Summer Fit Series: Sizzling Arms Sculpting Workout
The most effective way to bring Reformer Pilates into the home is to purchase a set of resistance bands. These resistance bands will mimic the springs on the Reformer. The purpose and effectiveness of this is to give the exercises negative resistance, a.k.a constant resistance in the exercise movements. I would like to note that you can do any of these exercises without resistance bands and use hand weights as well; I personally think you will get more results with the resistance bands.
Here are the things you’ll need to get started…
*Exercises should be performed sitting on a swiss/exercise ball, standing or sitting on your tail bone with the resistance band wrapped around the arch of your foot for more abdominal stabilization work.
To get great looking arms, you need to have nice shoulders and back to go along with them. Having one without the other wont give you the look you are trying to achieve. These exercises are a great way to shape and strengthen all three!
1. Newspaper-With the resistance band trapped in a door at hip level (whether sitting or standing), face the door. Resistance bands in your hands, chest open and up, abdominals tucked in with your arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows at your side. Exhale and you draw the hands outward rotating from the shoulders, but keeping the elbows tucked in at your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades drawing the resistance band as far out to the side with your hands as possible. Hold for a second and then slowing as you inhale close your hands back inward. The motion of your hands will look as if you are opening and closing a newspaper. Repeat the exercise for one minute.
2. Barbie Arms-Resistance band should be trapped in the door at shoulder height. Draw your arms straight up and at shoulder height. With the resistance band, keeping your arms at this elevation, exhale and bend at the elbows to perform a biceps curl. Hold the contraction for a second and then inhale straightening your arms back out but keeping them at shoulder height. Repeat for one minute.
3. Back Flys– Position in a seated stance. Slowly and in a controlled manner, bring your arms back until they are parallel with your sides. Once you reach the final position, palms facing each other, exhale as your squeeze your shoulders blade together drawing the resistance band out to the side. Inhale and allow the arms to come back into center. Repeat for one minute.
4. V for Victory-This time turn around and face away from wherever your resistance band is trapped. If it is behind the door them place the band down at floor level. Start with hands by your side. Exhale while keeping your arms straight and lift them up and at an angle as if you were a cheerleader making a the letter V shape with your arms. Hold for a second at the top and then inhale drawing your arms back down to your side. Repeat exercise for one minute.
5. Shoulder Press-Challenge yourself again to not drop your arms down from the previous exercise. Starting with your arms in the end position from V for victory (arms lifted to shoulder height), inhale and bend the elbows and allow them to draw back squeezing the shoulder blades together. Exhale and straighten your arms forward and up, as if you were a Mario jumping for the coin but do it with both hands at the same time. Repeat for one minute.
6. Arm Circles-Immediately drop the band, keep the arms up and out to the side and ever so slightly draw circles with your hands. Move in a forward direction for one minute, followed by the opposite direction for an additional minute.
Incorporating these exercises into your routines will help shape and strengthen your arm muscles. Challenging yourself by keeping those arms elevated for most of the time will help chisel the shoulders creating nice lines and definition. To make these exercises more challenging do them for longer than a minute each time or go back through the whole routine again for an additional minute each!