As a mom of two boys, I often don’t have time to go to the grocery store, much less find an hour to go to the gym. However, I hate not being active, and start feeling my energy levels drain when I don’t exercise. Due to this, I had to improvise and find simple home exercises that I can quickly do during nap or after the kids’ bedtime. There are a plethora of home workouts for each part of the body, a few of which I wanted to share for other busy adults that want to keep up with their health. In this article, I will focus on arm exercises.
Triceps – Dips
The triceps are the muscles located at the back of the upper section of each arm, and they play a primary role in extension of the elbow joint (straightening of the arm). Dips are great as an at home exercise because they do not require any equipment, only a chair; some people use an exercise bench, but a chair works fine for those who do not have one. To perform dips, place a chair behind you and your hands on the edge of the chair, shoulder width apart, with the fingers pointing towards the tailbone. At this point, notes BodyBuilding.com, the waist will be perpendicular to the chair. From here, the legs are extended straight outward with the toes pointing towards the ceiling (or sky, if outside). To perform the dip, the body should be lowered by bending the elbows until the forearm and shoulder create a 90-degree angle. To complete the repetition, the triceps are used to push back up to the starting position. Feet can be elevated to increase the difficulty of the exercise. Repeat this exercise twenty times, building up to longer sets as you get more comfortable and stronger.
Kettle Bell Swings
Kettle bell swings are an excellent exercise to add to a home routine. Not only do they help increase arm strength and lean muscles, they also work the body’s core simultaneously. To perform kettle bell swings, Prevention.com states that people should begin with the feet placed hip-width apart. The kettle bell should be gripped with both hands and there should be a comfortable bend in the knees. While being cautious to keep the majority of one’s weight in the heels, the kettle bell should be swung backwards between the legs, and then brought forward and overhead. Bringing the kettle bell above the head is an explosive action, and requires that the hips be pushed forward at the same time. The arms should remain extended straight forward for the duration of the exercise. After this step, the individual should return to the starting position and complete the chosen number of repetitions. A filled water jug with a tight-fitting lid may be used in lieu of a kettle bell, if one is not available.
Pushups and pushup variations are a classic group of arm exercises that can be very effective for building strength and muscle tone. Pushups can be done anywhere and require no equipment, which makes them perfect for home exercises. Pushups target the shoulders, arms and chest, and engage the core as well. To perform a pushup, Womens Health suggests coming to a plank position, with the hands underneath the shoulders. The body should be lowered until the chest almost touches the ground, and the elbows should be pulled close to the sides of body. It is important that the hips remain aligned with the shoulders. To return to the starting position, an individual must use his or her arms to push back up to a plank. Repetitions will depend on a person’s individual fitness goals.
With the increasing demands of everyday life, it may be difficult to find time to commit to going to the gym regularly. However, that does not mean that physical fitness cannot be attained. There are many relatively simple exercises that can be performed at home. Arm exercises such as triceps dips, kettle bell swing and pushups are all examples of easy home exercises that increase strength, muscle tone and overall fitness.
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