Tone and Tighten With These Arm and Ab Exercises


Summer may be winding down, but that doesn't mean it's time to break out the baggy sweaters and hide the hard-earned arm and ab muscles you spent months trying to tighten and tone. 

Your abdominal muscles–which consist of the obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus muscles–and your arm muscles–which include the biceps and triceps–are two areas of your body you should be proud to display year-round. 

After all, not only do these muscles look awesome, they make everyday movements easier as well.

That's why we asked certified personal trainers, Lyuda Bouzinova, co-founder of Mission Lean, and Quianna Burgess, an RSP Nutrition Athlete, to give us the rundown on the best arm and ab workouts to keep you fit all year long.  

Best Arm Exercises

Your arms may feel like a relaxed pool noodle at times, but the reality is that your biceps and triceps fire with every upper body movement you perform. Contrary to what you might think, arm exercises won't make a woman into a muscle-bound giant. In fact, working out these upper-body muscles on a regular basis keep your arms strong and give your biceps and triceps lean definition. 

For shaped and toned arms, Burgess recommends these five exercises:

Shoulder Press
Tricep Cable Pushdown 
Hammer Curl 
Classic Push-up
Burpees (with or without a Bosu ball)

Best Abdominal Exercises

You should always engage your core muscles when strength training and doing cardio. Having a strong core is key, especially when training your lower back, hips and pelvic muscles. Not only does a strong core allow you to execute moves correctly, it helps protect you from lower back pain as well.  

There are a variety of exercises you can do to target your ab muscles. Here are a few of Burgess and Bouzinova's favorite moves that hit all of your core muscles:

Hanging Leg Lifts
Weighted Russian Twists (with or without a stability ball)
Jackknife Sit-ups
Leg Raises
Toe Touches 

Bouzinova says the Russian twist targets your obliques, which helps define your waistline, and the leg raises and toe touches work your lower abs, which are deep and often difficult to isolate. Additionally, high knees is a good cardio move that will burn belly fat by elevating your heart rate while also toning your ab muscles as you bring your knees high to your chest.

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