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Bodybuilding - Shaping Your Arms

By Karen Sessions
Many women struggle with flabby arms, commonly called batwings. This is simply an accumulation of body fat and lack of muscle development. You can have nice shapely arms by incorporating 3 essentials:

1. Quality Nutrition
2. Resistance Training
3. Cardiovascular Work
Quality Nutrition for Shaping Your Arms
In order to lose the excess body fat you have to eat right. This involves cutting out the obvious junk food and including more whole and natural foods. Eating a small balanced meal every three hours works well at stabilizing your blood sugar and curtailing cravings. I know the carb-craze is still in high gear, but there is a lack of quality carbohydrate information available. You can eat carbohydrates and lose weight. I have a ton of e-clients that are living proof. A balanced meal contains a protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Resistance Training for Shaping Your Arms
Resistance training will build the muscles, giving curves and shape to the arms. It will not create huge bulky arms, which is commonly feared among women. The more muscle you add to your arms, the leaner they will appear, as muscle takes up less space than fat and it's denser
To work the back of your arms (triceps), try the following:

Overhead Extensions - Stand up or sit in a chair and hold a barbell or dumbbell over your head. In a slow and controlled manner, lower it behind your head, keeping your elbows close to your head. Once you have lowered the bar as far as you can, bring it back to the starting position, contract the triceps, and repeat the movement.

Lying Triceps Extensions - Lie on your back on a bench and hold a barbell extended out in front of you. Slowly and in a controlled manner, lower the bar right past your forehead, keeping your elbows close to your head. Once you have lowered it as far as you can, bring it back to the starting position, contract the triceps, and repeat the movement.

Bench Dips - Place your palms on the bench or chair behind you. Extend your feet out in front of you, toes up and bend your knees. Slowly and in a controlled manner, keeping your elbows stationary and close to your body, lower your body down as far as possible. Be sure to keep your body close to the chair or bench. Using the triceps, rise back and contract your triceps, and repeat the movement.

To work your front of your arms (biceps), try the following:

Barbell Curls - Hold a barbell in front of you with your palms facing outward. In a slow and controlled fashion, curl the bar up toward your chest area, squeeze your biceps and release. Repeat the movement.

Alternate Dumbbell Curls - Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. In a controlled manner, curl each one up individually and rotate the wrist so your palm is facing your shoulder when the curl is in the contracted position. Slowly release and repeat.

Cardiovascular Work for Shaping Your Arms
Cardio is the back up method for losing body fat, with nutrition being the first. Use cardio to burn extra calories and stored body fat, but don't use it as the sole element in losing weight. Keep a balance of nutrition and cardio in your program to keep the body off guard and constantly responding.
Begin cardio with 3 to 4 days a week for twenty minutes and slowly progress days and minutes each week. Doing so in this manner will prevent too much muscle loss and burnout. You want to make small changes each week to keep the body responding. Dramatic changes can cause the body to REACT.

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