Switching up your workouts is a really great way to make sure your mind and body stay engaged — and especially when you’re working out at home, you may not have the same motivation you’d have while attending classes or physically going to the gym. And if you really miss the gym experience of being able to get some advice on what to do with your body from people who actually understand the science behind it and you’d kill for some pointers on how to target the areas you want to give extra TLC to, our latest personal trainer-approved workouts can totally help you out.
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SheKnows spoke with a few top personal trainers with expertise ranging from barre to yoga about the targeted workouts they’d recommend to clients for their legs, core and, finally, arms.
So instead of relying on your standard arm workout (like, maybe you do really love your kettlebells, but they can get old!), check out these routines for strong, toned arms that our favorite personal trainers love — and see if you don’t feel like a superhero by the time you’re done.
Pure Barre’s VP Training Technique, Katelyn DiGiorgio, shares her favorite ballet-inspired workouts for your arms that will lengthen and tone your body like a dancer.
“Pushups help strengthen the chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and upper back, while also recruiting the core, glutes and quads to stay strong and stable in the position,” says DiGiorgio. “There are so many variations of pushups – working from the knees, triceps pushups, switching up your tempo, standing at the barre or counter – they’re modifiable for most people and it’s a great move to perfect over time.”
Lunges with bicep curls
“While still low-impact and controlled, a lunge with biceps curls hits multiple muscle groups working at once, which helps get your heart rate up,” says DiGiorgio. “The biceps are responsible for many arm movements including: flexing the elbow joint to bend the hand towards the shoulder, flexing the shoulder joint, and abduction of the humerus.” DiGiorgio suggests using a light (2-3 lb) set of dumbbells, or you can work without any weights and focus on tight contractions of the biceps.
“It is important to make sure that your exercises are hitting each part of your arms – this means biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms. For biceps, I really love hammer curls to work both the bicep brachii and the brachialis, while going across multiple joints.”
“My favorite way to isolate the biceps is through preacher curls. These are great for a few reasons: they’re a movement that makes it harder to cheat on form by ‘swinging’ the weight up and using momentum rather than using your arms to lift the weight. They also are a great teacher for working through the full range of motion of a curl. When doing these, it’s important to fully extend your arms all the way to the bottom of the curl to get all of the benefits!”
“Dolphin Pose tones the arms and strengthens the core while relieving pressure on your wrists,” says Suber. “This pose also stretches the hamstring and calf muscles. Create a routine by holding Dolphin for 30 seconds and then Downward Facing Dog for 10-second intervals.”
A version of this story was published November 2020.
Before you go, check out these affordable accessories for your own at-home gym: