6 moves to sculpt sleek, toned arms and shoulders
Sculpt Toned, Sexy Arms
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The 85th annual Academy Awards marked the end of an impressive 2013 awards season. And while the talented actors, writers, directors, etc. are undoubtedly inspiring, come Oscar Sunday, all eyes are on those perfectly toned bodies draped in unbelievably gorgeous gowns. In addition to neutral colors and full skirts, this year's glitziest event was a symposium for sleek, sexy arms and shoulders—which are always en vogue, on or off the red carpet.
Inspired by the incredibly fit celebs who wowed us the most (Hello, Jennifer Garner!), this upper-body workout is designed to sculpt your shoulders, chest, and arms. Do these moves three or four times a week and come sleeveless season, you'll be ready to show off that strong, toned look you've always wanted.
Workout details: Three or four times a week, perform 1 set of each exercise back to back, moving at a moderate pace and focusing on form. Do the entire routine 3 times through.
You'll need: A set of 5- to 10-pound dumbbells, one light dumbbell (2 to 3 pounds), one heavy dumbbell (10 to 30 pounds), and a jump rope.
Need some fitspiration? Check out our picks for the top 10 best-dressed fit celebs at the 2013 Academy Awards.
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Reps: 30 per side
Grab a light dumbbell (2 to 3 pounds) and stand in a split stance with your right foot forward. Bend right knee and hinge forward from hips until your torso is parallel to the floor. Make sure back is flat and shoulders are square.
Holding the dumbbell in your left hand, lift your straight arm up to shoulder height. Square off shoulders and hips again. Raise and lower your arm 1 inch, keeping torso parallel to the floor and belly button drawn up and in. Lift chin off chest and keep arm as close to your side as possible. Do 30 lifts on each side.
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Reps: 10 per side
Grab a heavy dumbbell (10 to 30 pounds) and stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend knees, shift hips back, and lower torso until it's parallel to the ground. Press right hand up against the wall and perform a row with the dumbbell in your left hand, bending left elbow straight up to the ceiling.
Make sure to keep glutes and core engaged the entire time. Avoid any rounding in your back. Do 10 reps per side.
Plank with 'T' Raise
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Reps: 10 per side
Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists directly below shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Draw shoulders down and back and belly button up and in.
Keeping hips level, lift your left arm straight out from your shoulder. Come back to center and switch sides. Make sure you do not lift your arm higher than shoulder height. Keep head and neck neutral. Do 10 reps on each side.
Pushup to Side Plank
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Come into a plank position with wrists directly below shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Bend your elbows and lower your body down until chest is hovering above the floor.
Without arching your back, press yourself back up into a straight-arm plank. Shift weight into right hand as you rotate onto the sides of your feet. Bring left arm straight up above the shoulder. Keep hips lifted.
Return to top-of-a-pushup position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Once you've done a side plank on both sides, perform a pushup. That's one rep. Do 10 reps total.
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Grab a pair of dumbbells (5 to 10 pounds) and stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend both knees, shift hips back, and lower torso until it's parallel to the floor.
Hold the dumbbells at your centerline. Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you raise your arms up to shoulder height, palms facing each other. Slowly lower the weights back down to center. Keep chest lifted and shoulders down and back. Do 10 reps.
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Jump roping is the ideal way to torch calories and work every muscle in the body. Unlike the treadmill, jumping rope engages your arms as well.
Keep your toes facing forward and stay light on your feet when jumping. Use your wrists more than your arms to swing the rope. Draw shoulders down and back. Do as many jumps as possible in 1 minute.