Natalie Dau, CEO and founder of The Daily Escape, shares a surefire regime for rockstar arms
Let's be honest, life would be a whole lot easier if we could just wave a magic wand and have gorgeous arms at our next social engagement — in that killer little black dress we've been wanting to wear. We wouldn't have to angle our arms appropriately for photos or hide behind our coats and long-sleeved tops.
The truth? No one wakes up with toned arms. You have to put in the hard yards and work at it. We asked Natalie Dau, CEO and founder of The Daily Escape, to share some of her best tips and go-to exercises for enviable arms. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are toned arms — so give it four weeks and you'll see results with these exercises below. Meanwhile, check out Dau's Instagram (@rockstararms) for major inspiration.
Note: Start with two sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise, and then build up to three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise. Do this three times a week.
BODYWEIGHT ONLY: ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Push-ups work your arms, shoulders, and core. Form is everything so if you can't get your chest on the ground, it's fine to do an alternative push-up with your knees.
Pro tip: Suck in your stomach, squeeze your butt, and keep your head steady.
These are great for working your shoulders, arms, and abs. Move into a plank position (on your hands, not elbows) and then simply bring one hand up at a time to tap your opposite shoulder.
Pro tip: Align your shoulders over your hands, look slightly forward, don't sway from side to side, and keep your body straight.
Grab a chair, a park bench or a coffee table — whichever is easiest. Put your hands shoulder width apart behind you, fingers facing forward, and lower down, bending your arms.
Pro tip: Legs can be bent — but for a harder workout, keep them straight out in front, your butt close to your bench or chair, and make sure your elbows are in tight towards your side.
STEP IT UP: EXERCISES WITH DUMBELLS
Bent over row
It's time to work your back and arms with this one. Kneel over the side of a bench by placing one knee and your same-side hand on the bench. Hold the dumbbell with the free hand and pull up until it makes contact just under your upper arm. Extend and repeat
Pro tip: Do a full set on one arm before switching to the other side. Remember not to 'throw' the weight up — it should be a controlled movement. Keep your back as straight as possible.
An easy exercise and a great one for your shoulders. Grab two dumbbells and bring them up to shoulder height at each side. While the palms of your hands are facing forward, push the dumbbells up until they touch at the top — a full extension above your head. Rest a second and then lower down to your shoulders. Repeat.
Pro tip: Slow and steady is the only way with overhead presses. Do breathe out on the way up and in on the way down. If you prefer, you can also sit on a bench while doing these.
Bicep curls are a default exercise that Dau thinks should be in any arms program. Take a dumbbell in each arm, and 'pin' your elbows to your side so they don't move. Lift one arm up slowly to 90 degrees, pause, and lower down. Switch to the other arm.
Pro tip: The exercise is actually much more effective if you use lighter weights and proper techniques. Don't raise your arms up too high as that gives you too much rest. Also, try not to fully lock your elbows out at the bottom.
PERFECT PAIRING: DIET AND HEALTHY LIVING
What's more? Great arms aren't just built on just exercise — a good diet and healthy living play an important part, too. Dau shares five extra tips that will complement your arm workout beautifully.
1. Make sure you incorporate cardio exercises, whether it's going for a run, swimming, cycling, power walking, or a HIIT workout. Weights alone are not enough.
2. Cut out all sugary drinks, including juices, soft drinks, and alcohol (gasp!).
3. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep is the most important ingredient to living a healthy life and effectively losing weight.
4. Eat protein for breakfast (eggs and spinach, avocado, and tomatoes are great options). Say goodbye to bread, fruit, cereal and milk.
5. Move! Don't stay seated during the day for more than 45 mins — be sure to get up and walk around.