Shapely, sculpted arms are possible—at any age. All it takes is this 10 minute workout you can tailor to your fitness level. These four arm toning exercises work the chest, shoulders, and arms from every angle to tighten and firm the droopiness that can start when you lose lean tissue in your 40s. After a month of these easy arm toning exercises, you'll be on your way to show-off arms that will look great in sleeveless tops and dresses whenever you bare your arms.
What you need 3- to 5-pound and 8- to 10-pound dumbbells and a mat or carpeted space.
How to do it Perform the routine 2 or 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days. Begin with a 5-minute dynamic warm-up: March in place while scissoring arms overhead (like jumping jacks). For each exercise, do 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps (or 10 on each side, if appropriate). Rest 30 seconds in between sets. Begin with the Main Move. If it's too difficult, do the Make It Easier option. Not challenging enough? Try the Make It Harder variation.
For quicker results: Do 3 sets and add 30 minutes of cardio workouts 3 to 5 days a week.
Lie faceup on floor, knees bent, feet flat, and arms extended overhead with a light dumbbell in each hand. Contract abs and slowly curl up, lifting head, shoulders, and back off floor. Simultaneously bring arms forward in an arc toward knees. Hold for a second, then slowly reverse to start.
Make it harder Add a chest press. With upper body lifted and arms in front of you, bend elbows and lower dumbbells toward chest, then straighten arms before returning to start.
Make it easier Keep head on floor as you raise dumbbells in an arc and bring them down to floor so arms rest at sides. Reverse to start.
The expert: Kate Moran, a master trainer at Equinox fitness center in Chicago, has helped dozens of women sculpt their upper bodies.
Main Move: Overhead Triceps Extension
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold light dumbbell in right hand, arm extended straight overhead, left hand supporting right elbow (A) to prevent it from flaring out. Bend elbow, lowering dumbbell behind head (B), then press back up to start position. Do all reps, then repeat on opposite side.
Make it easier Hold the ends of a single dumbbell with each hand so it's horizontal to work both arms at the same time.
Main Move: Single Arm Lateral Raise
Get into push-up position on knees, hands directly beneath shoulders with light dumbbell in left hand. Engaging abs to stabilize torso, raise left arm straight out to side, parallel to floor. Hold for a second, then slowly lower to start and repeat. Do all reps, then switch arms.
Make it harder Bring your knees off mat so you're balancing on toes and hands as you do the reps.
Make it easier Ditch the dumbbell.
Main Move: Hammer-Bicep Curl
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides, a heavy dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Bend left arm to 90 degrees, dumbbell vertical. Hold that position as you bend right arm and curl dumbbell to shoulder, keeping elbow in to side. Complete all reps, then lower both arms and repeat, holding right arm at 90 degrees.
Make it harder Hold dumbbell in the stationary hand with palm facing up so it's horizontal rather than vertical.
Make it easier Alternate curling each arm up to shoulder without holding either arm stationary.