What machines should I use that would best work out my tummy and arms?

Answer #1

For arms and tummy, don’t use machines! You can do every exercise you’d ever want with a floor and a pair of dumbbells.

For abs, do “leg lifts”. This is an exercise where you lay on a mat or carpet or something that doesn’t just naturally cause pain and without bending your knees (or bending as little as possible), you move your feet to directly above your chest. It is ok if you must lift your waist in order to do so, and do not slam your feet back on the ground decending. This will work all areas of your abs simultaneously. I can’t give you any numbers on how many to do, but make sure your feeling a burn but not in immense pain. Also, the faster you do these, the more burn you’ll get (don’t slam your feet though!).

For arms, there are multiple. Because your a girl, you probably want very light weight and very high repitition. This is best for toning and does not provide an overwhelming amount of muscle gain. Basic curls are absolutely fine for girls to do, but you probably want to superset that with other arm exercises to get complete toning.

Take one of your weights in both hands (if its too light, use just one arm) and place behind your head. Without moving your elbows, straighten your arm(s) so that the weight is above your head. This will work the backside of your arm (tricep) as well as your shoulders.

If things get too easy, 1) it means your muscles have been toned and 2) you can increase repitition. You probably don’t want to increase the weight unless you’re wanting more muscle mass.

Hope this helps!

Answer #2

The abdominals are one muscle broken up into different heads. Based on the exercise, you’ll target the heads differently. If you’re looking for a machine to help you, I suggest you use these.

Lower Abs: *Hanging Leg Raise - Hanging off a bar or handles, keep back firm, abs in tight, and lift your legs parallel or just above parallel in a controlled motion. The more you swing back and forth, the more momentum you’re using which won’t work the abs as much.

*Reverse Crunch - This is done on a flat bench or floor. Keeping your hips tightly down on the ground, lift your legs up, bend into your abs and lift the legs so that the toes point to the ceiling. You can do this on a decline bench to target the upper portion of this exercise better.

Middle Abs: *Double Crunch - Like a standard crunch and a reverse crunch, you combine these two to form one exercise. As you raise your torso, bend the knees into your abs to work the middle abs. Remember, keep the hips on the ground.

Upper Abs: *Roman Sit-Up - Lying on a bench, keep legs flat while lifting only your upper torso, squeezing and exhaling at the top. This helps put tension on the upper abs by squeezing them tight.

*Rope Crunch - Holding onto a rope, slightly above height, keep knees bent slightly and move the torso down to about knee level keeping abs in tight and exhaling. Try not to swing back up, but slowly in a controlled motion go up half way and repeat.

Obliques/Sides: *Side Crunch - On your side, slowly lower your torso down 45 degrees or just below parallel, then explode back up to the start and repeat. Keep your abs in tight and squeeze the obliques at the top. This gives them a good stretch and contraction.

All heads: *Planks - Keeping back straight, hold in a horizontal position for an amount of time. Contract the abs tightly.

About Evan’s comment on muscle gain, yes, while using lower reps and more weight does increase muscle growth, it is mostly dependent on diet. If you ate a mass diet in excess of calories, you would see muscle gain in any workout. Bigger weight also helps the muscle learn endurance, so that it can get stronger and have more reps.

Biceps (Long head): *Barbell/Dumbbell Curls - Keeping your back straight, place your hands under the bar about shoulder width or slightly wider. Lift the bar, keeping elbows in, and at the top, contract the bicep as hard as you can. Do not swing the arms, as then it works the biceps less and actually directs weight onto your delts and back.

*Hammer Curl - Keeping elbows tight, turn the palm so it faces you and lift the dumbbell up to the chest or until arms are right angles. Squeeze the biceps hard to get the full contraction and drop slowly to stretch.

Bicep (Short Head): *Close-Grip BB/DB Curl - Like the BB/DB Curl for the long head, this time keep your hands closer, below shoulder width. Lift as you would a barbbell or dumbbell and squeeze at the top. This helps that “peak” on the bicep.

*Preacher Curl - On a preacher bench (sightly below elbow height), lift the BB or DB to your chest or until your bicep is contracted and slowly lower it back down to stretch.

Triceps (All Heads): *Pushdown/Pulldown - Standing slightly bent at a 45 degree incline with knees bent, push the bar or rope down and squeeze the triceps, returning only half way or until right angles while keeping elbows in tight. Pulldown is similar but with an underhand grip for more definition.

*Close-Grip Bench Press - Keeping hands ~6 inches from each other on the bar, keep elbows in or slightly out and lower. Lift up and squeeze at the top.

*Extension - Seated or lying, lift a dumbbell/barbell up slightly behind the head and lower until right angle or below that slightly is formed. Lift back up squeezing at the top but not locking the elbows.

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