• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Cardio exercises that firm up arms

August 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Go to most any gym, and chances are, you'll find many women on a bike or treadmill because lifting weights isn't something women typically like to do.But rather than feeling down about failing to pump it up, check out some cardio workouts that might just tone you up.

"Try to look for those cardio machines like the bike with the arms, the elliptical with the arms, the rowing machine, the versa-climber . You'll get some upper body, more movement, and more body parts moving means more calorie burned," said fitness pro JJ Virgin.

Virgin says these types of machines offer a combination of strength with cardio, making for one very time efficient program.

The machines will eliminate the need to spend hours at the gym, and get you your desired results, especially for ladies least likely to lift.

"You get a lot more done in less time. You burn more fat after the exercise. There's a way bigger metabolic cost," Virgin said.

Along with cardio machines with arm levers, rock climbing and walking with poles provide a bonus to biceps, triceps, shoulders and upper back muscles. Water babies might enjoy rowing, kayaking or swimming - all hitting those upper muscles hard.

One of the best cardio class workouts is kick boxing.

"What's great about them too is they go hard and then they go easy, and they go hard and they go easy, and when you have that group culture with people pushing you, you're going to get more out of it," Virgin said.

Virgin brings up an important point concerning any of these workouts. Performing exercise at a steady state isn't advantageous. In other words, 45 minutes at the same level on an elliptical won't get you to the next fitness level.

She recommends switching from low to high intensity bursts of exercise to not only burn calories but build muscle.

"Building muscle changes your metabolism all day long, and it's like a little metabolic girdle holds everything in tighter too. We like that," Virgin said.

Report Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Most Popular
Follow @abc7 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments