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Arms Race: Barre Exercises for Strong, Sexy Arms

You'll have the right to roll up your sleeves and bare chiseled ballerina arms with this 20-minute routine.

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Woman looking up and away, with arm bent up by head, arm workout
Nathaniel Welch
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About This Workout

Hot tip for spring training: You'll soon be coveting "barre" arms. "Ballerinas have chiseled arms without unwanted bulk," says Andrea Rogers, the founder of the newly opened Xtend Barre studio in Brooklyn. Rogers adds one-pound weights to dance-inspired movements for a little extra carving power. Click through to try them, and -- voila! -- you'll be ready to roll up or rip off those sleeves.

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Swimming

Targets shoulders

  • Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, arms out to sides with palms facing up and elbows slightly bent.
  • Rotate left arm and shoulder forward so palm faces behind you, then reverse motion back to start.
  • Do 16 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Add a set. Rotate both arms at the same time until palms face behind you, reverse motion back to start and repeat. Do 15 reps.

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Liftoff

Targets triceps

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees slightly, hinge forward from hips and bring hands behind ears, palms facing forward and elbows pointing out to sides (as if doing sit-ups).
  • Straighten legs and rise on toes as you extend arms directly overhead, palms facing forward.
  • Return to hinged position and repeat.
  • Do 2 sets of 16 reps.

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Waltzing

Targets shoulders and biceps

  • Stand in plié position with heels touching, toes turned out and knees slightly bent; with a dumbbell in each hand, extend arms overhead to form a V, palms facing out to sides.
  • Rotate left wrist inward, bending left elbow, and tap fingers to top of left shoulder. Reverse motion back to start.
  • Do 16 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Add a set. Rise up on toes and rotate arms in V position so palms face each other; rotate arms so that palms face outward again. Repeat. Do 8 to 16 reps.

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Temperature

Targets shoulders, triceps, and biceps

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand in plié position with heels touching, toes turned out and knees slightly bent; extend arms out to sides, palms facing forward.
  • Bend left elbow to tap the back of left hand to forehead. Reverse motion back to start.
  • Do 16 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 2 sets.

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Biceps X

Targets shoulders and biceps

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, a dumbbell in each hand with arms out to sides; bend elbows so arms form a W, palms up.
  • Sweep bent arms to cross each other (right arm over left arm) in an X in front of collarbone, palms facing behind you.
  • Open arms to W position, repeat.
  • Do 2 sets of 16 reps.
  • MAKE IT HARDER: Add a set. After the last rep, keep arms crossed and pulse them up and down 1 inch. Do 16 reps.

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Bent-Over Boxing

Targets shoulders, back, and triceps

  • Stand with feet close, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees and hinge forward from hips, keeping back straight.
  • Raise right arm forward, palm facing down, and extend left arm behind you with palm facing up (arms should form a straight line with upper body). Pulse arms up and down 1 inch 3 times.
  • Extend arms out to sides, palms facing down. Then switch sides, left arm forward (palm down) and right arm behind you (palm up), and repeat pulses to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 2 sets of 16 reps.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, March 2014.

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Shannon20054 wrote:

Awesome !! looking forward to all your articles. Just signed up. Count me in!!

4/1/2014 11:23:21 PM Report Abuse
smithlb10 wrote:

My BMI has went from 30.7 to 27.3. I went from "obese" to "overweight." I'm halfway through my journey and I'm proud of my success thus far. Track my success and struggles through http://successbysweat.blogspot.com

3/30/2014 10:40:57 AM Report Abuse
smithlb10 wrote:

I've lost 22 pounds and 3 inches off my arms, but still working on flab. This will help! http://successbysweat.blogspot.com

3/30/2014 10:35:26 AM Report Abuse

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