It might be chilly outside, but February is oozing with warmth. Maybe that has to do with all the cuddling that happens during this month that is so closely associated with love in all of its manifestations. As we wrap our arms around our significant others, our children. our parents, our pets, or our favorite blanket, let us glance down and assess those arms. And let us ask the question, could we be showing you more affection?
As many of us get older and more sedentary--spending hours a day sitting at our desks, we find ourselves facing the dreaded “bat wings”, those jiggly pouches of skin that hang underneath our arms. It’s normal; as our body ages, muscle tone decreases. And while some of us are unbothered, there are some who would like to reduce the appearance of our “wings” and tone them up. So, I went in search of an inexpensive, accessible workout that could help build muscle tone in the triceps (back of the upper arm) and the biceps (front of the upper arm) and eureka…arm circles.
I know what you’re thinking. That exercise has been around FOREVER. Do people even do arm circles anymore? Yes, they do and here’s why. Arm circles are simple and effective. They can be done almost anywhere (sitting or standing) and work several muscles in the upper body while burning calories. Not only that, but if you vary the size of the circle and increase the speed, you can also work the muscles in the shoulder and the upper back as well. (Haley, 2019)
Arm circles are a form of dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretches are active movements that allow muscles to go through a full range of motion. They can be useful as a warmup prior to an upper body workout but can be valuable for their standalone benefits as well. For those of us who sit at a computer for prolonged periods of time, actively stretching our arms could help to prevent swelling, stiffness and pain in our shoulders, muscles, and tendons. (Dr. Jasmine Shaikh, 2021)
Okay, so here it goes. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and extend your arms parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. Move the arms in small circular motions, first clockwise and then counterclockwise. Once you have the motion down, follow the Tycor Flabuless Arm Circle Challenge Calendar. We will start out at 30 seconds on February 1st and finish up on the 28th with a 5-minute arm circle finale. Don’t underestimate the burn of those 5 minutes. Trust me…you’ll be happy when it’s time to rest them down by your side!
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Dr. Jasmine Shaikh, M. (2021, 3 19). Do Arm Circles Really Work. Retrieved from www.medicinenet.com: https://www.medicinenet.com/do_arm_circles_really_work/article.htm
Haley, C. (2019, July 22). 5 Things You Need to Know About Arm Circles. Retrieved from www.livestrong.com: https://www.livestrong.com/article/6195-need-arm-circles/