Ask a Health Coach: 5-Minute Workout to Get Amazing Arms In Time for the Holidays

November 18, 2015
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market

What are some easy moves to build tone and definition in my arms? I don't want to lift weights all day, but I want to feel confident in the sleeveless dresses I'll be wearing this holiday season. Any tips? —Diana D. 

Arms! They're my favorite body part to work out because they're the first place that you usually see change, and toned arms instantly make you look slimmer. Plus, it doesn't take a ton of equipment, crazy-hard moves, or even that much time to sculpt stronger, leaner arms. Small amount of work, big payoff? I'm into it.

The holidays are notoriously busy, and we tend to neglect our workout routines in order to get everything done before the snow hits the fan. And when you're throwing on that strapless cocktail dress for your third party this December, it becomes clear that you've been less than consistent with your gym sessions.

You should feel totally confident and strong when you show off your shoulders—and the last thing you should be worried about while celebrating is how your arms look! So, I created a five-minute arm workout that you can do literally anywhere—all you need are 3- or 5-lb weights or two soup cans. Check out the video above (do you feel your arms quivering already?!)

Here's the deal: Work out hard for 45 seconds. Don't stop, don't grab water, feel the burn y'all. You've got this. Just do as many reps of each exercise as you can in these 45 seconds. Then you get a 15-second break—to lay down, shake out your arms, breathe, take a micro-nap. Whatever you want for 15 seconds of bliss. Do this for every exercise: 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off. In total, it should just take you five minutes to do this workout! Want to see results even faster? Repeat this circuit three times, taking a break after each five minute section to do 10 burpees. Your arms, abs, and legs will thank you.

If you're worried about bulking up by working your arms, don't be. It's pretty much impossible for women to get bodybuilder-sized arms with bodyweight exercises and light weights like we use in this workout. Even women who lift heavy weights won't see huge muscle gains without additional supplements.

The best thing about this workout? It's arm-focused, but it will help tone your abs, back, and shoulders, too. Watch the video to learn how to do every exercise, and remember to maintain great form even as you get tired. Do this routine two to three times a week to start seeing results before Santa slides down the chimney.

Guys should try this workout in addition to their normal gym regimen—bodyweight exercises sculpt lean, functional muscles that help you look super cut. Just use heavier, 8- to 15-lb weights for the last exercise and you should be good to go.

The 5-Minute Killer Arm Workout 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds to rest

1. Chaturanga
2. Side Tricep Press
3. Half Push Up
4.Toe-Tap Tabletop
5. Bicep Kiss

Enjoy, and leave your questions and comments below—see you next week!


Michelle Pellizzon received her bachelor's degree from New York University and is certified through Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the National Academy of  Sports Medicine. Check out her story here

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This article is related to: Christmas, Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition, Thanksgiving, Video, Winter, Educational

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