And the best part is that the results are age-independent- even women in their 80s and 90s show significant strength improvement from a regular program of exercise.
Here are the upper body/arm exercises that Minna demonstrates:
Overhead press with dumbbells
The point is to use a challenging enough weight so that you fatigue your muscles. A lot of women are afraid of using more than 3-5 pound weights, for fear of developing bulky muscle. The bottom line is, it takes a lot to get bulky. If you can easily breeze through 15 reps with the weight you are using, you are not working your muscles enough. While the idea is to keep the reps high, you still want to feel that fatigue, or muscle burn by the 10th rep, so that number 15 is about all you can do while still keeping good form. The overhead press works the front and middle portion of the deltoid muscle, which is also known as your shoulder pad muscle. It's good to build this muscle a bit because it will give the illusion of a slim waistline.
Rear delt fly with tubing
Gets at the back portion of the deltoid for posture purposes. This tiny muscle is it when it comes to being able to stand with your shoulders back (good posture) as opposed to slouching. Standing with good posture says to people that you've got confidence! So even if your arms are not as toned as you'd like, the way you carry what you've got is what people will actually see. Using the tubing is best for this muscle because it fatigues fast, so you cannot overload it with too heavy weight (otherwise you'll notice too much tension in your neck).
Biceps curls with tubing
Tubing is great because it provides resistance throughout the entire range of motion. Try doing biceps curls in all different ways - regular, with arms out to sides, hammer curl style, etc… that way you are targeting this muscle every which way.
Lat pull over and triceps extension combo
Lying on exercise ball or a flat bench or edge of bed. This works the latissimus dorsi muscle near your armpits (gets a little chest too) and the back of your arms, or triceps. Great for toning the area that tends to hang over top of strapless dresses! Adding a triceps extension to it further fatigues the "lats" and tones the area of the arm that all women tend to hold body fat. No more jiggling! Use a dumbbell for this exercise.
You can do this little circuit - 3 sets of 10-15 reps per exercise - 3 times a week - Mon, Tues, Friday and you will see a difference in no time. It's also just as important to do cardio-respiratory exercise to burn the fat.
For more fitness tips, visit Minnalessig.com.