Sunday, 30 December 2012

Monday Moves: the 'commercial' sets

Once in a while I like to treat myself to saucy soaps on television. As the episode progresses, I can't help but ogle at the figure-perfect ladies strutting about in sleeveless dresses and showing off their toned arms. 
In the midst of determination and pent-up frustration to look as stunning as these women, I went all gymnast to adopt the most strenuous of routines, only to be left worn out at the end!

this .. is .. tough!

I then came up with a 'during-commercials-exercise-sets-for-toning-arms', to not only enjoy my soaps but also target the muscles I wanted to.
Each exercise takes no more than five minutes; long enough to last a commercial break and not force you to give up on the extra exercise

360-degrees arms

This exercise targets your biceps, triceps and shoulders.
  • Extend your arms perpendicular to your body. Flex your shoulders and pull up your neck and breath through your chest. Push your feet flat on the ground.
  • Move your arms forward, stretching them as further as you can. You will feel a strain in your shoulder plates during the rotations. 
  • Count up to 20 circles.Then reverse the direction count up to 20 rotations again.

Bicep Curls (without weights)

You can choose to do this exercise either sitting down or standing up. Traditionally the exercise uses weights but since you're only killing time till the show resumes, we've tailored it accordingly.
  • Pull your elbows close to the body, with your arms resting on the sides. 
  • Open the palm of your right hand to face forward, and with your left, encircle the wrist of the right arm.
  • Clench your right hand into a fist and pull it up towards your bicep, with the left arm resisting the motion. Provide the resistance in the opposite direction as you push down the hand to its original position.
  • Count up to 10 repititons, then change arms. 

Behind Back Arms Clasp

The exercise focuses upon the muscles in the shoulder and triceps. You can easily do this while sitting down or standing up.
  • Keep your back straight to extend your right arm straight over your head in the air, while keeping the left along your body.
  • Fold your left arm behind your back by bending your elbow, while keeping the right in the same position.
  • Lower your right arm behind your back to stretch your fingers. Move the left arm to upwards to clasp the right hand. Please note that only the lower arm will move to force clasping. Beginners will struggle  to clasp the hands as the body will resist. 
  • Count up to ten once the hands clasp.
  • Repeat with the other arm, doing 5 repetitions on either side. 

If you want to extend the exercise, you can also opt for these tougher positions.

Traditional (Killer) Push-Ups

Push-ups focus on not only developing upper arm strength, but also strengthens the core.
  • Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Rest your knees on the floor, and focus upon putting pressure on your thighs throughout the exercise. Align your hips and back.
  • Maintaining the alignment, bend your elbows to lower your body to within an inch from the floor. Pull yourself up.
  • Count up to 10 repetitions


If you see someone performing planks, it may seem quite easy compared to other routines. But boy oh boy! It took the breath out of me and proved to be most fruitful.
  • Align your body like in a push-up, but with your legs extended back, and feet together with toes resting on the floor. 
  • Place your forearms on the ground. Your can either place your palms on the ground or clasp your hands, but position your wrists under your shoulders. 
  • Pull in your abdominal muscles to keep your back straight. 
  • Support your body by putting pressure on your arms, as you count to 30. 
  • As you develop upper body strength, count up to 60, to build to a minute.

Now that is time well spent I'd say matey!

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