Lose Those Batwings! 5 Moves, 5 Weeks to Killer Arms and Shoulders

These five must-do exercises target your arms, shoulder, back and abs to get you ready for short sleeve season, fast!

Get tank top ready from home with this upper body workout designed by certified trainer Jessica Smith. All you’ll need is a set of dumbbells (3-10 pounds) or similar weighted objects (such as two 16-ounce water bottles). Do each exercise back to back with little to no rest in between, repeating the circuit three times. To get nicely sculpted arms in as little as five weeks, do this routine every other day, plus 30-45 minutes of cardio on most days of the week and eat a healthy diet.


#1: Plank Up

 Exercises for Arms and Shoulders Plank Up

Vanessa Rogers Photography

This exercise doubles as a warm up to get you going and a vital part of the workout to work your arms, shoulders, chest and abs. Lie face down in the pushup position, supporting yourself on your forearms. Brace the abs tight and lift up your hips in line with your shoulders to create a straight line from heels to head. Push off your left forearm until your holding yourself up with your palm. [shown in photo A]. Repeat with your right arm so the body is in a full push up position [shown in photo B]. Lower back down to right elbow, then left, to return to start. Do four repetitions leading with your left arm and then four leading with the right. If the full plank is too challenging, use a modified plank position [shown in photo B] by bending knees lightly on the ground.

#2: Kneeling Reverse Fly

 Exercises for Arms and Shoulders Kneeling Reverse Fly

Vanessa Rogers Photography

Sculpt your upper back, arms and keep your abs engaged with this multi-muscle move! Kneel on all fours, holding a dumbbell with right hand [shown in photo A]. Engage abs and raise right arm out to shoulder height (elbow should be only slightly bent), palm facing down [shown in photo B]. Lower to start. Do 15 repetitions; repeat on opposite side.

#3: Inverted Grip Biceps Curl & Press

 Exercises for Arms and Shoulders Inverted Grip Biceps Curl & Press

Vanessa Rogers Photography

This double-duty combo move sculpts your shoulders and arms while also strengthening the often-overlooked muscles in your forearms and wrist. Stand with feet together holding dumbbells, palms facing thighs. Pull abs in tight, and without moving your torso, curl your arms up toward your shoulders, palms remain down [shown in photo A]. Then extend arms overhead, keeping palms facing forward [shown in photo B]. Return to starting position an do 15 repetitions.

#4: Triceps Kicker

 Exercises for Arms and Shoulders Triceps Kicker

Vanessa Rogers Photography

Say bye-bye to batwings with this back-of-the-arms sculptor. Stand holding dumbbells, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and hinge forward from hips until your chest is almost parallel to floor, bending elbows behind body [shown in photo A]. Extend arms, rotating palms up to ceiling [shown in photo B]. Keeping arms straight, raise arms a few inches higher. Bend elbows and return to start. Do 15 repetitions.

#5: Chest Hug

 Exercises for Arms and Shoulders

Vanessa Rogers Photography

Create a more defined cleavage line and a flatter tummy with this multi-tasking exercise. Lie face up on the floor, with knees bent and together, feet flat on the floor, holding dumbbells straight out from the shoulders, keeping them just above the ground, palms facing up [shown in photo A]. Draw your knees up into chest and bring your arms together in front of your chest, elbows on the outside of your knees, lifting head and shoulders off the floor [shown in photo B]. Return to start. Do 15 repetitions.

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