Like Regular Pushups, But More Effective

By Amanda Russell

With summer in full swing, we’ve no choice but to ‘bare arms’! If this idea makes the insecurities of flabby arms or less than toned triceps come to mind, fear not! We have the shockingly simple secret to turn those wings of yours into perfectly sculpted, ‘Kelly Ripa-like’ limbs.

So, what is the secret?

Get Ready… it’s Push Ups! Yes, you heard us right. And while it’s one of the longest standing and most basic exercises, by doing the right variation and the right number of reps, your arms will transform before your very eyes.

Why push-ups? Like most women, when first introduced to ‘strength-training,’ I was not a fan. I thought ‘strength training’ meant ‘getting big’. And, let’s be serious, as a woman, the last thing you want is big bulky muscles, right? Rather, most of us want a long, lean and toned look. And push-ups do just that!

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Let’s take a stroll down memory lane for a moment… Back in my college days, I had two little twigs of arms that couldn’t even handle one full real push-up (so fret not if the thought of push-ups seems scary right now). So, what changed? My coach promised me, that if I wanted to achieve beautiful ‘to die for’ arms, push-ups were the answer. So, I started doing them everyday, and within a few weeks I started to notice a difference, fast forward a couple months and my arms had become my pride and joy (I kid you not, as vain as it sounds, I became very proud of my newly toned and strong arms. For the first time ever, I was getting compliments and starting to sport as many sleeveless tops as possible).

And now… well, now I am a huge push-ups-freak. I do them all the time. I do them as soon as I wake up and before and after every workout. In fact, if you do nothing else in the day, still take the 2 minutes it takes to throw in a few sets of push-ups.

So, here’s how to get started… Begin with 2 sets of push-ups in the morning and then another 2 sets either during a workout or before bed. Aim to do 2 sets of 20 but, if you are just beginning, or haven’t developed a lot of upper body strength, start by doing your push-ups on your knees.

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Ready to step it up a notch? Here’s the killer breakthrough: The REPTILE PUSH-UP, a move that makes the push- up even more effective by working other body parts at the same time. Start in push-up position and as you push-up bring your left knee out to the side to touch your left elbow (like a frog!). Check out the video below for more tips! We warn you, this is quite challenging, but it’s a seriously incredible exercise. Not only does it work your arms, chest and core, but also it doubles as a serious tummy cincher! As they are much harder than normal push-ups, you won’t be able to do as many right away. Instead, start by adding 1 or 2 in with your normal reps and working up to two sets of 10.

The best part about this secret to toned arms (yes, even better than svelte arms and an excuse to splurge on a new wardrobe of strappy tops!) is that it neither requires a lot of time nor any equipment so there really is no excuse not to try it!

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