LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If your arms wave back to you when you wave or if you're just ready to tone them as the temperature rises and less clothing is required, pay special attention to this Healthcast! We find out what you need to do to exercise your right to bare arms.
First Lady Michelle Obama's toned arms have become a trademark and a source of inspiration for women to eliminate the "bat wings" and tone up. Dynamic Dimensions Trainer and Nutritionist Suzy Trahan says, "Women don't want their arms big and muscular and masculine-looking. They want long and lean muscles."
The trend of baring a bit more skin in a tasteful way is bringing people back to the basics of strength training. "Muscle is the engine that burns fuel in your body, so when you increase density of the muscle," says Suzy, "then you increase your metabolism."
Carla Pippin works out four times a week and has seen the shape of her body take a drastic turn for the better. "I've been working out for about three years," says Carla, "I've lost 43 pounds and I've kept off 35 of that 43 pounds for a two-year stretch."
While dropping the weight is one of the biggest hurdles for women, toning specific areas can seem like a daunting task. When it comes to the arms, Suzy says the triceps can be especially hard to shape. "Women have a larger layer of body fat in the back of the arm around the tricep area," she says, "that's the muscles in the back of the arm."
If you have access to a gym, there are several machines that can engage different arm muscles. Training should be done a couple of times a week and up to the point of exhausting the muscle - without overdoing it. Gym membership or not, good old fashioned push-ups can make a huge difference.
Once you position yourself on the ground, bending on your knees, Suzy says, "Take your hands shoulder distance apart and then you slide them out about three or four inches on either side."
To specifically target the triceps, there's only one adjustment. "The hands are close together, they're about shoulder distance apart and the elbows bend behind you," says Suzy.
To get bare-arm beautiful, you don't have to sweat for hours in the gym - just get moving to your personal fitness goals. "Just to keep it from getting the flabby stuff," says Carla, "I just work out because I feel better. When you walk out of here, you feel really good."
*Soreness typically comes along with working muscles for the first time in a while. Suzy says it's fine to continue to exercise even if you're sore. If muscle pain or soreness sticks around after a week, contact your physician.