San Francisco has some of the best weather in the country, all year-long it is rarely too hot or too cold. In September, when the fog rolls out and the sun rolls in, it is time to shed a layer of clothing and show off your beautifully sculpted arms. Since sleeveless tops and strapless dresses are always in fashion, Kristi Dowler at VyAyr Fitness makes sure her clients arms are always ready for the spotlight — whether strolling to brunch or walking the red carpet. Here are some of Kristi’s favorite fitness and nutrition tips to get you ready to show off your beautiful arms, too:
The plank is one of the best core and abdominal exercises because it engages so many muscles at the same time. When you plank you are working your entire core, which is more than just your abdominals, it includes your shoulders, back, hips, and glutes. There are various versions ranging from traditional, on your hands or elbows, side plank, or you can make it more challenging by alternately lifting each hand and foot.
For a good plank, begin with your hands, or elbows, slightly wider than shoulder width on your mat, with your body in a line from the back of your head to your heels. This is the basic plank position. Once you are in proper position hold for 20 seconds, take a break and then do it 2 more times working yourself up to 3 sets at 1 min.
2~The Push Up
Though 90 percent of women dread the push up, it is one of the most effective exercises! When done properly the push up is not only a chest exercise but it is also great for the triceps, shoulders and core. There are many versions — from traditional, to incline, decline and modified. If you are a beginner, I suggest starting out with an incline push up.
Begin in the plank position described above, on your hands. Lower yourself down, allowing your chest to lead the way, while keeping the back of your head, your back, and your buns in a nice line. When you get your chest as close to the floor as you can, slowly straighten your arms, pushing yourself back to the top of the move.
As you get more comfortable you can advance to modified, knees bent, on the ground, or traditional, and then to decline~the most challenging. Complete 3 sets of 10.
Another wonderful exercise to help sculpt the shoulders and arms is the dip. The dip is known as a triceps exercise, but it actually uses a lot of shoulders and chest as well. The dip helps sculpt the shoulders and upper arms.
The dip can be done on your mat on the ground, or off the edge of a sofa or chair. To dip on your mat just sit down, put your hands on the ground behind you, fingertips facing your bum, and drive through your heels to press your buns up to the sky. From this position bend your elbows to 90 degrees and allow your buns to drop a little towards the ground and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20.
Do each of these exercises every other day and add 30 minutes of cardio for red carpet ready, sculpted arms.
Leading up to a red carpet event it is also important to eat properly. Here are some nutrition tips that will help to enhance the definition you have worked so hard to get:
1~Stay well hydrated with water, try adding some lemon to it which will help the body banish bloat! Aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces~130 pound women should drink 65 ounces of water each day.
2~Eat foods high in liquid content like watermelon, cucumbers or celery to flush your system, and help to avoid any puffiness.
3~Steer clear of foods that can cause you to retain water such as chips, heavy carbohydrates such as bread or crackers, or any other processed foods.
4~Eat your final meal of the day at least 3 hours before going to bed. If you must eat a late night snack make it something light such as a small piece of turkey or possibly a couple of bites of plain yogurt.