Mandy Ingber is a celebrity fitness expert, speaker, and author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. See what motivates her clients – including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Brooke Shields and Helen Hunt – and put a little Yogalosophy into your workouts. Join Mandy weekly for her exclusive blog on People.com as we ramp up to her 28-Day Revolution kicking off May 6. You can also visit Mandy on her website MandyIngber.com and follow her on Twitter @msmandyingber and Facebook.com/yogalosophy.
“Having the body you want begins with loving the body you have.” – Mandy Ingber
Who has better arms than Jennifer Aniston? I have been fortunate enough to work with Hollywood’s Hottest Body. I cannot tell you how many e-mails I receive asking how to get Jen s arms. My reply to this is always, “But what about MY arms?”
You’re not alone! I too had a complex about my arms. I remember when I was 16, and I knew a guy who would only date models with skinny arms. Immediate complex. I have never had skinny arms. Even today, when people look at my arms, they say, “Great arms.” That is because I have muscle.
The key, ladies, is to begin to appreciate what we DO have. Although I spent years thinking that I had fat arms, I am now approached by women daily who want to know how they can get arms like mine.
One reason that we all relate to Jennifer and feel like we could possibly have what she has, is because she is neither too skinny nor too muscular. Her body is a balance: very feminine, yet toned. The big secret for getting this look is consistency.
Here are my top 5 daily toners for arms like Jen’s:
1. Vinyasa Flow
Yep. That yoga word: Vinyasa. What IS that anyway? This is the series of moves between each sequence of poses. In any given yoga class we will do the following movements up to 40 times:
• Plank Pose
• Low Plank
• Upward Facing Dog
• Downward Facing Dog
2. Spinning: Rhythm Press
Yes, I like Spinning with my yoga. A little peanut butter in my chocolate. Cardio activity burns fat, and when you burn fat while building muscle,you change the ratio of stored fat to lean muscle mass, and your arms appear to be more defined. The rhythm press is fun, because it expresses the music, and it engages your triceps.
3. Yogalosophy Side Plank/Triceps Dips
Arm balances in general are excellent for strength-building. Hold the yoga pose for 8 breaths on each side and strengthen your shoulders. Then pair the move with the triceps toner. When the toner kicks in, get ready for the burn. Did I say sleeveless dress?
Begin in plank. Bring the feet together. Move the right hand directly below the face. Rock your body to the side, so that you are balancing on the right hand, and the outside edge of the right foot. Feet are flexed and the underside of the waist is lifting up. So your top hip is lifting up towards the ceiling. Press the bottom hand into the floor, and rebound off the mat so that you are not dumping into the right shoulder. Keep the right arm straight (but not locked). If you are super flexible to the point of hyper-extension, stay aware of not locking the elbow. Slowly bring your body back to the center and balance it out. Repeat on the left side. Five breaths.
Move to TRICEP PUSH-UPS (x8) – THEN PULSE (x8) – BACK TO SIDE PLANK (x2)
From side plank on the left side, slowly move onto the hands and feet with the front side of the body facing upwards, somewhat like tabletop pose. Knees should be bent at roughly 90 degrees, with both feet flat on the floor and palms flat just below the shoulders, with the fingers pointing towards the heels. Hug the elbows in, and lower your upper body in an upside-down push-up. Do 8 repetitions. At the end of 8 reps, pulse for 8, then move back into side plank. Repeat two more sets.
4. Light Weights
Curls. Jennifer uses 8 lbs. or lighter. I like 5 lbs. or less but your choice. Stand with knees slightly bent and feet wide apart. Have a light grip on the weights, palms face up. Begin with elbows bent at your waist palms, and curl the weight to the shoulder. Repeat 30 times with light weights or 3 sets of 10 with heavier. Biceps beautiful.
5. Crow Pose
This challenging yoga pose is one to work up to. Once you get the hang of it, this is a great party trick. Even if it’s not quite mastered, good times are to be had.
Here’s how: Squat down on toes, knees open. Snuggle the knees up to the triceps, and look forward so you know where you are. Start to lean your weight forward until you get your knees as high onto triceps as you can. Start by taking one toe off of the floor and then the other. You may use a yoga brick to perch on to get some height. Begin by crouching on it to get the knees higher on triceps.