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Five-Minute Arm Workout

Quick, Intense, Effective: Your 5-Minute Arm Workout

Tone up your arms with our five-minute, five-move plan. Perform the following exercises for one minute each — all you need are a yoga mat and a pair of light five- or eight-pound weights to get started.

Number 1: Bent-Over Row

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  • Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.
  • Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward. Don't arch your back.
  • Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Perform as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 2: Overhead Press

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  • Stand with your feet hip distance apart and pick up the weights, holding the dumbbells so your palms are face down. Lift up your weights until they are at your shoulders, palms facing forward, with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Raise your arms until elbows are extended, moving the weights until they almost touch above your head.
  • Slowly return back to the starting position (with elbows at a 90-degree angle).
  • Perform as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 3: Skull Crushers

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  • Grab your weights, and start by lying on your back.
  • With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
  • Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent and pressing in toward your head.
  • Lift arms back up to starting position. This is one rep.
  • Do as many controlled reps as possible for one minute.

Number 4: Diamond Push-Ups

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  • Start in the plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in one straight line; separate your feet so they're about shoulder width apart to help you stay balanced throughout the exercise. If you can't do a push-up this way, then just lower your knees to the floor.
  • Place your hands together directly under your sternum, with the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touching. Your fingers and thumbs should form a diamond or triangle shape.
  • As you inhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the floor. Then exhale to straighten your arms. This counts as one push-up.
  • Complete as many push-ups as you can in one minute.

Number 5: Quarter Dog

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  • Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  • Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
  • Spread your fingers wide and lower your forearms to the mat. Check to make sure you're creating a straight line between your elbows and middle fingers.
  • Try to straighten your legs as much as you can. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of the mat.
  • Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths, before pushing back to Downward Facing Dog.
  • Take a few breaths to rest in Downward Dog, then move back to the Quarter Dog position. Flow back and forth for one minute.
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