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Arm advice needed!

(9 Posts)
scampimom Thu 14-Apr-16 10:16:58

I'm hoping some knowledgeable Mumsnetters will be able to help me, as magazines I've looked at and t'internet aren't being very helpful.

Basically, I need some exercise to help build up arm strength. Not fussed about size of muscles or what they look like - I just want much stronger arms. Trouble is, I am starting from arms with the strength of uncooked sausages - I cannot do a single girl pushup, I cannot do a single tricep dip. However, theses are the exercises that I keep being advised to do, but what I really need is something I can do to build up enough strength to be able to do them!

I do have some free weights, but I don't know if they'll be enough or appropriate for just building strength. My ultimate goal is to be able to lift myself with my arms, take my own body weight.

Any bright ideas?

sparechange Thu 14-Apr-16 10:33:09

Can you do push ups against a wall? They are easier than box press ups (on your knees, is this what you mean by 'girl press ups'?)
Press ups are more of a chest exercise than an arm one, unless you have a narrow stance to work your triceps.

You need to start with light weights, high reps, and then build up the weight.
Use your free weights and pick 3 of the following:
12x bicep curls - standing with your arms by your side holding the weights, palms facing up. Bend your elbow to curl up, counting 1.2, then back down 1.2
12 x bench press - lying on your back on a bench or the floor, elbows bent and weights by your shoulders. Straighten the arms up, counting 1.2, then back again 1.2. Don't lock out your elbows at the top
12 x tricep curls - Lean forward with a hand resting on a table for support. Take the weight in the other hand and have your elbow bent so you start with your hand by your boob. Extend the arm behind you and then bring it back to the starting position
12x shoulder press - standing straight with elbows bent and arms by your shoulders, straighten arms and straighten your arms up above your head, don't lock your elbows
12 x shoulder fly - Stand straight with your arms by your side, then lift your arms out to the side and and get them nearly up to shoulder height
12 x press ups on the wall, on your knees, whatever you can do

1 set = running through 3 of those exercises, and aim to do 3 sets every other day, but mix it up a bit, so you aren't doing the same exercises together

Are you doing any core work? If you struggle with press ups, it could show that you have a core weakness and you can't hold yourself steady in the position, which makes it harder

scampimom Thu 14-Apr-16 10:49:18

oh that's fantastic, thank you very much. Yes I've got a good core - can plank till the cows come home and have good core control thanks to bellydance, but the spongy arms are useless! Will give this routine a whirl, thank you very much - just what I was looking for

sparechange Thu 14-Apr-16 11:01:53

Another thing to maybe think about is buying some resistance bands, which are basically giant rubber bands or rubber straps
You can do lots of arm exercises with them, such as standing on the middle bit, taking an end in each hand and doing bicep curls
Or tying one end around a post and taking the other end in your hand and doing woodchops
And it is easy to up the resistance, because you just make the band a bit tighter

You can buy the bands online for a few quid, and it means you can keep it in your bag and do exercises on the hoof. Much easier than carrying weights around with you!

FredaMayor Thu 14-Apr-16 11:30:34

I would advise that whatever method you decide on you to take it slowly at first if your upper limb muscle tone is low. Just a few reps more each day will soon mount up and keep you motivated.

TheEarlOfGrey Thu 14-Apr-16 13:59:12

You could also try negative push-ups where you start from the top position and lower yourself down slowly until your chest touches the floor. This is a great strength builder and means you can work on proper form and engaging your core etc. As you get stronger add the pushing back up part from your knees if necessary. Also, although they're harder, push-ups with your elbows tucked in are considered better for you as they put less strain on your shoulders and you get the benefit of stronger triceps!

longdiling Thu 14-Apr-16 14:04:26

Yes, I've been taught in my exercise classes that my elbows should shave my ribs when I do push ups - so you're working triceps. Doing them on an incline is slightly easier too - so use your bottom step perhaps rather than putting your hands flat on the floor.

scampimom Thu 14-Apr-16 14:40:42

I think I'm going to have to work up to doing even negative push-ups - have tried them recently and couldn't do one! And bottom-step push up is also a bit beyond me at the moment. I think it's going to be against a counter top.

I really am that weak and flabby up top!

lljkk Sun 17-Apr-16 13:15:39

Swimming has toned up my arms something amazing. smile

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