Tone up your arms with our five-minute, five-move plan. Perform the following exercises for one minute each — all you need is a yoga mat and a pair of light dumbbells to get started.
Number One: Upright Row
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart and place a dumbbell in each hand. Your closed palms should be facing your body.
- The shoulders should be over your pelvis, with knees slightly bent.
- Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise them to your shoulders, bending your elbows out to the sides.
- Slowly lower them to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Perform as many reps as possible — while keeping proper form — in one minute.
Number Two: Overhead Press
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart and pick up the weights, holding the dumbbells so your palms are face down. Lift up your weights until they are at your shoulders, palms facing forward, with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Raise your arms until elbows are extended, moving the weights until they almost touch above your head.
- Slowly return back to the starting position (with elbows at a 90-degree angle).
- Perform as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.
Drop the weights, hit the floor, and perform the following three arm-toning exercises.
Number Three: Diamond Push-Ups
- Start in the plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in one straight line; separate your feet so they're about shoulder width apart to help you stay balanced throughout the exercise. If you can't do a push-up this way, then just lower your knees to the floor.
- Place your hands together directly under your sternum, with the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touching. Your fingers and thumbs should form a diamond or triangle shape.
- As you inhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the floor. Then exhale to straighten your arms. This counts as one push-up.
- Complete as many push-ups as you can in one minute.
Number Four: Quarter Dog
Photo: Jenny Sugar
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you're creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers.
- Try to straighten your legs as much as you can. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of the mat.
- Relax your head between your arms and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths, before pushing back to Downward Facing Dog.
- Take a few breaths to rest in Downward Dog, then move back to the Quarter Dog position. Flow back and forth for one minute.
Number Five: Elbow Plank
- Start on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees.
- Step your feet out one at a time, coming into a plank position.
- Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor, with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
- Hold for one minute. If that feels like too much, hold a plank for 30 seconds, take a two-second break, then hold another elbow plank until the minute is up. You'll work your way up to a full minute as you build strength!