Next to belly fat and saggy butts, arm flab comes in third place for Body Parts I Wish I Could Hoist Up Like a Flag.
Sadly, after defying gravity for over 50 years, our bodies start to give in to this diabolical force of nature.
Tack on a few extra pounds of fat, and gravity has a field day pulling everything into its grasp, yanking it toward the center of the earth.
Okay, maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but I can’t help but wonder if we’d have fewer wrinkles and perkier glutes in Mars’ gravitational force.
Better yet: Pluto.
Sure, it’s chilly, but you’d have skin like a baby’s. Plus, since it takes about 250 Earth years for Pluto to circle the sun, you’d never be older than half a Plutonian year even if you lived to 125.
And in the vastness of space no one can hear you scream – or complain about your triceps.
It may be worth booking a seat on that rocket.
In the meantime, we Earthlings must find ways to cope.
The best anti-gravity fighter: resistance training.
Lifting heavy objects forces your muscles to step up to the plate, so to speak. When you stress them enough they come back stronger, much like people who’ve gone through trauma.
Working muscles beyond their usual demands creates tiny microtears in the muscle. During recovery time (and the reason you should take a day off from exercising the same muscle) those tears heal and come back stronger and better than ever.
The result: muscle tone and definition.
Having said that, you can only firm muscle, not fat. So if you have a layer of fat covering the muscle in your arm, you won’t see much change until you put down the Ben & Jerry’s, Twinkie, bacon-flavored nacho chips or whatever else you have a hard time resisting.
So, once again, what you eat determines your results. Yup, ignoring your diet is as futile as wondering why we’re taking fashion notes from Caitlyn Jenner.
Makes no sense.
But I digress.
Assuming you have all those ducks lined up (need help? Check out my nutrition posts HERE ), shapely, firm arms and shoulders take work.
Try this basic arm and shoulder routine between 2 to 3x a week for 12 to 15 reps, 2 to 3 sets (start with 1 set if you’re a newbie):
(Need tips to help you get started? Check out 5 keys to get started working out)
Key point: You must use enough resistance where the last few reps are a challenge. Otherwise, increase the weight! Otherwise you won’t be working hard enough to create a change within the muscle.
P.S. If you’d like a more personalized plan, please check out my Total Body Firm Up Plan here. I think you’ll love it!
Which exercises do you do? Will you try any of these new ones?
Questions? Comments? Leave ‘em below.
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.