There’s something about hand-on-the-hip posing for Summer Bikini Pictures that makes women want to tone those arms! I’ve let you in on the secret before…it is not so much about those curls and triceps extensions as it is about those SHOULDERS. I’m trying to shake the idea that lifting heavy bulks you up, because as women, we just physically don’t have what it takes to make ALL that muscle. Kudos to those women who do put hours into their gym routine, obsessively track their macros, and pay top dollar for a blinged out bikini, but the Average Jane is not training her shoulders to be stage ready. Here’s a great workout I’ve been doing this week with my clients that will tone your upper body and give your arms the “fit” look you’re going for in those bikini pictures!
Perform 10 of each exercise. The first two super sets will be done twice. The last shoulder burnout superset will be done three times.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: using the lat Pulldown machine, grab the bar at the widest place and sit down. Pulldown using your back muscles. Try not to overarch your back.
Chest Press: using dumbbells and a beach, lay down flat. Using an overhand Grip and starting the dumbbells at the outside of your chest, press up and together. Keep the weights directly over your chest to exaggerate recruiting of those muscles and to protect your shoulder.
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown: on the same lat machine, use an underhand and narrower grip to pull the weight down. You should feel it in your back still, but a lot more in your biceps.
Chest Fly: lay down on the bench, but this time start with the weights over your chest and your palms facing each other. Let your arms fly open. You should feel a stretch in your chest, but don’t over-rotate your shoulders.
Side Raise: stand with arms at side holding dumbbells in neutral position. Raise arms to shoulder height and return to resting position. Going any higher than shoulder height can put unnecessary pressure on rotator cuff. It is okay if you slightly bend arms at elbow.
Arnold’s: for the shoulder burnout, I perform these standing. Start holding dumbbells with fists facing you. As you press upwards, rotate your hands and push dumbbells together.
Chicken Wings: aka upright row. Start holding dumbbells with hands facing body. Pull upwards, leading with elbows. Watch your wrists, be sure they are not bending too much. Don’t worry about how high you can get it, as long as you’re pulling from shoulders/upper back.
Overhead Press: stand with abs tight so you are not bending. Hands are facing out, press dumbbells up and together.
Front Raise: start with dumbbells on the front of your thighs. Lift up with straight arms, and again only go to shoulder height.