Just in time for the celebration season! Fitness guru Jessica Smith shares a 10-minute routine that’s guaranteed to firm up arm jiggles and melt up to 3 inches from your upper body in 21 days, so you can dazzle in your little black dress.
Sculpt sleek shoulders: Overhead press
“This move is terrific for creating definition and building strength in your shoulders,” says Smith. That’s because it engages all three parts of the deltoid muscle (the anterior, lateral, and posterior) to streamline and slim the front, sides and backs of the shoulders. What’s more, pressing the weights overhead will instantly elevate your heart rate to increase calorie burn and torch stubborn fat fast.
TO DO: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bring 3- to 5-pound weights up to your shoulders with palms facing in. Press your left arm up overhead, then as you bend your elbow back to start, press up with your right arm. That’s 1 rep; repeat 15 times.
Banish bat wings: Tricep kickback
This exercise works the underutilized tricep muscles that run along the back of the arm, says Smith. Doing targeted moves to firm them is the key to eliminating pesky wave wiggles.
TO DO: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding 3- to 5-pound weights. Bend your torso forward 45 degrees and pull the weights up toward your armpits (elbows pointing toward the ceiling). Without moving your upper arms, extend the weights behind you, then bend your elbows to bring them back in. Do 15 reps.
Trim arm flab: Bicep curl
A classic bicep curl can’t be beat for creating wow-worthy upper arms. The reason: “Curls tighten up the front of your arms without adding bulk,” says Smith, noting how the exercise elongates the bicep muscle to create long, lean lines.
TO DO: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold 3- to 5-pound weights in front of your thighs with your palms facing up. Bend your arms at the elbows to bring the weights up to your shoulders, then lower them back down. Do 15 reps.
Eliminate bra bulge: Bent-over row
Smith swears by this simple move to smooth out any rear-view bumps, wiggles, and jiggles along the arms, shoulders and back since it engages muscles throughout the upper body.
TO DO: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding 3- to 5-pound weights. Bend your torso forward 45 degrees and extend the weights out toward the ground. Pull them up into your armpits, then extend back out. Do 15 reps.
Nix pit pudge: Dumbbell chest press
“Chest presses help perk up your chest, tone your arms, and sculpt your shoulders,” says Smith, who notes that the move works the pectorals and anterior deltoids. These muscles stretch across the chest and work together to trim inches from the upper body.
TO DO: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Holding 3- to 5-pound weights, rest your upper arms on the floor so they resemble a goalpost. Extend your arms up directly over your chest until they are straight, then return to start. Do 15 reps.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.