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Good news: You don't have to pump major iron to beat dreaded arm jiggle. To help you get sleek, sculpted arms in time for tank-top season, we asked Michael Olajide, co-owner of Aerospace HPC studio in New York City, for a routine that's low on equipment and big on benefits. And it takes just 20 minutes!
This seven-move workout, based on Olajide's Aerosculpt class, requires nothing more than your own body weight, a jump rope, and a set of 1- to 2-pound hand weights. Begin by skipping rope, which helps tire out your arm muscles. "This way, you won't need to lift much weight to achieve results," explains Olajide. Instead of counting reps, you'll count seconds for an easy-to-follow routine that blasts fat as it sculpts muscle.
Do each move in order without rest for 60 seconds (or until your muscles are exhausted), then repeat twice more. Done three times per week, this routine will sculpt your arms from your shoulders to your fingertips in less than a month!
Fitness Focus: shoulders
Fitness Focus: shoulders, lower arms
Fitness Focus: back, biceps
Fitness Focus: triceps
Fitness Focus: shoulders
Sculpting sexy arms requires gripping weights, which can strain the forearm muscles. Stay safe with this mini routine:The Strengthener
Go sleeveless with confidence with these three twists on jumping rope. Do two minutes of each variation before moving to the next, then repeat the cycle two or three times.1. Lateral Hop
Works: inner and outer thighs; strengthens ankles
Burns: extra calories -- by forcing legs to work harder
Poor form can sabotage your arm-toning routine by allowing other muscle groups to do all the work. See if you're cheating yourself out of results during these common arm exercises:
The Move: Biceps curl
The Cheat: Bending forward or backward at the waist makes it easy for momentum to take over.
Fix It: Do the move with your back against a wall.
The Move: Standing shoulder press
The Cheat: Many people bend their knees too much, then stand up to give themselves added power when pressing the weights overhead.
Fix It: Do the move seated instead.
The Move: Triceps push-down
The Cheat: If you draw your elbows behind you as you press the bar down, it shifts the effort off the triceps and onto the shoulders and lower chest muscles.
Fix It: Pin your elbows to your sides to prevent them from swaying back.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2005.