.
  • Then
    lower the dumbbell, and repeat the move on the other side. Repeat 10 times on
    each side.

The Plank

You might be surprised to know that many fitness
professionals say crunches shouldn’t make up the majority of your ab.That’s
because doing crunches alone leads to an imbalanced physique. An alternative to
crunches is the plank – it adds a new level of difficulty that can’t be found
in crunches alone.

Planking Mastery

The plank can strengthen arms, shoulders, abs and glutes. Mastering
of the basic front plank will help you move on to different variations. Focus
on proper technique to avoid low back problems.

  • First, get on the floor in a pushup position.Starting with a
    neutral spine, (butt in the air without swaying back!), rest your weight on
    your forearms.
  • Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body
    should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Hold this position for
    as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for two minutes.
  • Proper shoulder position is vital to planking. Be careful
    not to shrug your shoulders toward your ears.
  • Then there’s head position.
    Resist the urge to crane your neck up or let your head droop down.
  • Stare at
    your fists to help you maintain good head position.

These
exercises can get you started in strengthening your arms and abs. There’s so
much variety in exercises that you’ll never get bored with a core-and-arm
workout again!

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