Banish Arm and Belly Jiggle

Never be afraid of a sleeveless top or clingy knit again. This workout will keep you toned and tight.
Woman doing crunches outside

Want to add definition to your arms and strengthen your core before the summer is in full swing? (Really, who doesn't?) By ramping up your cardio (see cardio ideas) and beginning a toning routine, you'll get closer to your goals and feel better in the coming weeks. Keep this fitness regimen going throughout and you'll find yourself stronger and leaner come tank top season.

Sculpt Your Arms
We stole these power moves from our very own Arm Alert article. New York-based Reebok Master Trainer Lisa Wheeler suggests these three moves to rapidly tone and strengthen your tank-top zone. Perform these exercises while holding a 3- to 5-pound weight in each hand. Build up to three sets of each exercise, three times a week. (Learn more about how much weight to use.)

Curl and Lift: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, palms facing front. Bending from the elbow, curl weights up until palms almost touch shoulders. Release slowly to starting position. Rotate palms to face your side. Keeping arms straight, torso erect, raise weights up and back about 45 degrees, squeezing backs of arms and shoulders. Release to starting position. Rotate palms front to perform the curl again. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions of the entire sequence. This exercise also works with exercise tubing or bands for resistance. Just stand on tubing, and hold one end in each hand.

Circle Press: Stand with feet hip-width apart, or sit on a bench, arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Circle arms up, bringing palms together overhead. At top, pull weights down in front of your face, bending from the elbows and rotating palms toward you. Press weights back overhead, palms once again facing each other. Circle back down. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions.

Front Raise and Extension: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, palms facing your body. Raise weights straight in front of body until overhead. Holding at the top, keeping arms in line with ears, bend only from elbows to lower weights behind head. Squeeze backs of arms to straighten overhead before reversing the semi-circle, lowering weights to starting position. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions.

To really sculpt your arms, WeightWatchers.com fitness consultant William Sukala, MS, CSCS, says, "It's important to work the deltoids muscles." The deltoids are the muscles that form the rounded contour of the shoulder. "Well-developed deltoids chisel out the top part of arm between the biceps and triceps," says Sukala. For defined delts, work lateral raises into your routine:

Lateral Raises: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms to form a 90-degree angle, holding the dumbbells out in front of your body. Inhale and then exhale while bringing your elbows up and out to the sides, keeping the weights level with your elbows throughout the motion. Inhale as you lower your arms back to the starting position.

Read more of Sukala's arm strengthening suggestions in Tone Your Whole Body for Summer.

Flatten Your Tummy
Think a 200-crunches-a-day routine will guarantee you Jillian Michael's abs? Sorry, but that's not necessarily true. Sue Fleming, personal trainer and author of the book Buff Brides, says "genetics, age and body type play a role in how flat you can get your abs." She recommends training your abs three to four times per week, doing three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise. Read more of Fleming's flat-abs tips and try these exercises as part of your fitness routine.

Medicine Ball Crunches
Lie back on a mat with your knees bent. Hold a medicine ball above your chest with both hands, then extend your arms straight up over your head and chest. Crunch forward by pushing your lower back into the mat and squeezing your abdominal muscles, exhaling as you go; your shoulders should lift off the mat while you push the medicine ball straight up. Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Stability Ball Crunches
Sit on a stability ball and carefully roll down onto your back so that the ball is resting in your lower back. Bring your elbows out to the sides and touch your fingers to your ears. Exhale while crunching forward in a controlled manner, squeezing your abdominal muscles and keeping an inch or two of space between your chin and chest. Inhale as you return to the starting position.

Raised Head Crunches
Lie back on a mat with your knees bent and cross your arms across your chest. Crunch forward by pushing your lower back into the mat and squeezing your abdominal muscles, exhaling as you go; your shoulders should lift off the mat and your head should go straight up toward the ceiling (do not let your chin roll forward). Inhale as you return to the starting position.
ADVERTISEMENT
Free Newsletter Get it now
ADVERTISEMENT