5 Exercises for Flab-Free Arms


- By Jenna Arndt, Instructor at SWERVE Fitness

At SWERVE, we love to ride hard, but we also give you five minutes of upper body work as a break for your legs before crossing the finish line a little stronger.  Though the weight is light, efficient repetitions start to add up, 2-5 lb. dumbbells start to feel more like barbells and you'll begin to notice results from your arm series "break" in the ride.
When you can't make it to the studio to get your SWERVE on, or you want to get a little bonus arm work in, you can try out this quick and effective body-weight arm series.

5 movements/ 3 Rounds/ 1 min each   

I suggest using time for this workout instead of repetitions.  This way, each time you perform the workout, you can aim for higher repetitions per minute as a tangible goal and means of pushing yourself to next-level-upper-body greatness.

*Side note:  It has been shown that when we treat ourselves to our favorite ear candy while working out, our heart rates go up and we push ourselves even harder.  Why not throw on your favorite beats for this…it’s science!  

Hand-Release Push-Ups

Start with your hands and toes on the floor. Keep your back flat and keep your hips in line with your toes and shoulders the entire time.  Lower your chest completely down to the ground and lift your hands off the ground while keeping your chest and hips on the floor for about 1 second. Bring your hands back to the floor and press up, extending and locking your arms fully out. Repeat.  

*Bonus!  These pushups force you to engage your abdominals as your lift and lower each time.  Hello six-pack!

Tricep Dips

Find a chair, bench, or other sturdy flat surface that's about knee-height. Sit on the surface with your legs extended straight in front of you and place the palms of your hands on the bench behind you, finger tips facing forwards towards your heels. Once you're set there, slide your butt forward so that you're balancing on your hands and heels. Begin with a slight bend in your elbows. Then bend them more and more as you slowly lower your upper body and butt towards the floor until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.  Once you've hit the bottom of the dip, press your palms into the chair and push yourself back up to start (straight with just a slight bend). 

Ready to take this to the next level?  Try a One Arm Dip.  Now move your legs wider for more stability and perform the same 90 degree bend and push back to start. 

Walking Plank

This core strengthening move will also help shape your shoulders and delts.  Find a plank position, keeping your body straight with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your palms flat on the floor. Start with your feet together.  Then, simultaneously cross your right hand over your left and step your left leg out to the left – so as your arms cross, your legs come wide. Then step your left arm out to the left to uncross your hands, as you simultaneously bright your right foot next to your left – so your arms come back to the plank position your legs narrow back together. Alternate walking two to the right, two to the left. 

Need a level up?  Add a pushup in for every two "steps" you take with your hands.

Diamond Push-Up

…Because diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Our hand release push-ups allowed us to focus on both the chest and triceps.  Here, we condense and place the emphasis on the triceps.  Place your hands under your chest and create a triangle with your fingers, touching your thumbs and index fingers together.  Keep your elbows tight at your sides and lower down, touching your chest to your diamond or getting as close to it as you can.  Keep the rest of your body tight and push back to start. 

Ready to take it to the next level?  Find a wall and elevate your feet against it.  Perform these same pushups. 

Arm Circles

Be your own cheerleader in this final round!  No pom poms required.  Here the focus does not need to be on repetitions.  Stay small, slow and controlled.  Extend your arms straight out to parallel and perform slow, circular motions upwards until you have eventually positioned them above your head.  Reverse the circle and return your arms to a parallel position.  Repeat.


Designed to give you a great workout, SWERVE is the world’s first indoor-cycling studio that uses teams to help motivate you to achieve your best. The studio was founded by Eric Posner, Chelsea Kocis, and John Henry (JH) McNierney, a trio of lifelong friends who wanted to take fitness studios to the next level. By allowing clients to compete in teams, SWERVE delivers a full-body and HIIT workout that holds you accountable through every effort. Using the latest technology, SWERVE brings people together to constantly redefine their best at two convenient NYC locations, Flatiron and a brand new Midtown studio.

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