I’m a PT – here’s a 10-minute workout to banish bingo wings and get arms like Jennifer Aniston

WANT lean, toned arms to rival those belonging to Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Obama and Pippa Middleton? Don’t we all.

Luckily, you can feel stronger and tone up your arms in just 20 days with this 10 minute workout, created by Vanessa Gebhardt, Personal Trainer at Freeletics.

Combining a mixture of weighted moves and targeting various muscles in the upper body is the secret to carving out shapely arms. 

Adding resistance to your workouts isn’t just great for carving out muscle definition though.

When done correctly, lifting weights can help improve posture and improve mobility, helping us move through life comfortably. 

Resistance training also helps build stronger bones and can increase your muscular-skeletal health.

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“This can help reduce age-related issues such as osteoporosis,” says Vanessa, which is especially important for women who lose bone and muscle mass due to hormonal changes that occur during the menopause.

Plus, as Vanessa explains, more muscle mass means more calories burnt at rest throughout the day, which can help with weight loss.

Convinced? Grab some weights and try out this short ‘n’ sweet upper body workout. 

Devote time to this every day for 20 days, and you’ll start seeing changes, fast.

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Your 10-minute toned arms workout

Vanessa describes this as the Double Dumbbell Power Builder. 

As the name suggests, you’ll need a set of dumbbells for this, however if you don’t own dumbbells, you could try using large, filled water bottles or tins.

“This is a timed workout which can be made harder as your strength increases, either by lifting heavier dumbbells or increasing the time for each move by ten seconds on each round,” says Vanessa. 

As the days progress, and the workout becomes easier for you, be sure to make the workout harder, so your muscles can continue to be challenged.

For this, you’ll be doing three rounds of the below. Remember, it’s short, but intense, so it shouldn’t be easy!

Dumbbell Floor Press

Work time: 40 seconds

Lie on the ground, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

Holding your weights, start with your arms straight above your chest, keeping your shoulder blades squeezed together and always keeping your head, shoulders, and glutes on the floor with your feet on the ground. 

Keep your palms facing away from you and lower the weights with control to your chest. 

Engage your chest to push up back to the starting position and count one rep when your arms are fully straightened above your chest.

Rest time: 20 seconds

Double Dumbbell Bent Rows

Work time: 40 seconds

Start bent at the waist with a weight in each hand and your arms straight down towards the ground. 

Bend slightly at the knees, always keeping your core tight and your back straight. 

Keep your shoulders back and down and use your back muscles to bring the weights towards your ribs. 

Count one rep when the weights have been lowered back to the start.

Rest time: 20 seconds

Dumbbell Flyes

Work time: 40 seconds

Lie back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. 

Start with your arms straightened above your chest and a weight in each hand, with palms facing towards each other. 

Keeping your core tight, ensure your head, shoulders and hips stay flat on the ground. 

Keep your arms slightly bent and sweep your arms out until your hands are at chest height, just above the ground. 

Engage your chest to return your arms to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Rest time: 20 seconds

Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Flyes

Work time: 40 seconds

Start by grasping a weight in each hand. Bend at the waist, push hips back, and keep your knees slightly bent, your core tight and your back straight. 

Let your arms fully extend down, palms facing inwards, and raise your weights out to shoulder height. 

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and count one rep when you have slowly lowered your weights back to the start position.

Rest time: 20 seconds

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Work time: 40 seconds

Start standing upright with a dumbbell grasped in both hands. 

Always keep your core tight and bring the dumbbell above your head with both arms fully extended. 

Bend your arms at the elbows to lower the dumbbell behind your head. 

Use your triceps to return the dumbbell overhead and count one rep when your arms are fully straightened overhead.

Rest time: 20 seconds

Hammer Curls

Work time: 40 seconds

Start standing upright with dumbbells in both hands. 

Keep your core tight and your elbows close to your body with your palms facing each other. 

Curl both dumbbells together to shoulder height and count one rep when the dumbbells at shoulder height.

Rest time: 40 seconds

Toned arms 101

Focusing on your technique throughout the workout is vital.

“If training with weights, it’s important to find your comfort range. 

“For example, if you find that doing eight to 12 reps of a weighted exercise is too easy, add more weight or scale up your reps. 

“Too difficult? Then you are likely compromising your form and it is better to scale down or just stick to bodyweight exercises only,” says Vanessa.

Nutrition is also key. Think protein (such as chicken, eggs, tofu, turkey and fish), fruits, veggies, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds and avocado.

“Nutrition will help you build the tone you are looking for. Stay hydrated and aim to only drink water to quench your thirst.”

If you hope to continue your upper body workout once the 20 days is up, be sure to start factoring in recovery time.

“It’s crucial to take rest days so your body has enough time to adjust to the exercises and muscles you are building. 

“Overdoing arm workouts can give you results, but those will likely not be sustainable in the long run.”

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Vanessa adds: “Getting enough sleep as well as is a very important part of helping sore muscles recuperate and become stronger. 

“The power of a good night’s rest is something I can only recommend!”

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