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The curse/blessing of summer is exposing our arms to the world.  If firm, we look young and healthy; if flabby, we hope to hide them under kimono sleeves, in spite of the heat.

I’ve adopted a new philosophy as I’ve gotten older.  Women need firm sexy arms.  They show we are strong and capable. They are as sexy as a firm high bust or a tight round buttocks, but, while we are dependant on mother nature or plastic surgery to get the former, firm sexy arms are completely under our control.

I say raise up your firm sexy arms, fabulously 40-somethings (and more)!

While we can’t firm up our arms overnight, there are some easy exercises that will get any woman “sleeveless ready” before long.  Arms respond quickly to weigh training (especially the triceps), so a noticeable difference is possible in just 6 weeks.  

If you have some light hand weights at home, feel free to use them. Or adapt these exercises to a stretchy band.  If you don't have anything, grab 2 bags of rice or beans in an appropriate size (1-3#).   Each move should be performed 10-15 times (a set), switching from one move to the next.  Rest for 1 minute and repeat through all the exercises 2-3 times. Please note:  each description has form checks shown in italics. Watching these will make the moves most effective while reducing the chance of hurting a joint.

*Lateral Raise. * Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your arms at your side.  To a two count, raise your arms out until your body and arms form a "T".  Hold for 1 count.  Lower your arms back to your side with a three count.  Form check: when your arms are down, your shoulders are back and relaxed. When your arms are at the T, your shoulder blades are squeezed together and your hands are slightly behind your shoulders.

Shoulder Press. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms extend out from your shoulders bent up at the elbow with the weights even with your ears. Form check: Your shoulder blades are gently squeezed together. Press the weight overhead to a 2 count, but do not lock your elbows. Hold for 1 count. Lower back to the start posiiton with a 3 count while concentrating on again gently squeezing the shoulder blades together.  

Bicep Curl. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping shoulders back, rest your elbows on top of your pelvis near your side. As your arms hang, your hands will be slightly away from your thighs. Curl your arms up with a 3 count, squeezing your hands near your shoulders. Hold for a 1 count. Lower your hands back down to the relaxed starting position with a 3 count. Make sure your shoulders do not roll forward any time during this exercise.

Tricep Kickback.* Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand straight with your legs relaxed and knees slightly bent, your elbows at your side and your hands in front of your body forming an "L" at the elbow. Bend forward until your hands are parallel to your thighs. Push your hands back straightening your arms to a 1 count. Hold for a three count. Make sure you are not allowing shoulders to roll forward and your knees are soft.  Bring hands back near thighs to a 1 count.  

Better Every Year is the goal of writer Debra Roby. She has been published at [Link Removed] 

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