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The Best Arm Exercises

Want buff arms like Michelle Obama's? Experts pick exercises that are best for strengthening and toning the arms.

4 Multi-Tasking Arm Exercises continued...

3. Bicep Curl/Shoulder Press Combo

  • Prepare: Holding a pair of free weights or standing on an exercise band and holding it with the palms face up, stand tall with feet hip-width apart, abs tight. 
  • Perform: Lift the weights or band toward your shoulders (flexing elbows), turn the palms to face out and continue pushing the weight or band over your head in a fluid, continuous motion. Then reverse the motion, bring the weight down to your shoulders with the palms out, then turning them to fully extend the elbows, bringing the arms to the starting position.
  • For a challenge: Chances are, you can use more weight while doing this combination move, so try it. Try not to rest between each repetition. Repeat to fatigue (strive for 12-15 repetitions). 
  • Working muscles: Biceps, deltoids, triceps.

4. Tricep Dips

  • Prepare: Sitting with your hands on the edge of a sturdy bench, fingers pointing toward you, slowly walk your feet out in front of you and take your bottom off the bench.
  • Perform: Slowly lower and lift your body weight, being sure to fully extend the arm and maintaining perfect posture throughout (do not roll the shoulders in). Whether your knees are bent at 90 degrees (easier) or legs are straight out (harder), be sure to lower yourself straight down (keeping a 1-inch gap between your back and the bench for the entire range of motion) and not in a swinging motion toward your feet. Repeat to fatigue (strive for 12-15 repetitions).
  • Challenge: Try this with one heel stacked on the other.
  • Working muscles: Triceps, deltoids.

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Reviewed on April 24, 2008

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