The 20-Minute Lean-and-Mean Arms Routine

This article originally appeared on Oxygen

“Few things are as immediately noticeable and appealing as toned arms,” says Gretchen Zelek, AFAA-certified group fitness instructor and functional aging specialist.

In just one or two arm-focused workouts a week, you can make amazing progress toward shapely arms of your own. The following 20-minute arm workout, designed by Zelek, can be done anywhere with just two dumbbells, thoroughly engaging your biceps and triceps in 20 minutes max, while also hitting your shoulders for a complete top-to-bottom makeover.

The Dumbbell-Only 20-Minute Arm Workout

Perform the following exercises circuit style four times through fr a 20-minute arm workout — no need to take a break in between other than to catch your breath if need be. “If you’re new to arm-focused workouts, start with lighter weights to start, maybe 2- to 3-pounders, and progress to heavier ones, 5 to 8 pounds or more, once you feel ready to handle them, whether in the same workout or a few weeks down the road,” Zelek recommends.

To get the most out of each and every training session, Zelek says focusing on your form is paramount. “Don’t generate momentum with your arms by swinging from the shoulder,” she explains. “And if you can’t continue correctly, stop the set.”

In addition, don’t rush just to finish in 20 minutes or less. “You need to feel the resistance in your muscles, and that should take at least two full seconds to raise a weight and two seconds to lower it,” Zelek says.


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Gretchen loves to write about fitness, running, and lifestyle over 50. Gretchen, 63, has been married for 35 years and is a mom to 4 grown children. She enjoys volunteering for charities in the Los Angeles area, loves running, and never misses her daily zoom corebarrefit class.

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