Running is a great way of developing lower body and core strength, but it doesn't do much for toning arms.
We asked Sadie Macleod, founder of wellbeing magazine Hip & Healthy, to share her top tips for sculpting and conditioning the upper body.
Here are five easy but effective arm workouts to try at home:
This exercise is so easy and you can do them anywhere. Find a ledge, chair or any stable surface you come across (be it in the office, park or at home) and take a seat! Firmly place your hands either side of your bottom and take a step forwards. With your your toes pointed up and shoulders relaxed and down, slowly bend your arms and lower your body to the ground with an inward breath. When your elbows reach a 90 degree angle, breath out and slowly push your arms back to the starting position. Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps with a 30 second rest in between each set.
Weighted arm circles
Arm circles are great for targeting those troublesome "bingo wings" – but be prepared to burn! Grab a dumbbell in each hand (I tend to use either 1 or 2 kg but you can do these without weights too) and stand with your feet hip width apart and your knees very slightly bent. If you don't have access to dumbbells, you can use two cans of beans or two full water bottles. Raise your arms just below shoulder height and ever so slightly in front of you. Start making small circles going clockwise at a pace that suits you, trying to keep your body still with your abdominals engaged. I normally do 60 seconds clockwise and 60 seconds anti-clockwise in between sets at the gym as an active rest.
Push up plank
These are also a great way to work your abs. Start off by getting into your plank position (hands and elbows on the floor and toes curled under with your body elevated in a straight line). Once you are settled, place your right palm on the floor and push your body up in to press up position where both arms become straight. Keeping your abs tight without dipping your back, bend the right arm and lower yourself back into the starting position. Repeat 8-10 times starting with the right arm and repeat another 8-10 times starting with the left. You can perform these at a slow, controlled pace for increased muscle intensity or as fast as you can for a mini cardio burst.
This may sound like a strange one for arms but the tension they go through whilst skipping is really great for keeping them toned and lean. Not only this, you'll also be burning some serious fat, especially if you add them in to your intervals. I love to incorporate 60 seconds of skipping as part of a high intensity interval circuit to get my heart pumping as well as my arms!
My favourite way of keeping my arms trim has to be yoga. Nothing beats a powerful ashtanga flow class after a busy day at work to get your upper body strong and your arms shaking! As an avid runner, my legs were always so much stronger than my upper body but since taking up yoga, I've noticed such a difference in not only their strength but also their sleek, toned appearance. I go to The Power Yoga Company in Fulham and TriYoga in Chelsea for my weekly fix!