By Bonne Marcus
As a proud MItzvah Mom you will want your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah to be one he/she will remember with fond memories always. Creating the perfect photo opportunity in a fabulous Bar/Bat Mitzvah dress is one way to do it.
Are you planning to wear a halter, tank top, spaghetti strap, or strapless gown, but your arms and shoulders aren’t looking anything like you’d really like them to?
Here are a few of my favorite arm and shoulder exercises to help you tighten and tone your arms for the big day.
While the actual ceremony calls for a suitable covering, you will have the chance to show off your beautiful arms and sexy shoulders at the party afterwards.
Do the following four arms exercises in a circuit. Repeat 2-3 times.
Triceps Extensions with a Resistance Band
Position yourself on your knees with a resistance band under your shins as pictured.
Hold the band in both hands and raise your arms above your head, biceps aligned next to your ears.
Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle behind your head and then fully extend the arms without locking your elbows. Repeat 30 times or until the arms are fatigued.
Biceps Curl with a Resistance Band
In a seated position with your knees bent, wrap the resistance band around the tops of your feet as pictured. Lean slightly back with your arms extended, palms facing up.
Curl both arms toward your shoulders. Repeat 30 times or until arms are fatigued.
Alternating Triceps Press to Extensions
Lie down on your back with your knees bent, arms extended as pictured. (Photo A)
Bring the right elbow to the floor and as you extend the right arm up, simultaneously lower the left elbow to the floor. Repeat 30 times.
On the last repetition extend both arms to the start position (see photo A) and then bend both arms at the elbow bringing the weights close to the floor on opposite side of your head next to your ears. Straighten the arms, making sure to keep the upper arm and elbow stationary throughout the movement.
Static Biceps Curl
Standing with knees slightly bent you will hold one arm at a 90 degrees as pictured.
While one arm curls the dumbbell the other arm remains in a static hold. Do 5 reps and switch arms 4 times.
Do the following 3 exercises in a circuit. Repeat 2-3 times
Stand with the right arm by the side and the left arm in front of the thigh as pictured.
Raise both arms to create the letter “L”. Repeat 20 times and switch side.
Hold weights just above your shoulders as pictured.
Press the arms up and out slightly, so that at the top of the motion your arms create the letter “V”.
Bent over “T” Raises
Stand with feet aligned beneath your hips, bend your knees slightly and fold your upper body forward allowing your arms to hang straight down as pictured.
Raise your arms parallel to the floor to create the letter “T” and lower to start position. Repeat 20 times.
To get optimum results, work your arms and shoulders twice each week. After each workout, allow at least 48 hours for proper recovery.
Keep in mind you cannot spot-reduce an area. The emphasis should be on the entire body. Diet plays an important part. If you work the arms and don’t see the results you desire look at what you’re eating. Also, you will need to push yourself a little. If you want to tone and shape your arms you have to use heavier weights. NO! You are NOT going to get bulky. That’s a myth that just keeps women from getting strong. When you’re training efficiently, your last reps should feel really hard, and you should not be able to do another without compromising proper form. And finally, remember that toning the muscle is only part of the battle; if your muscles are camouflaged by a layer of body fat, make sure you are doing cardio exercise to burn fat so your newly sleek muscles will show.
About Bonne Marcus
A sought after fitness expert, Bonne Marcus is a columnist for Village Connection Magazine. She is the author of The Complete Bride’s Workout Guide (New Page Books), and has written/contributed to many national magazines including Modern Bride, Bride’s, Bridal Guide, Self, Shape, Marie Claire, Family Circle, Prevention, and Fitness magazines. Marcus is the creator of three special training programs, one for brides, appropriately titled “Fit To Be Tied”, and one for moms-to-be, “Fit To be Mommy” and her latest program the “Mitzvah Mom Makeover.”
2011 marks 25 years that Bonne has worked in the fitness industry and has taught for New York City’s top health clubs including Crunch, Reebok Sports Club, the JCC of Manhattan and Equinox. Bonne is married, living on Long Island and can be found leading classes in everything from sculpting and spin to fat burning and fusion.
Have a question or want to train with Bonne? Email her at BonneMarcus@gmail.com.