Arm workouts made easy in your living room


After a long day of class, work and meetings, college students love to relax in front of the TV to unwind and give our brains a rest. We often don’t feel we have the energy to get up, change clothes and make it to Peters Recreation Complex to work out.However, exercise is good for lowering stress levels and giving us a boost of energy and can be done in almost any living room, even while watching TV.

The following moves are a continuation of the shoulder workout that appeared here two weeks ago. I’ll continue throughout the semester with simple moves to target various muscle groups, adding up to a full-body toning series. These moves target the biceps and triceps, which should always be strengthened equally to prevent injury due to muscle imbalance. The moves require a sturdy chair, 3- to 8-pound hand weights ($8.99-10.99 at and a few minutes of your time.

Bicep Curls (and Hammer Curls)
    For bicep curls, start with your arms straight down at your sides, elbows relaxed, but not locked and your feet hip-width apart. Hold the weights in your hands so that they are parallel with the floor. Keeping your palms facing up, slowly bring the weights toward your shoulders. Make sure to keep your elbows stationary and your wrists straight, since swinging your arms to move the weights or curling your wrists could result in injury. For hammer curls, repeat the same motion, but with your palms facing each other and the weights parallel. This exercise works another muscle in the arm called the brachioradialis. Do three sets of 10 reps on both arms for bicep curls and hammer curls.
Tricep Kickback
    Start with your hands at your hip, elbows bent and pointing straight back. Step the opposite foot forward a few inches to create a more stable stance and lean forward slightly. Straighten your elbow, bringing the weight up behind you. Your arm should make about a 30-degree angle with your body. Again, make sure to keep your upper arm stationary. No movement should come from the shoulder.  Do three sets of 10 reps on each arm.

    You’ll need a sturdy chair for this movement. Begin by sitting in the chair normally. Place your palms on the edge of the chair. Move your body forward and off the chair so your arms are supporting you. Your fingers should be pointing toward your back. Elbows should be straight, but not locked, legs parallel, knees at a 90-degree angle and abs tight. Slowly bend your elbows to 90 degrees and return to starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps.