By combining dumbbell, kettlebell, exercise band, and bodyweight exercises, one can strengthen and tone arms while targeting core muscles, from the comfort of your own home. Some of the exercises included in this article not only work your arm muscles but also your core.
Standing band bicep curl: Exercise bands are an excellent, inexpensive, and easy-to-store tool and provide variable resistance. One can determine the amount of resistance by using a heavier band or taking a wider stance. Stand on an exercise band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the end of the band in each hand. If you have a band with handles, grip them. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing out, and your elbows on the sides. Bend your elbows and curl your hands toward your shoulders, keeping tension in your biceps the entire time. Slowly lower your arms and repeat (two-three sets; 12–15 reps).
Plank with shoulder taps: Shoulder tap challenges your upper-body muscles and works on its stability. Take a high plank position. Make sure your body is in a straight line from head to heel. Tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand. Do two-three sets for 30-45 seconds each.
Triceps dips: Primarily targets the triceps but also recruits the shoulders and chest muscles. If you have shoulder problem, it’s best to avoid this move. Sit on the edge of a chair, feet touching the floor. Palms down under your shoulders, resting on the edge of the chair next to your hips. Lift your hips off the chair until your arms are straight. Bend your elbows 90%. Lift yourself by using triceps strength to push yourself to the starting position (two-three sets; 10-15 reps).
Inchworm: Not only strengthens your arms, shoulders, core, and lower body but also improves heart rate. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, bend forward, place hands on the floor, and walk forwards on your hands. Keep legs straight as you walk on your hands into a high plank position. Pause and reverse the movement by beginning to walk on your hands back towards your feet (two-three sets; six to 10 reps).
Note: Check with your doctor before beginning isometric exercises. Avoid holding your breath.
(The writer is ACSM and Yoga Alliance certified personal and group trainer)