POPSUGAR Celebrity

Lupita Nyong'o Is People's Most Beautiful, but We Want to Know More About Those Arms

Apr 23 2014 - 10:33am

Lupita Nyong'o has been wowing us all year long, and People agrees — it just named her the most beautiful person of the year [1]. But it wasn't her breathtaking red carpet looks [2] or darling selfies [3] that had us gasping the first time we saw her — it was her killer arms. They are strong, toned, and more than capable of carrying all the awards she racked up for her role in 12 Years a Slave [4]. So we turned to Meka Gibson, personal training manager at David Barton Gym [5], to find out how we can chisel our own upper bodies into something even slightly close to resembling Lupita's. "The way to toned arms like Lupita's is making sure to work the major upper body muscles to create symmetry and definition," says Meka.

To achieve this balance, Meka gave us three exercises that can be done at home or in the gym and perfectly complement a cardio workout. For all of these exercises, Meka recommends choosing weights that will allow you to do 10 to 11 reps with good form. "It should be slightly challenging to get those last two to four reps," she says. If you find you can easily swing the weights or can't finish the movement from beginning to end, choose a more appropriate weight or stop and rest before starting the next set.

Source: Getty [6]

1a: Triceps Pressdown

Hold on to either end of a resistance band, and step onto the middle of it with your left foot; step your right foot slightly forward, keeping knees slightly bent. Holding onto the band, slowly straighten your arms above your head, allowing the handles of the band to touch.

1b: Triceps Pressdown

Bend arms behind your head, creating a right angle. Keep elbows tucked in and abdominals tight, and slowly straighten the arms, creating tension in the back of the arms. Hold for one second, and slowly return to arms bent. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

2a. Lateral Raises

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Hold a two- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand so your palms face in toward the sides of your body.

2b. Lateral Raises

Standing with knees slightly bent and looking straight ahead with abs tight, keep your arms straight, and slowly lift the arms away from the body until you are barely at shoulder height. Pause for a quick second, and slowly lower the dumbbells just short of the start position. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

3a. Standing Bicep Curls

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Hold a five- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand so your palms face in toward the sides of your body.

3b. Standing Bicep Curls

Slowly bend the elbows, bringing the dumbbells up toward your shoulder. Stop about two to three inches from your shoulder, then slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

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