Toned arms are something many of us desire to achieve. But the quest to sculpted arms is no easy feat – especially if you’re not aware that some of the things you’re doing are actually prohibiting you from getting the results that you aspire to attain.
Here are some of the most common arm toning mistakes according to Matt Harras, a national group exercise manager at Virgin Active:
Trying to cheat your way by swinging
Admit or not, there are times when it’s easier to cheat than to do the right thing. It’s definitely a struggle sometimes to complete a set in the right form when you’re tempted to just finish it faster. Unfortunately, you’re not doing yourself any favor by doing so.
According to Matt, "Arm exercises are easy enough to build into a novice workout using free weights, but they're just as easy to cheat a full rep," He added that as we fatigue, we may notice that we begin to lose some momentum from our shoulders. So if you’re guilty of this, he suggested to just drop the weight or to just use a machine or bench to hold your arms in place.
Trying to speed up your reps
“No pain. No gain.” That’s what workouts are all about. If you don’t work hard for it then you won’t see results. This is the reason why it’s not surprising that some of us want to get it done and over with as soon as possible. However, Matt pointed out that “completing quick reps isn’t going to give us the strength gains that we desire.”
If you have been noticing that you often want to speed up your reps then he advised to just slow it down. Try to aim for a 1-2 second contraction because anything quicker than that will mean that you won’t apply enough resistance on your muscles.
Not paying attention to other muscles
If you’re focusing your time and attention on one muscle then you need to change things up. According to Matt, doing this will result in an imbalance over time. If you are doing the same exercises again and again then it’s time to change this habit because there are two muscles (biceps) and three muscles (triceps) in your arm that deserve attention too.
Regularly training your arms
If you think that training your arms frequently will give you faster strength gains then you’re definitely wrong. According to Matt, doing so will negatively impact your gains because your muscles don't have time to recover. It’ll also affect your other upper body workouts since having tired arms means you’ll have a hard time with your back, chest and shoulder workouts. In line with this, he suggested training the arms twice a week to give your arms enough rest and help you progress with your arm training efforts.
There you have it. These are just some common arm toning mistakes that you should avoid to help you move forward and get the arm strength gains that you’ve always wanted.