By Dr. Janet Brill
Q: What can I do to build muscle tone in my arms?
A: The best thing you can do to firm up those arms and get rid of that extra underarm “jiggle” for swimsuit season is to get yourself right over to the nearest gym (or you can even do these exercises in the privacy of your own home) and start a regular program of building and toning strength-training exercises.
For the arms, you will need to work on the muscles in the back of your arms (those out-of-shape triceps) and the muscles in the front (the “Popeye” muscles, or biceps). You can tone those muscle groups using gym equipment (or makeshift equipment from your own home).
Some great exercises that target the triceps are triceps pushdowns, bench dips, triceps kickbacks and plain old push-ups. Exercises that target the biceps generally involve “curls,” using dumbbells, barbells or even heavy soup cans from your pantry.
That said, keep in mind that there are two separate types of tissue: fat and muscle. The best way to keep those arms looking lean and shapely is to take a two-pronged approach: lose the fat and put on and tone up the muscle.
Losing body fat involves combining regular calorie-burning aerobic exercise (such as walking or running) with a calorie-controlled diet. Adding and toning muscles requires a regular program of strength-training exercises. Start putting it all together now, and before you know it you’ll be ready for summer looking healthy and fit!