Well, according to Franklin Henderson, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, we're wasting our energy worrying about bulking up, when we should be hitting the dumbbells already.
"Women have low testosterone levels, which prevents them from building bigger, bulkier muscles," says Henderson. "Lifting seventy percent of your one-rep max [that means a weight that feels relatively challenging, but not impossible, to lift for one rep] for one to two minutes — or six to twelve reps — will increase your muscle definition connective tissue and bone density. Plus, it'll speed up your resting metabolism. This means that you'll burn more fat even when you're sleeping, and you'll start to see our defined muscles sooner." Wondering exactly how to get the strong guns you crave in no time? Check out Henderson's easy three-step plan for sexy, strong arms.
What To Work On: Triceps
Your Move: Tricep Dips
"Start by sitting on the edge of a bench or chair. Place your hands on the seat of the chair, on either side of your butt. Extend your arms straight supporting your weight. Bring your butt forward and lower yourself while bending at elbows. When your armpits are the same height as your elbows, start to push back up. When the elbows are straight, that’s one rep."
The Result: "This muscle can be a pain to define, but with a little extra effort, you can get that sexy, defined horseshoe shape on the back of the arm."
What To Work On: Biceps
Your Move: Bicep Curl
"To start, select a weight that you can perform the bicep curl controlled (no jerking or swinging) but heavy enough to complete no more than 12 reps. By the sixth rep it should burn. You WILL want to put it down. In order to build muscle you will have to go past your comfort zone. You will get to a point where the weight goes down and you can’t get it back up. That is the ideal stopping point."
"To do a basic curl, hold your weights with your arms extended at your sides, and your elbows slightly in front of your ribs. Contract your biceps to lift the weight in a controlled motion up to the shoulder. Lower it to the start position, and repeat."
The Result: "Your biceps are the largest muscle on your arms, so building lean muscle here will help boost your metabolism. Well-defined biceps create a subtle curve just above the elbow that sloping upwards, give you that's awesome 'I'm ripped' look."
What To Work On: Deltoids
Your Move: Lateral Raise
"For lateral raises, the weight on the exercise may be significantly lighter — around five pounds is fine. The length of the arms multiplies the gravitational force, which makes it more challenging. To start, hold your free weights in each hand. Raise the arms to the side until the palm are parallel to the floor. Lower the arms to forty-five degrees, and repeat. Keep your shoulders pulled down as far away from your ears as possible, using just the deltoids to lift the arms out to the side."
"The deltoids are a three part muscle that allows us to use our arms in the full circular ranges of motion. This is the muscle your biceps and triceps meet, on the front and back side. This union is the place you will see most of your definition."
Photo: Courtesy of H&M