Arm Workout Recommendations?

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Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by caliseivy on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:58 pm

My first posted topic...woo.

For the past year or so I have been spending time on my semi-recumbent bike just to get some kind of workout (minor, I know, but it's working out with my dislike of physical activity). That's going fine, but I feel like I would like to include some kind of small workout for my arms, as I have zero upper-body strength and that bothers me sometimes.
I can't do push-ups or really anything on the ground because I have very little space in my room (the bike is compact and folds up so it doesn't take up much space, if anyone was trying to figure that out) and push-ups have always been incredibly difficult for me, even when I had to do them regularly as a kid. I also never feel like I'm getting any better at them; I was stuck at 5 off my knees forever. I also have no wall space to do push-ups off the wall either.
I am limited to things I can do in my room because I despise going to the Gym even if I had the transportation to, and I don't like exercising in front of other people - a paranoia/self-esteem complex I have - so essentially traveling anywhere to exercise isn't a possibility for me.
I suspect I'll probably end up in my room with a pair of hand weights or something like that since I can watch TV while I work out to make it easier to get through, but I know nothing about upper-body workouts and the only person I know is doing the hardcore bring-the-pain stuff to buff up and that's far away from what I'm after.

So, any advice on low-maintenance arm workouts to build a teeny bit of muscle (or at least feel like I'm doing something) that doesn't require being in public or getting on the ground?
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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:24 am

Caliseivy, would you be interested in power rings? I don't know if you have the space to hang up some rings or if the exercises themselves are more intensive than what you're interested in. Apparently, the nature of those exercises can lead to great increases in strength (assuming they're done correctly and safely). Just maintaining a static hold can probably help you gain some strength as a beginner, and you can incorporate more exercises as your strength increases....

Also, push-ups are boring, so I'd get tired of them too.

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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by caliseivy on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:27 pm

So I didn't know that they were called power rings so thanks for that. It's intriguing, but I suspect my ceiling wouldn't be able to handle the strain of me hanging from it; it's an old house. Your suggestion did make me think of those pull up bars you can attach to your door frame, which might be able to support me. Thanks.
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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:11 pm

If you decide to do the pull up bar thing, make sure you're getting the right one for your needs. Some just kind of unscrew/expand to fill the width of the door frame and rely on torque/friction to stay in place (which can damage the frame if it isn't sturdy). Others need you to screw brackets into the sides of the frame to hold the bar in place. The one we got has a plastic bar across the top that rests against one side of the frame (and is held in place by a metal wedge) while the bar itself curves around to the other side. Much less permanent damage for our apartment. Wink
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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by UristMcBunny on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:24 pm

Dumbbell rows.  Definitely dumbbell rows.  I LOVE those things. And you can do them just fine with a small set of hand weights in your room.

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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by caliseivy on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:35 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:Dumbbell rows.  Definitely dumbbell rows.  I LOVE those things.  And you can do them just fine with a small set of hand weights in your room.
Okay, thanks. It looks like you can do that with squats too, which I've already been doing. Looks like I need to look up hand weights. Thank you.
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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by CP96 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:53 pm

Seconding either a pull-up bar or rings (or both). Pull ups are great for forearms, biceps and upper back. If you find strict reps difficult try building up with negatives i.e. just do the lowering portion of the movement slowly and under control.

Rings open up a world of possibilities if you have the space. Pull-ups, inverted rows, press-ups, flies, dips, L-sits etc. Fantastic piece of kit if you have somewhere to work with them.

Even without kit there's a lot of exercises to be done with just bodyweight. For example, learning to handstand is an excellent functional strength move, especially when combined with handstand press-ups (again, work negatives if struggling with strict reps).
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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:12 am

Alternatively, you can just set up a pull up bar frame and hang your rings from there (assuming you have the space).

The great thing about power/gymnast rings is that you can do away with weights altogether, if you want. Gymnasts don't lift iron...

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Re: Arm Workout Recommendations?

Post by Kiskadee on Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:47 am

You can also do some simple stuff using just a broom or some pole with a similar diameter - has the advantage of being free if you have one already. A chiropractor I used to go to showed me some exercises for the shoulders/upper arms using one. It probably won't help you bulk up if that's you're goal, but I think it's helped for everyday strength type stuff. I think shoulder muscles are pretty important in overall upper body strength, but I'm not a fitness expert.
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