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6 Arm Exercises to Stun in Your Cocktail Dress

If you’ve got a holiday party (or three) on your calendar, chances are your arms won’t be staying covered up this season. Get ready for the reveal with this sculpting workout from trainer Jennifer Cohen, who created the Weight Watchers: 15-Minute Boot Camp Series.

“In addition to firming your biceps and triceps, the moves here target your shoulders to get you that sexy cut on your upper arms,” says Cohen.

She’s also included exercises that tighten your middle (key for rocking a fitted dress) and improve your posture too. So RSVP for that cocktail party—with this plan, you’ll be ready to go sleeveless in mere weeks. (All you'll need to do is brush up on Small Talk Tips for Holiday Parties!)

How it works: Three times a week, do 1 set of each move in order, without resting between exercises. Repeat the entire circuit once more.

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

You will need: Free weights, Swiss ball

1. Raise it Up


Get on your hands and knees with wrists aligned under shoulders and knees under hips. Hold a dumbbell in left hand with palm facing right. Lift left arm to shoulder height in front of you as you rotate palm toward the floor. Lower left arm to starting position, then raise it to shoulder height out to the side. Lower arm to starting position to complete 1 rep. 
Do 10 reps; switch sides to complete set.

2. W Press


Stand with feet together. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with elbows bent and close to your sides, palms facing ceiling; draw forearms away from each other and out to the sides. Raise right foot a few inches off the floor 
in front of you.


Raise arms out to sides in a “W” shape, elbows just below shoulder level. Lower arms to starting position. Do 10 reps; switch legs halfway through set.

3. Goalie Lift


Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended in front of thighs and palms facing you. Keep back flat as you hinge 
forward from hips.


Rise up as you bend elbows 90 degrees and lift arms to shoulder 
height in a goalpost position, palms 
facing forward.


Rotate shoulders 
to the right, then twist 
back to center and extend arms 
to starting position. Repeat, 
this time twisting to the 
left. Do 10 reps; alternate sides each time.

4. Pullover Squat


Stand with feet hip-width apart and back about 2 feet away from a wall. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with elbows bent and tucked close to sides, palms facing ceiling. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor, back and elbows against the wall.


Keeping dumbbells close together and elbows bent, lift arms overhead until they tap the wall behind you. Lower weights to starting position. Do 15 reps.

5. Ball Dip


Sit on the floor with right leg extended and on top of a stability ball; bend left knee and put left foot on the floor. Place hands on the floor beside your hips with fingers pointing toward the ball. Lift hips toward ceiling and extend arms.


Bend elbows straight back behind you, lowering butt toward floor. Push up to starting position. Do 15 reps. Switch legs on next set.

6. Balance Fly


Stand with your left shin on a stability ball and your right foot on the floor a stride’s length in front of it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees slightly and bend forward from your hips, extending your arms straight down toward the floor, palms facing each other


Bend elbows slightly as you raise arms to shoulder height out to sides. Lower arms to starting position. Do 10 reps, switching legs halfway through set.


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