Be Your Own Personal Trainer: Arms

Whatever your trouble spots or workout style, we have the key tips to help you get the results you've always wanted.

COMPILED BY ROSALEEN McMEEL. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MONREAL LONDON, MONREALLONDON.COM.


THE PROS

? THE GYM EXPERT Jamie Myerscough, chief executive of Educogym, educogym.com

- THE RUNNER John O?Regan, Irish international ultra runner, johnoregan.blogspot.com

? THE PILATES PRO Milena Jaksic Byrne, co-owner of Platinum Pilates, platinumpilates.ie

ARMS

FOR THE GYM BUNNY

Toning the back of the arms is really simple. I recommend attacking the arms with enthusiasm and intensity for growth hormone release - this is the hormone that enables toning and strength. Two exercises will really make a difference and will sculpt those arms. A triceps press down with a rope or a bar targets the outer part. To target the inner part, a triceps extension overhead is the best exercise. The more you can extend your arms towards the ceiling, the more you will target that particularly stubborn area close to the arm pits. Always perform an exercise from full stretch to full contracting for the best results.

FOR THE RUNNER

Running isn't just about your legs. You can also use your run time to help tone your arms and shoulder area, and this ensures you get an all-body workout. The arms move in sync with your legs and when you think about it, you realise that your arms move at the same speed as your legs. It's this opposing movement of the arms that keeps you in a straight line. With that in mind, you can try the following: focus more on your arms and think of using them to propel you forward, rather than letting them just hang loose by your side. Use your arms to help when powering up a hill and then relax them to help with your recovery. To add resistance, try carrying two small water bottles of 250-330ml in size. The extra resistance will recruit the muscles of the arm, and it's also a way to stay hydrated. Try to keep the balance by alternation which bottle you drink from.

FOR THE PILATES FAN

The Pilates plank is perfect for toning your arms and shoulders and even your back. To get into a plank, take the weight onto your hands and your feet and drop your pelvis so that you have a sloping line running from your shoulders to your feet. Just holding this can be tough, but if you really want to work your arms, now lift one arm and reach it out in front and slowly place it down, then lift the other arm and slowly place it down. The secret is to quietly place your hand down with control.


This article originally appeared in the April issue of IMAGE magazine.

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