Get slim and strong arms like the red carpet stunner with this quick and easy workout routine
Lupita Nyong'o has been wowing us all award season long. But it wasn't her breathtaking red carpet looks or darling selfies that had us gasping the first time we saw her—it was her killer arms. They are strong, toned, and more than capable of carrying all the awards she's racking up this season. So we turned to Meka Gibson, personal training manager at David Barton Gym, to find out how we can chisel our own upper bodies into something even slightly close to resembling Lupita. "The way to toned arms like Lupita's is making sure to work the major upper body muscles to create symmetry and definition," says Meka.
How it works: Meka gave us three exercises that can be done at home or in the gym and perfectly complement a cardio workout. For all of these exercises, Meka recommends choosing weights that will allow you to do 10 to 11 reps with good form. "It should be slightly challenging to get those last two to four reps," she says. If you find you can easily swing the weights, or can't finish the movement from beginning to end, choose a more appropriate weight or stop and rest before starting the next set.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Triceps Pressdown
With the V-handle attachment positioned at the high setting, face the adjustable cable machine and grab the handle with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Bring your elbows to your sides so your forearms are parallel to the floor.
Extend your forearms straight down by contracting the triceps, rotating the attachment slightly so that your knuckles face the floor at the bottom. When your arms are fully extended, pause and then reverse to return to the start position.
12 to 15
Do not stop the down movement until your elbows are completely extended.
Keep your elbows tight to your sides throughout the exercise.
2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Standing in a shoulder-width stance, grab a pair of dumbbells with palms facing inward and let them hang at your sides.
Raise your arms out to the sides until they're at shoulder level. Pause, then lower the weights back to the starting position.
12 to 15
Avoid using momentum to move through the exercise. Focus on moving in a slow and controlled fashion with each rep.
Avoid bending your arms throughout the movement. Try to keep your arms as straight as possible.
3. Alternating Dumbbell Biceps Curl
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip and arms fully extended with palms facing your sides. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and dumbbells should be resting at thigh level.
Curl one dumbbell toward the same shoulder, keeping the opposite arm extended. As you curl the weight up, slightly rotate the wrist so your palm is facing you. Pause, and then return to the starting position. Alternate sides on the next repetition.
12 to 15
Keep your elbows stationary throughout the movement. Do not lift or move the elbows.
Make sure to squeeze the biceps at the top of the lift.
Use a controlled pace throughout the movement.