This week, I would like to move away from diet for a moment and celebrate that it was warm this week, well, warmer. Soon however, it will be really warm and we will all be shedding our sweaters and sweatpants for t shirts and tank tops. It’s time to get our guns out. In order to get our guns out though, we may have to do some work getting them ready. This week, I am going to give you 5 exercises you can do to tone your arms for the coming spring and summer season.
Keeping your arms healthy is not just for showing them off while going shirtless or wearing a bikini. Addressing functional health, healthy shoulders and arms allow for fluid, functional movement such as getting dishes off a high shelf, lifting a box from a counter to a shelf above your head or picking up a load of laundry and carrying it up a flight of stairs. Weaknesses in the shoulders will limit full external rotation and range of motion. If you have had trauma to your shoulders such as a rotator cuff injury, it is important that if you have any impingments, you see a doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor along side and before you begin any exercise program.
The other piece of getting your gun’s out is taking care of your skin. Our long dry northern winters are deceptively dry. When I go running on a cold winter day, I often find that I am more dehydrated and my skin is more chapped as if I had gone running on hot, windy day in July. Using lotions, drinking plenty of water and seeing your doctor to address any issues with eczema, rashes or acne will help your skin be ready for summer vibrance.
Exercises- try these excercises, start with 3 sets of 5 (3×5) and then work your way up to 5 sets of 5 (5×5) and if you really want to get advanced, go to 3 sets of 10, increasing weight up to 5 pounds each set.
Push up (for beginners or those with weak or compromised shoulders, it is okay to do these from your knees and it is okay if you can’t get your elbows 90 degrees)
Plank – start with 15 seconds, then work your way up, a good goal is 2 minutes
Standing Dumbbell Curl
Seated single dumbbell tricep extension
This week’s meals
I am going full bro this week and going for some grilled sirloin burgers and a rice quioa mix. I may cook up some chicken later in the week. This is a classic lifter meal. Ask any body builder how to make gains, they will point you to protein and rice. I am not trying to make gains, just want something simple in my life this week.
Meal 2 this week will be a Kung Pao Chicken dish that is fairly Whole30/Paleo
Breakfast will be my usual, oatmeal or eggs and toast.
Snacks will be something new, an anabolic popcorn and protein fluff along will my usual nuts and bars.
protein fluff is super easy and makes a lot for not a lot of calories:
1 scoop of any flavor protein powder(30g)
8 ounces of almond milk
1 cup of frozen mixed berries, strawberries or blueberries(these fruits are important as they are low on the glycemic index and won’t spike the blood sugar, which is what makes this a perfect snack)
1 t of xantham gum
1-2 T of Truvia artificial sweetner or 1 -2 T of Walden Farms Sugar Free syrup
Throw all of this in a blender and blend until the machine stops sounding angry (1 -2 mins)