Tanktop season is right around the corner, and what pairs better with a sleeveless top than sculpted, toned arms? Not much. However, many women feel intimidated when bearing arms in the summer. For some, the arms are a “trouble zone” area, where many of us feel like we’re holding on to more fat than muscle, especially in the triceps.

“Arms seem to be a tough place to tone for women,” says Kim Dolan Leto, a best-selling author and fitness professional who has graced 25 magazine covers in her career.  “Here’s why, we don’t make the testosterone that men do, and we naturally store fat in our tricep area.”

It’s not the best news for those wanting to bear arms come pool season. However, knowledge is power; especially when looking to power up and transform your body.

“Arms are not typically a focus for women,” according to Leto, the author of Fit God’s Way. Many women tend to focus on cardio or training their lower bodies, leaving arm exercises behind.

Whether you’ve neglected training your arms in the gym or are having a hard time sculpting the muscle you desire for your upper body, Leto designed a summer workout that will have you heading confidently into summer with stronger, sculpted arms.


The Keys to Successfully Sculpting the Arms You’ve Always Wanted

Let’s face it, women lead busy lives. “So often, the things we need the most for muscle growth—rest, recovery, the best fuel for our bodies including enough protein, and hydration, aren’t always on the top of our to-do lists,” explains Leto. This makes the process of gaining muscle and burning fat harder than it needs to be.

Sculpting any body part takes time, dedication, proper fuel, and recovery. And when you combine those actions with a killer training routine, you’ll finally be shedding fat and building the lean muscle you desire.

One method of training Leto uses to tone her arms is the combination of dumbbells and body weight exercises. Performed consistently, this will help build strength and shape your arms while burning fat. “Progressive overload is key when training arms,” says Leto. “Use a weight that makes the last few reps tough, or you’re leaving results on the table.”

Remember this, however: You cannot “spot reduce.” When it comes to shedding fat—in this case, your triceps—you simply cannot shed fat in one specific area. Rather, with a consistent clean diet and training, fat will burn from all over the body. However, when training certain muscle groups, you will begin to notice shape taking place as the muscle grows. In short, for strong, sleek arms: Work out, eat clean, get rest, hydrate, and stay patient, change will come (and so will lots of flexing!)

To see your hard work come through, Leto emphasizes proper hydration, getting adequate protein, and fueling your body with proper nutrition and rest.

Now that you have the keys to successfully shaping your arms, it’s time to train. Let’s get sculpted arms for summer!

Sleeveless Summer Workout

How to:

Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps unless otherwise noted.

Pro Tips:

  • Focus on form and do not use momentum or swing weights.
  • Be sure to always get a solid warm-up on your favorite cardio equipment for five minutes.