Photography by Aingeru Zorita
Tank top season is here. Problem: You haven't really kept up with your fitness routine, and instead of guns of steel, you're stuck with a pair of flabby chicken wings. We know the feeling. So to help you get back on track, we took the "Guns" class at DavidBartonGym, which has locations across the country. Here, our personal trainer Tommy Crocker shares three easy moves to tone your arm muscles, quick.
"Our 'Guns' class is a resistance training workout focusing on the three heads of the deltoids (shoulders), the biceps, and the triceps," says Crocker. "The class is only lasts 30 minutes, so the most important part is the intensity. Don’t get the wrong idea when I say intensity: It’s not like we are at muscle beach throwing weights around. It means focusing on form, rest time between sets, and the efficiency of the workout."
Weight resistance is not the only thing you should be concerned about when trying to gain muscle mass: "Focusing on each muscle group allows you to maximize your time," Croker adds, "But for best results, pair these exercises with proper nutrition, and full body resistance training three to four times a week. Other than the class, you should incorporate some of the signature moves described below in your workout once a week by pairing an arm movement with a larger muscle group. For example, do chest and triceps together, or back and biceps. Make sure to rest one day a week to allow your muscles to recover and rebuild. You’ll be tank top-ready in no time!"
Tommy Crocker's 3 Signature Moves:
Place your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a barbell in front of your nose, with your hands wide enough so that your elbow create a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your lats to pull your shoulder girdle down, and while keeping your hands over your elbows, slowly press the barbell to the ceiling. Lifting and lowering the weight should be at a four count. Use a weight that allows you to do three to five sets of 15 to 20 reps. Most importantly, keep your knees bent and your spine stabilized, so there's no back and forth movement of your upper torso.
Place your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, weight back in your hips. Holding the barbell shoulder-width apart, rotate your arms forward so your elbows are extended slightly in front of your body. Without any movement in the upper torso, engage the biceps and start bending the elbow to move the weight up, towards the shoulders. Focus and squeeze the biceps muscles as tightly as possible. Hold the same contraction and bring the weight back to the start position. Don’t let gravity do the work for you: Fully control the weight from start to finish. Use a weight that allows you to do 15-20 reps for three to five sets.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Your back should be in a tabletop position, with the chest parallel to the floor. Slightly arch your back to protect your lower back. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, pin your elbows firmly to your sides. Squeeze the triceps and extend your elbows until your arms are straight back behind you. Pull down your lats and shoulder girdle to keep your shoulders relaxed and focus on the movement on your triceps. This exercise should be done on four counts out, four counts back. Use dumbbells that allow you to perform 15-20 reps for three to five sets.
The "Guns" class is offered once a week at DavidBartonGym. For information on locations and how to sign up, go to DavidBartonGym.com