Over the past few years, bulking exercises have become the focal point of many people’s fitness routines, while upper body movements have been pushed to the back burner. But according to Lizzo, it’s time to give your hands the attention they deserve. To help you get the job done, Shape has teamed up with celebrity trainer and creator of The Stoked Method, Kyra Stokes, to test your arm strength for 30 days, so fire up your guns. (ICYMI, he also did a plank challenge to test your core strength.)
This 30-day arm challenge is divided into four weeks: Week 1 of bodyweight basics, Week 2 of dumbbells, and Week 3 of a mix of bodyweight and dumbbell movements to build endurance. Week four combines bodyweight flow with some weighted movements to perfect your arm tone.
Ready to get started? Read the instructions below, scroll down to Day 1, and follow along as Stokes demonstrates his routine for the day. Come back every day for the 30-day hand challenge to build a strong and powerful weapon.
How it works: On the first day of each week, you’ll do just one workout. But on the second day, you will do the exercises from day 1 and day 2. On day 3, you will do the same exercises as day 1, 2, 3, etc. On the 6th day of each week, you will leave the exercises of the beginning of the week and focus on fine-tuning. Then, on the 7th day of each week, you’ll do an endurance workout to measure your progress.
What you need: a pair of light dumbbells and a pair of medium dumbbells
30 Day Arm Challenge Week 1: Bodyweight Basics
During this week of the 30-day arm challenge, you’ll do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, triceps, triceps push-ups, plank presses, bent-over bar pushups, and some fine-tuning exercises. Then you’ll improve your performance with endurance training. Let’s begin.
Day 1: Wide grip push-ups
A. Start in a high plank position with your hands slightly shoulder-width apart, legs extended, feet hip-width apart.
B. Engage the core by flexing the tailbone and pulling the navel toward the spine. Lock the lats by keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears. Engage the glutes and quads. Push the elbows out so that the arms form a 90-degree angle with the body.
C. Looking down to keep your neck neutral, slowly lower your body to stand 3 inches off the floor. Keep the core engaged throughout the movement and the body forms a straight line from head to toe.
D. Quickly push back to the starting position.
Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Day 2: Triceps Dip
A. Sit on the floor with your hands behind your body with your thumbs pointing forward and your fingertips on a slight diagonal. Lift your hips up, shift your weight into your arms, open your chest, and roll your shoulders.
B. Bend your elbows and drive straight back until your butt hits the floor.
C. Push with your hands to straighten your elbows.