Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Effective workouts for Abs and Arms

Whether you're training for swimsuit time or just to show off your physique at the gym, flat abs and toned arms are always attractive. Strong arms and abs also are functional as they make it easier to lift heavy objects, maintain balance and move efficiently. Work out your abs and arms together to save time; even three days a week can make a noticeable difference.
Body-Weight Workout
When you're at home and you want to exercise your arms and abs, you can do this workout. You will need a chin-up bar to do the workout, or use one at the gym or a bar at a park. This workout includes triceps push-ups for the triceps, chin-ups for the biceps, sit-ups for the front abdominals and side crunches for the side ab muscles. Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions to increase muscle tone.
Isometric Workout
An isometric workout doesn't require exercise equipment. Isometric exercises work the muscles through a contraction without movement to increase endurance. Pushing your palms against each other with equal force isometrically works your forearm muscles, for example. The muscles contract, but the arms stay in one spot. A plank exercise strengthens your abs and works the arms as you hold the position with straight arm and a straight back. A side plank targets the sides of the abdomen and one arm at a time. You can do these three exercises and an upward plank too, which strengthens the arms, abs and glutes. Hold all isometric positions for 20 seconds and work up to two sets of 60 seconds each.
Weight Machine Workout
Weight machines work the arms and abs to increase muscle strength and size. To get stronger without adding a lot of bulk, do three sets of six to eight reps of exercises on machines. Perform preacher curls for the biceps, triceps extensions for the triceps, abdominal crunches on an ab machine and standing cable rotations with a cable machine to work the obliques on the sides of the abdomen.
Dumbbell Workout
Pairs of dumbbells are effective tools for training the abdominals and arms. Use these at home if you have a set of dumbbells or do dumbbell workouts at the gym. Perform French presses for the triceps, hammer curls for the biceps, dumbbell push crunches for the front of the abs and dumbbell side bends for the obliques. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps.