Get ready to bare your arms for tank top season! In just seven minutes, these exercises will help tone and strengthen your arms. Bonus: They also increase mobility throughout your shoulder region.
How it works: Perform as many reps as possible of each exercise in 60 seconds. You can perform all seven moves as one workout or implement one or more of these moves into your current routine.
1. Hack Saws: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out and knees softly bent. Extend arms out to your sides so body forms a "T" shape, keeping a natural arch in lower back and chin parallel to the floor. Bend arms until elbows form 90-degree angles with palms facing forward. Contract core muscles and quickly lower palms to parallel with the floor. Reverse direction.
Coach's tip: Keep triceps parallel with the floor at all times. This will ensure increased shoulder mobility and strength gains.
2. Single-Leg Spider Woman Walk-Outs: Stand with feet hip-width apart, keeping a natural arch in lower back. Contract core while you raise left knee so thigh is parallel with the floor and extend arms overhead. Bend right knee and lower glutes toward the floor as you hinge forward at hips. Place palms on the floor in front of feet and walk hands forward until you come to a pushup position. Extend left leg back, keeping foot lifted off the floor throughout the entire exercise. Quickly walk hands back and reverse direction to starting position. Switch legs after 30 seconds.
Coach's tip: To advance the move, perform a pushup when in the pushup position.
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3. Modified Elevator-Ups: Get in a modified pushup position with knees and hands resting on the floor, body in a straight line from shoulders to hips. Contract core and slowly lower body to the half-way point between starting position and floor. Hold for 2 seconds. Lift back to starting position.
4. Alternating Frontal Lifts: Get in a pushup position with feet hip-width apart and hands in line with shoulders. Contract core and quickly raise right arm in front of body until parallel with the floor. Lower arm and raise left arm to parallel with the floor. Continue alternating arms.
Coach's tip: Focus eyes on the floor throughout the entire exercise to help avoid unwanted stressed on back of neck.
5. Unilateral Dips: Get in a pushup position with feet hip-width apart and hands in line with shoulders. Contract core and quickly raise right hand off the floor. Place right forearm on the floor directly under chest. Draw shoulder blades together, pulling forearm off of the floor and placing right hand back in starting position. Repeat with left arm and continue, alternating arms.
Coach's tip: To ensure proper form, use the hand of the arm that you lowered onto the floor to press into the ground to go back to starting position.
6. Turtle-Ups: Get in a pushup position with feet hip-width apart and hands in line with shoulders. Contract core and slowly lower elbows to the floor while simultaneously bending at the knees and dropping them toward the ground. (Elbows and knees will come to rest approximately one inch from the floor.) Pause. (You will look like a turtle.) Contract core and press palms and toes into the floor, slowly driving body back to starting position. Work through this exercise at a slow but consistent pace.
Coach's tip: Bring elbows and knees as close to each other as possible at their lowest point. This will help to activate and recruit as many fibers as possible in the triceps region.
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7. Jack Knives: Get in a pushup position with feet hip-width apart and hands in line with shoulders. Contract core, push hips toward the ceiling, and slowly walk hands back toward feet until body forms an upside down letter V. Bend elbows and lower head toward the floor. Press palms into floor and push back up.
Coach's tip: To reduce neck strain, form a straight line from back of head to hips.