|no, it doesn't include this killer yoga pose // image via pinterest because I can't bear to take gym selfies. >.<|
It's so funny how far I've come, from the 12-year-old gymnast afraid of having "man arms" to now, I've actually been super excited to see more definition in my arms the past few months! I know a lot of women are afraid of becoming too bulky by weightlifting, but the truth is that unless you're taking steroids, or ridiculous amount of protein, that's just not going to happen. Arms and shoulders are actually the easiest place to tone, and if you're eating a generally clean diet, will definitely show progress first!
A DISCLAIMER, OF COURSE: I'm not a personal trainer. I'm not certified. I'm just a girl who happens to love working out, and I've done a decent bit of it the past year and a half. That being said, I've done dance and gymnastics alternatively since I was about 5, so I'm no stranger to physical activity, and due to a couple injuries, have a layman's knowledge of the human body. Just be careful, warm up beforehand and stretch afterwards, and listen to your body. This works for me; it may not be perfect for you, so adjust as you go! And don't blame me if you get hurt. XD
I've linked photo or video demonstrations of every exercise, because I know there's no way I could explain them as clearly in my own words: a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to workouts, so I hope that helps!
With the weights listed, I naturally put the weight I'm currently using - so adjust lighter/heavier as you need! If you're unsure about your capabilities, always go lighter. Better to feel like you need a few more reps than to pull a muscle.
Finally, make sure between each circuit to rest for a minute or so, and even do some light stretches. We don't tone by just jerking through; do it slowly and intentionally, and if you need to stop, by all means stop! Be good to your body.
Alright, here we go!
The #LadyGuns Upper Body Workout
-Bent-over barbell row*: 10 reps
*For this movement, you technically use a barbell, but a pair of 7lb. weights held in line with each other while you do the movement will do the trick just the same. :)
CIRCUIT #2 (REPEAT 2X)
-1 minute forearm plank
-Alternating Renegade Rows: 8 reps per arm
-Upper back raises: 10 reps, hands behind head OR 5 reps, arms extended + 3lb. weights in each hand
CIRCUIT #3 (REPEAT 2X)
-Three-legged dog pushups: 5 reps per leg
-Wall squat + press: 12 reps, 6lb. weights
-Kettlebell clean + press: 6 reps per arm, 8lb. kettle bell / weight
And I usually finish up with what I've fondly dubbed the "Prayer Walk" around the track: keeping your shoulders straight and pressed down away from your ears, press a 12lb. plate between your palms and walk! (About 1 minute walk if you're outdoors / if your gym doesn't have a track, walk the perimeter of the room!).
Let me know if you try it out, and if this is something you'd be interested in seeing more of! Cheers!