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For the best results, exercise large upper body muscle groups first and work the smaller muscles, such as the triceps and biceps, at the end of your workout.
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Whether you're only considering the idea of showing off your arms on wedding day or you've already ordered that strapless dress, don't dismay. Your arm muscles will quickly respond to training. Take your triceps, for example, they contain between 10 to 30 percent more fast-twitch muscle fibers than other muscles. This is great news, because fast-twitch muscle fibers contract rapidly and, as a result, are toned easily. Focused arm workouts tone and strengthen your arms for the big day.
Tone and Strengthen
When committing to arm exercises, it is important to remember your training goals. After all, they determine your training method. If strong and toned arms are what you're hoping for, then you have to train the muscle tissue to develop in this way. Twelve to 15 repetitions per set facilitates toning. But keep in mind that the number of repetitions you do are directly influenced by the amount of weight you use. For example, if you do fewer repetitions, you can use more weight. By contrast, the more repetitions you perform, the less weight you should use. Likewise, two to three sets of each exercise is recommended for muscle toning.
Re-shaping your musculature won't matter if you develop it unevenly. The risk of injury also increases with muscle imbalances. Avoid this outcome by training opposing muscle groups. When you contract one muscle group, another group responds by stretching. For example, when the biceps contract, the opposing triceps lengthen. To practice, stand tall with your arms by your sides. With a five-pound dumbbell in your right hand, lift the weight up toward your shoulder, bending at the elbow. For this biceps exercise, do two to three sets, with 12 to 15 in each set, for each arm. Immediately after this, put a two-to-three pound dumbbell in the same hand. While you are standing, raise the dumbbell straight above your head and straighten your arm. Slowly bend your arm at the elbow, lowering the weight behind your head. Straighten the arm and do two to three sets, with 12 to 15 in each set, for this triceps exercise. Repeat on the other arm.
Your body composition is also a factor in determining the effectiveness of arm training. Endomorphs are typically round in shape and have less muscle definition. To increase the tone and definition of the arms, they should couple arm exercises with a balanced fat loss program. Ectomorphs tend to have less overall body fat and less potential for muscular development and strength, so they should do arm exercises that tend toward muscle hypertrophy for greater definition in less muscle mass. By contrast, mesomorphs have the greatest potential for fast muscle development as they typically contain more lean body tissue. Keep the repetitions high and the weight low to prevent unwanted muscle bulk.
Overall Cardiovascular Health
Just because your attention is predominantly focused on your arms, don't forget improving your overall health. Cardiovascular training alongside arm exercises will yield the most effective results. Try upper body cardiovascular activities such as swimming, rowing or yoga. Every week, you should do either 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Don't forget to mind your daily diet so it is as healthful as possible.