When it comes to achieving an amazing upper half, it's not enough to do just bicep and tricep moves. You need to pair a range of arm movements with bouts of cardio, which target the underlying flab. When you do, you get three big benefits: a more effective and higher calorie burn, allover arm and shoulder toning and, surprisingly, some upper ab action (read: a tighter tummy). Now throw those arms in the air and jump around a little—greater endurance and serious definition await.
These exercises combine jumping, which amps up heart rate, with arm movements—punching or lifting—to trim and firm your biceps, triceps, shoulders and even back and waist. Perform this circuit six days a week, adding at least 30 minutes of cardio (more is better). Do series twice, starting moves 2 to 4 on your right side the first round, and on left the second round.
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Jumping Jack Arm Lift
Start with feet together, knees slightly bent, arms hanging down in front of body at hip level and a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand (A). Jump legs out as you pull dumbbells straight up toward chin (B). Lower arms back down as you jump feet in to return to "A." Do 30 reps. Keep abs tight and dumbbells close to body.
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Twist and Punch
Start with feet hip-width apart, arms overhead and a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand. Jump up, shifting weight to right side while pulsing arms up to right (A). As you land, immediately jump back up, shifting weight to left and pulsing arms up to left (B). Continue alternating for 30 reps total. Stay on balls of feet and really swing those hips.
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Single-Arm Punch and Jump
Start with feet in a wide stance and hands on hips, holding a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand. Jump as you punch right arm straight up (A). Lower arm back to hip level, then punch arm forward, jumping again (B); bring arm back in. Continue for 15 reps; switch sides and repeat. Stand tall; don't slump shoulders.
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Start with feet in a wide stance, a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand; shift weight to left side, bending right leg back. Punch arm out to right (A). Return right foot to the floor, circling arm in front of you. Shift weight to right, bending left leg back; circle arm to left (B). Circle arm back around to right; lower left leg. Do 30 reps. Punch in one continuous circle.
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Goal: 60 minutes of cardio
That's the magic number if you're trying to lose stubborn pounds. Sure, 30 minutes helps with your circulation, caloric expenditure, digestion and cardio health. Unfortunately, though, I've found it isn't enough to blast off much fat. To do that, 60 minutes is crucial.