New Year, New Me – Exercise | 10 Minute Arm Toning Workout

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This is the third post in the New Year, New Me series. In this series I’ve been posting tips on keeping your new year’s resolution plus super quick effective workouts that you can do at home without any equipment.  Check out the rest of the New Year, New Me series for the post on preparation and a super effective abs workout and legs workout, both less than 15 minutes long!

How’s that New Year’s resolution of getting fit going? Are you staying strong?

Every year so many people start off with the intention that this will be the year they get fit and healthy but it never seems to last past January 31st. That’s why I’ve put together this New Year, New Me series looking at the three key points of any healthy lifestyle: Preparation, Exercise and Motivation.  This post will be focusing on exercise and how to get moving in your daily life.

Exercise can be a pretty daunting thing whether you’re a complete beginner and you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re trying to get back in the swing of things. I remember when I first started out I put a lot of pressure on myself to really go for it and ended up training way out of my fitness levels. About a week in I was so exhausted and reaady to quite. Luckily I had some help figuring it all out and that’s why I’m sharing my best tips and tricks for when you’re first trying to get into working out.

All exercise is good exercise

When you’re just starting out its likely that you don’t really move much and that’s fine, we all start somewhere. The problem is there’s a bit of rumour going round that you have to hit the gym every day or do these crazy intense workouts to get any benefits. It’s just not true! Too much too quick will have you exhausted in no time, just like me, and ready to give up. Think of fitness like a ladder, you have to climb it before you get to the top and we all start at the bottom. If the bottom of the ladder for you is going for a 15 minute walk on your lunch break then that’s 15 more minutes than you were doing yesterday. The key is to try do a little more each week than you did the week before.

You don’t need a gym membership

When most people think of exercise they imagine they gym. Now I don’t know about you but I’m not a huge fan of the gym. For the most part I don’t really like working out in front of others and my workouts are my ‘me time’ where I relax and de-stress. It’s pretty hard to feel zen surrounded by grunts and sweat. If you’re like me and the gym just doesn’t do it for you there is no reason to throw your arms up in defeat because you don’t need one. YouTube is full of follow along workout videos for every level of fitness or if you prefer to go at your own pace you can always try the workouts included in this series. I’m also putting together a full beginner body series which will take you through the basics of performing some of the best exercises in correct form as well full beginner routines you can do at home.

Prep your workouts

I mentioned this in the last post so I won’t go into too much detail here. Basically it’s just about making sure that you schedule in time to get moving and make it as easy as possible for yourself to stick to it. Whether it’s a full on workout routine or just a walk around your neighbourhood, pencil it in, have your shoes and clothes out and a bottle of water ready to go at any moment. Little things like this really do make all the difference.

Find your workout style

This one can take a bit of time to really develop but there’s no time like the present to get started trying. There are so many ways of exercising out there: pilates, weightlifting, running, yoga, dance; the list is endless. That means there has to be something out there for you. Not just something that you’re willing to do but something that you actually enjoy doing.  Try out a few classes or a couple of different YouTube channels before settling into a routine. Maybe go for a run one day and give yoga a go the next. If you don’t like what you’re doing change it up until you find something you love doing. That way exercise will never be a chore.

I hope you found these tips helpful and feel motivated to get moving and make exercise, no matter how little, a permanent part of your life.

The workout

Complete each exercise for 45 seconds taking a 15 second break between each move.

  • Arm Circles (shoulders) – Complete for 45 seconds forwards and then 45 seconds backwards taking a 15 second break in between
  • Push backs (upper back, shoulders)
  • Chest Pulses (chest, biceps)
  • Dips (Triceps)
  • Push Ups (biceps, triceps, chest)
  • Plank Ups (shoulders, biceps)
  • Plank Rolls (shoulders, upper back)
  • Plank Pushes (shoulders, biceps)
  • Triceps hold-Arm Circles

Arm Circles

Start with your arms fully extended out to the side, keeping them as straight as possible. Form tight fists and rotate your arms in small circles. The goal is to create a small circle with your fists whilst keeping your elbows completely in line with your shoulders and your arm as straight as possible. Complete the circles forward for 45 seconds take a 15 second break and then complete the circles backwards.

Push Backs

Extend your arms fully out to the side, keeping your arms as straight as possible.  Form tight fists and pump your arms straight back behind you in quick sharp pulses. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as your arms come back.

Chest Pulse

Start with your arms together at a right angle in front of your face with your fingers pointed towards the ceiling.  Pulse your fingers upwards towards the ceiling without straightening out your arms. Make sure your arms stay at a right angle throughout the move and that your elbow does not drop below your shoulder.

Dips

Start in your chosen position with your arms out straight beneath you and your legs extended out in front of you. This move can be completed either with your legs extended fully out in front of you or as a modification with your knees bent. Keeping your hands pointed towards your toes bend your elbows out behind you lowering yourself down until your bum is just hovering above the ground. Pushing through the heels of your palm, raise yourself back up to your starting position.

Push Ups

Start in a plank position either on your toes or your knees. Make sure your arms are straight out below you and your hands are directly under your shoulders. Lower yourself down keeping your elbows in towards your side. Make sure you keep your back straight and your hips do not drop down as this will place a lot of pressure on your lower back. Push up through the heels of your palms, raising yourself back to your starting position.

Plank modification: All planks can be completed on your knees as shown below:

Plank Ups

Starting in a plank position with your back straight and your arms bent so that your weight is spread across your forearms and toes. Raise yourself up into a high plank position one arm at a time making sure your hands are now directly under your shoulders. Lower yourself back down into the starting position one arm at a time. Repeat this move alternating which arm you start raising yourself up with.

Modification

Plank Rolls

Get into a plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your weight on your arms and your toes. Make sure that you keep your abs in tight and your back straight. Try to avoid sticking your bum up in the air or allowing your hips to drop. Roll forward on your toes allowing your head and chest to move forward, shifting your weight onto your arms. Hold this position for a moment and then shift your weight back to your toes.

Plank Pushes

Start in a low plank position so that your weight is spread across your forearms and toes. Push back through your elbows and shoulders shifting your weight into toes and raising your hips into a down dog position.  Lower yourself back down, shifting your weight into your shoulders and your forearms and returning to a plank position.

Triceps hold

Get into a high plank position with your arms straight and your hands directly beneath you making sure you keep your back straight. Lower yourself down as if completing a push up, keeping your elbows as close to your side as possible. Hold this lowered position for the full 45 seconds. This move can also be completed on your knees as a modification if needed.

Hopefully your arms are burning away and you’re feeling ready to continue working out well into 2017. Check back next Sunday for a very exciting New Year, New Me post featuring one of my workout idols!

Thanks, Megan x

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