Five Moves for Toned Arms

May 25, 2016
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Summer is coming, and it’s time for tanktops, sundresses and swim suits.  Now is the time to kick your upper body workout in full gear.  These moves are great for anyone who wants to tone their arms, especially if they have a lower body injury.  I created a quick upper body workout using five of my favorite moves for toned arms, shoulders, back and chest.

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All you need are weights (or water bottles) and a countertop. Don’t drop your arms in between sets, just drop the weights if it becomes too difficult! 

Countertop pushups

I have noticed a big difference in my definition in my arms since I started doing these.  As silly as it seems, I do 20 reps twice a day while I rinse with mouthwash.  Killing two birds with one stone saves me time and reminds me to do them every day.

To do the move: Find a counter top that is waist/ chest high (bar, kitchen counter, bathroom counter, etc.).  With your body in a diagonal line from head to toe, press your hands against the counter and push up.  Do 20 reps.

Muscle man around the world

The muscle man move has been around for a while, but the “around the world” aspect will work different tiny muscles and angles in your arms, chest and shoulders.  You will need your weights for the rest of the toned arms moves.

To do the move: (Move 1) Hold a set of weights (I use 5lb.) straight up in a goal post stance.  Lift and lower your arms 10 times.  (Move 2) Bring your arms to a diagonal and repeat.  (Move 3) Bring your arms straight in front of you and complete 20 reps.  Repeat Move 2 & Move 1 (10 sets each).

Arm rotations

At this point, you will start to feel the burn.  Don’t drop your arms!  You can do this!!

To do the move: Hold arms straight out to the sides and rotate your arms back and forth in the shoulder joint.  Do 20 reps (1 rep is back and forth).

Bicep curl combo

Work those biceps from the front and side!

To do the move: With your arms down by your side at a 90 degree angle, lift and lower toward your chest. Bring your arms out to a 90 degree diagonal and repeat.  This is one set. Do 20 reps.

Tricep raises + kickback combo

Don’t forget to show your triceps some love.

To do the move: (Move 1) With your arms straight behind your back, lift and lower 20 times.  (Move 2) Lift your arms as high as you can and squeeze your arms and shoulder blades together 20 times.

Take a quick 10 second break after the last move.  Repeat all 5 moves 2-3 times.

Add these moves for toned arms in to your weekly fitness routine and watch yourself start to tone.

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Let me know how it works for you.  Comment below!

  • Sheryl May 25, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I’m always looking for new ideas for my arms. I’ve done all of these before but it’s nice to be reminded.

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 8:06 am

      The challenge is completing them back to back without dropping/resting. 🙂 Glad it could be a reminder!

  • Rebecca Hicks May 25, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Your arms look amazing!! And these moves are great… A muscle burner for sure. My biggest struggle is dropping my arms during workouts. I need to build my upper body strength! (shout out to Barre and Bites for teaching me the water bottles as weights trick! haha)

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks, girl! That was always my struggle too, but once I learned to fight through it, I saw results. I def. need to continue to build upper body, but I am so happy with my progress.

  • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Love the countertop pushups, great for while cooking dinner and waiting around in the kitchen!

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Thanks! I love the idea of doing them while cooking. 🙂

  • Nellwyn May 25, 2016 at 11:43 am

    This is super helpful! I’m starting to get more into fitness and my arms are definitely my weakest spot. Will have to give some of these a try.

    Nellwyn |

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Mine too! Not being able to workout my lower body much has forced me to get creative with my upper body. haha.

  • Jacqueline @ Mommy State of Mind May 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Love the list! I can do these moves at work too! Score! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Nice!! Even better!! You’re so welcome!

  • Lecy | A Simpler Grace May 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Arms are definitely something I neglect too often. These are great moves! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Neely (@Neelykins) May 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    This is awesome. Thanks for the videos too. I think sometimes when people list out workouts it can be hard to know exactly what to do. This is such a helpful post!

    • Jessica May 25, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you, Neely!! I made a full video and decided the GIFs and descriptions would be easier.

  • candy May 26, 2016 at 7:26 am

    As an older woman now I can use these excerises for the arms

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Glad they are helpful for you!:)

  • Elise May 26, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Your arms look amazing! I can’t wait to try some of these moves out. Thanks for the share!

    – Elise

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Elise!

  • theCuriousPixie May 26, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I so need to start these exercises. You’ve totally inspired me to get them into shape.

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Glad to hear that!! Rock it out, girl!

  • Deynece May 26, 2016 at 10:40 am

    This is great! I am always looking for better ways to tone my arms and this is perfect!!

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you!! Hope you like them!

  • Chrissa - Physical Kitchness May 26, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Awesome videos! I love that you break it down so readers can understand. Those muscle man around the worlds are NO JOKE! We do something similar in the barre classes I teach. SO GOOD!

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      That’s where I got the idea! Love my barre workouts and have seen such definition since doing it.

  • Denay DeGuzman May 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

    This post is completely fabulous! I love, love, love the videos. I have this post pinned to Pinterest so I can come back and be reminded of the exact workout moves that you’re doing. I really need to start toning up my arms. Your arms, by the way look incredibly fit. You’ve become my fit-arm inspiration!

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      You seriously just made my day. I have always had twiggy arms and never thought I was capable of being anyone’s arm inspo. Thank you!!

  • Miriah May 26, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I’ve actually been wondering about a way to do exactly this. My son’s is starting to gain a ton of weight and I need to be able to hold him for longer periods of time. thank you for this!!

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Of course!! I hope this helps build up your upper body strengh.

  • Willow May 26, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I need to get back into a weight lifting routine! When I did it regularly, I saw results. I love the countertop pushups for traveling!

    • Jessica May 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Right? So easy. You can do them anywhere (park bench, counter, table)

  • Leah May 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Nice! These all look great to do! I really am working on my triceps right now, and that one looks like one I will have to add to my list! I have to modify a lot I do, I was in a car accident many years ago and have some limited mobility in one shoulder, but I would love to try these! Thanks!

  • Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy May 26, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Great routine! Also LOVE those shelves in your house – SO awesome 😉

    • Jessica May 27, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you!! My husband built those. I’m pretty proud of them.

  • dixya @food, pleasure, and health May 27, 2016 at 5:47 am

    im saving this post..i could certainly use some arm workout.

    • Jessica May 27, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Thank you, Dixya!! We all can use it.

  • Ref J June 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I love these moves and I will be incorporating them into my routine. I need to pay more attention to my arms. I find I am more focused on my abs, butt and legs and I don’t do as much for toning my arms.