A Competitive CrossFitter Reveals The Three Best Moves For Toning Your Arms

A Competitive CrossFitter Reveals The Three Best Moves For Toning Your Arms

The great thing about moves that target your arms is that most of them also target your core, thereby allowing you to kill two birds with one stone.

For those looking to build upper body strength, theres no better coach than Kari Pearce, one of our KBK Champions and a competitive CrossFitter who earned the coveted title of Fittest Woman in America last year.

Below are three simple, equipment-free exercise you can rely on to tone up your arms (all the while working on your core strength too). If you’re looking for a full workout routine, check out Pearce’s best moves for abs and butt.

Push Ups

Why they’re good for you

“Many people know and love — or maybe not exactly love — push ups. They are a great exercise because you can do them anywhere and they are a big bang for your buck movement. Push ups work your triceps along with you shoulders, chest, and core.”

How to do it

“Start with your hands and toes on the floor in a plank position with your abs tight. Arms and legs are straight and head is neutral. From here, while maintaining a straight torso, bend your arms and lower yourself to the ground until your chest touches the floor. Make sure your elbows are tucked close to your body and not flaring out.”

“Once your chest touches the floor, press yourself up to the starting position. If you can’t perform a push up this way, either put your knees on the ground or place your hands on an elevated surface.”

Tricep Dips

Why they’re good for you

“This is another great movement for your triceps. All you need is a bench or chair to do dips. You’ll feel your shoulders, chest, and triceps after a few reps. I like this exercise because you need limited equipment, it’s scalable to all levels, and it also works your shoulder mobility while strengthening your upper body.”

How to do it

“Place your hands on a chair or bench so that they’re turned and facing you. Arms are straight and feet directly in front of you with straight legs. Move your hips so they are slightly in front of the chair or bench.”

“Now bend your arms and lower yourself in a controlled fashion. Once your elbows hit 90 degrees, push yourself back up to the starting position. To make it easier, bend your knees more. To make it more difficult, elevate your feet.

Pull Ups

Why they’re good for you

“Pull ups are a great exercise to build up your arms. While they’re very difficult to do, the reward is substantial (and they look cool when you’re doing them!).” Pull ups work so many muscles, including biceps, forearms, lats, and core.”

How to do it 

“Start by hanging from a pull up bar with hands facing forward and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Your thumbs should be wrapped around the bar. Make sure your head is neutral and your core and shoulders are engaged (shoulders down and back).”

“From here, drive your elbows down to the ground and pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. You will then lower yourself in a controlled fashion until you return to the starting position. If you can’t perform a complete pull up, start on a box with your hands on the pull up bar. Jump up so your chin is above the bar and slowly lower yourself to work on the negative strength of a pull up. Either version will help build those arms!” 

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