Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important
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Whether she’s rocking a pair of skinny jeans or form-fitting dress, it’s no secret that Meghan Markle has an enviable physique. Fitness expert Gemma Bass-Williams spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how to tone up this tricky body part with simple exercises.
The Duchess of Sussex is known for her love of pilates, and even shared a six-minute pilates regime for keeping fit on the go.
Barre, which combines elements of pilates and yoga, is another exercise slimmers can try for weight loss and toning.
Gemma told Express.co.uk: “Your arms are one of the most stubborn areas to tone.”
She came to the rescue with five foolproof ways to sculpt flabby arms.
1. Don’t be afraid of weights
Gemma recommended starting light and going for higher reps.
She said: “Using smaller weights is great for eccentric work – that’s lengthening the muscle fibres as you strengthen them, and isometric work – maintaining the same length of the muscles fibres as you strengthen, encouraging longer, leaner muscle tone with less bulk.”
What’s more, lifting weights is a fantastic calorie burner, continuing to “burn fat for a longer period of time”.
While Gemma first and foremost recommended using lighter weights, a lot can be said for challenging yourself to lift heavy with less reps – “so it’s good to combine the both”.
2. Bodyweight exercises
While lifting weights can look and feel impressive, bodyweight exercises aren’t something to scoff at.
Gemma shared her top exercise for tight arms.
“Non-weighted arm circles are also a fantastic move for toning the arms.
“Lengthen your arms out to the side, making sure you can see your hands in your peripheral vision, and start circling your arms like you are drawing around a two penny piece.
“It is important to keep the movements small to maximise the results.
“Also, ensure there’s a small moment of stillness after each circle; this isometric hold will really help to tone the muscles.
“Finally, stretching your arms out as long as possible will generate an eccentric contraction which will really lean out the muscles.”
3. Tricep dips for the back of the arms
This one is “easy” to practice at home.
Gemma suggested that slimmers do as many as they can in 60 seconds to build up their fitness.
Those who are brand new to the exercise can use a chair.
The expert explained: “Start with your hands on a chair (fingers over the edge, pointing towards you) and feet on the floor, then slowly lower yourself off the seat.
“Make sure it’s your arms that are bending though, just moving the hips up and down won’t tone your triceps!”
4. Combine classic push-ups
The push-up is an incredibly toning exercise for the whole upper body, including the front and back of the arms.
Gemma recommended starting on your knees and building up to straight legs.
And mix it up: “You can vary up the move by using a bench if you’re outdoors, a kitchen surface / barre at home, and switching between wide hands and narrow hands to target different areas.”
5. Try a resistance band
Gemma’s final tip was to invest in a good resistance band.
“Exercise bands are very effective for sculpting your arms, like in our ‘Sculpt’ class where we utilise the band to find a deeper burn.
“Using a resistance band is a very easy way to get a little deeper into sculpting the arms at home, once you know how.”
Gemma Bass-Williams is a trainer at Barrecore.
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