One thing that people don’t do often enough is just stand and extend their arms out—really reaching through the chest while relaxing the shoulders. The simple act of holding your arms outstretched, either to the side or in front, is quite fatiguing. Why? It’s a new movement that the body must build the strength to sustain. And that’s what you want. Add weights and you’ll sculpt the entire arm, as well as further strengthen it, building even more muscle. And we all know that the more muscle you have, the more calories you can torch at rest. Another reason to tighten up: As we age, the skin starts to sag, but toning helps you fight back. OK, time to get defined!
Go through this sequence twice. And don’t forget your 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six days a week.
1. Throw & Reach
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, fingers lightly on shoulders and elbows out to sides (A). Raise elbows up, then bring them in to touch (B). Open elbows back out to “A,” then extend arms straight out in front of you with palms facing out so wrists touch (C). Bring arms back in to “A.” Repeat 30 times.
2. Punch & Rock
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, elbows bent at sides and a 3-pound weight in each hand (A). Extend arms straight up overhead and jump up (B); as you land, return arms to “A.” Jump up again, this time extending arms straight out in front of you (C). Bring arms back in to “A” as you land. Continue jumping, alternating punching up and out, for 30 reps. Bonus: Jumping adds cardio.
3. Rolling Arms
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a 3-pound weight in each hand. Bend left elbow at torso so arm forms a V, palm facing forward. Raise right arm to side to form a 90-degree angle, palm facedown (A). Pull right elbow back and rotate right shoulder up (B) and around, then punch forward (C). Return to “A”; repeat in a fluid motion. Do 15 reps per side. Start on left side your second time through the circuit.
4. Swinging Triceps
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a 3-pound weight in each hand. Bend left elbow at torso so arm forms a V, palm facing forward. Bend right arm and cross it over torso (A). Lift right elbow up and out, keeping it bent (B), then swing right arm across torso to meet left, returning to “A.” Open right arm out to side so arms form a W (C). Do 25 reps per side. Start on left side your second time through the circuit.
5. Monkey Pull & Reach
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a 3- to 5-pound weight in each hand at sides. Come into a low squat, dropping right arm toward right foot (A). As you stand, curl right arm to armpit (B); twist wrist and press right arm up (C). Lower arm and return to “A.” Do 15 reps per side. Start on left side your second time through the circuit.
Pin the entire workout for later:
Tracy Anderson is wearing: American Apparel T-shirt customized by stylist ($20; americanapparel.com). Sam Anderson for TA Vision Legging ($95; tracyanderson.com). Nike Free RN Running Shoes ($100; nike.com).