When it comes to lean and toned muscles, the upper body is always first on the goal sheet. We feel better when we have a strong, sleek upper half – so the question is how do we not only create, but also maintain arm muscles we’re proud of?

And now summer is on the way it becomes even more of a priority!

Strength training is the best way to make it happen, and that can mean a number of things…not just throwing around iron.

Tone & strengthen? Weight for it!

Cardio will help to burn up calories and amp up endurance, but you really need to incorporate strength training regularly to have results when it comes to maintaining (or creating) arm muscle definition. When it comes to efficiency, there are certainly exercises that give you more bang for your buck [for your time spent maintaining your arm muscles].

Let’s focus on those because your time is valuable and your arms want to feel and look great!

Follow this 30-day plan to amp up your arm muscles and be proud of the toned results you’ll create along the way.

NOTE: When it comes to any exercise, form always trumps anything else. So if you find yourself struggling and compromising form in your push-up, for example, make sure you drop to your knees and/or reduce your range of motion (i.e. don’t lower your chest all the way to the floor, but maybe halfway instead). You’ll be better off in the long run if you maintain proper form.

weight training exercises_2

 

DAY 1 –

10x Standard Push-ups

10x Superman lifts

10x Tricep dips (hands and feet on the floor – you don’t need a bench for these!)

10x Dolphin Plank (on forearms, pike rear into air and lower back to flat plank)

Repeat each exercise 3X

 

DAY 2 –

10x Incline Push-ups (hands on a step)

10x Pull-ups (assisted) or Lat Pulldown

10x Tricep Push-ups (elbows point behind you, in contact with your rib cage)

10x Swimmer (lying prone, opposite arm & leg lifts off floor)

REPEAT each exercise 3X

 

DAY 3 –

5 x 30-second Low Plank hold (with 30-second break between each one)

 

DAY 4 –

10x Decline Push-ups (feet on step, hands on ground)

10x Bird-Dog (on all fours, opposite arm & leg extend and lower). Repeat on both sides.

10x Pull-ups (assisted) or Lat Pulldown

10x Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press

REPEAT each exercise 3X

 

DAY 5 –

15x Standard Push-ups

5 x 10-second Pull-up HOLD (come to the top of pull-up position, assisted or not, and hold for 10 seconds, squeezing your shoulder blades back and together)

1-minute Low Plank Hold

REPEAT each exercise 3X

 

DAY 6 –

10x Diamond Push-ups (hands in a “diamond” shape under chest, elbows track outwards as you lower towards the ground)

10x Alternating Superman Lifts (lying prone, opposite arm & leg raise off ground and lower, switching between both sides)

15x Bicep Curls

15x Superman + Lat Squeeze (lying prone, reach arms and as you lift your chest off the ground, squeeze your elbows back to “pinch” behind your shoulder blades)

REPEAT each exercise 3X

 

DAY 7 – Rest: let those muscles recover & repair for Week 2!

 

DAY 8 –

15x Standard Push-ups

10x Pull-ups (assisted or not), or 15x Lat Pulldown

15x Wide Bicep Curls (elbows at hips, arms track outward to raise & lower)

15x Overhead Tricep Extension (hold 1 or 2 dumbbells over head and lower weight behind your head, keeping your elbows close to your head)

REPEAT each exercise 3X

 

DAY 9 –

10x Alternating Standard & Tricep Push-ups (do 1 standard, then bring hands closer to do a tricep push-up, alternating between the two)

10x Plank-Row (holding a high plank with dumbbells in each hand, row each arm up along the side of your body, squeezing through your back muscle while maintaining proper plank form)

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 10 –

12x Incline Push-ups

12x Superman + Lat Squeeze

12x Bicep Curls

12x Diamond Push-ups

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 11 –

5 x 30-second Low Plank Hold (hold for 30 seconds, the rest for 30 seconds & repeat 5x total)

 

DAY 12 –

10x Pull-ups (assisted or not), or 15x Lat Pulldown

10x Decline Push-ups

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 13 –

15x Bicep Curls

15x Tricep Kickbacks (hinge forward from hips with elbows at your ribcage, then extend your arms, keeping your elbows at your ribs, to lift the weights up and behind you)

20x High Plank + Alternating Shoulder Taps (hold a high plank, then lift opposite hand to tap your opposite shoulder, alternating)

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 14 – Rest day

maintain arm muscles_1

 

DAY 15 –

15x Standard Push-ups

15x Pull-ups (assisted or not), or 15x Lat Pulldown

15x Incline Push-ups

15x Rows (hinge at your hips and raise dumbbells up along the side of your body, elbows facing behind you)

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 16 –

15x Diamond Push-ups

15x Wide Bicep Curls

15x Alternating Superman Lifts

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 17 –

15x Standard Push-ups

15x Rows

15x Incline Push-ups

15x Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 18 –

3 x 45-second Low Plank Hold

3 x 45-second High Plank + Alternating Shoulder Taps

 

DAY 19 –

15x Bicep Curls

15x Overhead Tricep Extension

15x Lateral Raises (hold lighter dumbbells at sides and raise to shoulder height laterally)

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 20 –

10x Standard Push-ups

10x Incline Push-ups

10x Decline Push-ups

10x Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

10x Row

10x Superman Lifts

1-minute Low Plank Hold

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 21 – Rest day

 

DAY 22 –

Max reps: Standard Push-ups

Max reps: Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

45-second Low Plank Hold

Max reps: Tricep push-ups

Max reps: Bicep Curls

45-second High Plank Hold

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 23 –

20x Hi-Low Plank (start in high plank, hands directly under shoulders; lower to forearms, placing elbows directly where hands were trying to keep hips steady; repeat up & down)

20x Alternating Superman Lifts

20x Bird-Dog Crunch (perform Bird-Dog exercise, but ‘crunch’ elbow to opposite knee under body between extensions)

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 24 –

20x Alternating Standard & Tricep Push-ups

15x Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

15x Decline Push-ups

15x Rows

45-second Low Plank Hold

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 25 –

20x Bicep Curls

20x Tricep Kickbacks

20x Overhead Shoulder Press

15x Wide Bicep Curls

15x Overhead Tricep Extension

10x Front Raises (stand with weights in front of you; raise weights up to shoulder height directly in front of you)

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 26 – Rest day

 

DAY 27 –

15x Incline Push-ups

15x Rows

15x Decline Push-ups

15x Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

20x Bird-Dog Crunch

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 28 –

15x Alternating Front & Wide Bicep Curls

15x Diamond Push-ups

15x Alternating Front & Lateral Raises

1-minute Low Plank hold

à REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

DAY 29 –

45-second Superman Hold

45-second High Plank + Alternating Shoulder Taps

45-second Swimmer

45-second Low Plank with Alternating tapping knees to floor

REPEAT each exercise 3x

 

DAY 30 –

10x Push-up + Row (each push-up + row on each arm = 1 rep)

20x Superman lifts

Max reps: Standard Push-ups

Max reps: Pull-ups or Lat Pulldown

REPEAT each exercise 5x

 

Connect here with WatchFit expert Maggie Binkley 

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