7 Moves to Get Wonder Woman Arms by August
If you’re like us, you can’t get enough of all things Wonder Woman, which recently had the most successful opening weekend for a film directed by a female, ever. (Bam.) So we’ve decided that the next best thing to actually being Wonder Woman (we’ve tried, but we just love Netflix and cake too much) is having her arms. We teamed up with Brooke Taylor, fitness instructor and creator of the TF Ignite Program and Taylored Fitness NY LTD, to bring you seven moves that will whip your arms into Diana Prince (or Gal Gadot) shape by August.
Start on your hands and knees on all fours. Lower down onto your elbows and extend both legs back with your inner thighs touching. Focus on keeping your spine neutral and your abdominals engaged, drawing your rib cage in toward your pelvis and scooping in your lower abdominals. Set attainable goals and see how long you can hold this position without compensating form—then try increasing your time by 10 to 15 seconds. Your end goal should be to hold it for one minute with perfect form.
Why it works: The root and foundation of all movements should come from your core, so this is an essential move to conquer to obtain strong arms. In addition to stabilizing the core, this isometric exercise builds shoulder stability and strength.
Squat to Plank
Start standing in a neutral position with your legs hip-width apart. As you inhale, send your sitz bones (aka sitting bones) back into a deep squat position. On an exhale, place your palms on the floor directly underneath your shoulders and shoot your legs out. As you inhale, jump your legs in toward your hands and stand up straight. Return to your starting position and repeat 15 times.
Why it works: This is great preparation for the full “burpee to push-up” exercise (see below). It builds up core stability and strength, as well as your body’s ability to handle weight-bearing exercises. Oh, and it activates your core, pecs, anterior deltoids, triceps, glutes, quads and hamstrings, too.
Burpee to Push-Up
Stand in a neutral position with your legs hip-width apart. As you inhale, send your sitz bones back into a deep squatting position. As you exhale, place your palms on the floor directly under your shoulders and shoot your legs out behind you in a long line from head to toe. Inhale and flex your elbows into a 90-degree angle and lower your chest down to the floor (about a fist's distance from chest to floor). As you exhale, extend your elbows and then jump them back in toward your hands. Stand straight up and return to your starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Why it works: This full-body movement elevates your metabolism and activates your core, pecs, anterior deltoids, triceps, stabilizers of your spine, glutes, quads and hamstrings. Not too shabby.
Squat to Row
Before starting this move, choose the amount of weight you want to use on the cable. (If you’re a beginner, start with 60 to 75 pounds.) Start standing with your legs hip-width apart and a medium resistance band wrapped around a barre or pole. Your arms should be extended and in line with your shoulders. Face your palms in toward your body. As you inhale, send your sitz bones back into a deep squat position. As you exhale, drive your heels into the ground, extend your legs and simultaneously pull your elbows in toward your rib cage. Focus on drawing your shoulder blades in toward one another. Aim for 20 reps.
Why it works: This multitasking exercise activates the mid-trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. By using the resistance bands, it controls both the concentric and eccentric movements, making the body work a little harder.
Attitude Reverse Flys
Start on all fours, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Hold a 3- to-5-pound dumbbell in your left hand. Then laterally rotate your right leg out to the side, crossing your right ankle over your left. Focus on keeping your hips square throughout and stay on top of your supporting leg. Keep equal space between your ribs and hips so you don't collapse or lean to one side. As you exhale, extend your left arm out to the side, while simultaneously lifting your right leg. Focus on lengthening your fingertips. Repeat 15 times on each side.
Why it works: These guys are also known as posterior deltoid raises. This move helps work several key muscle groups in your arms, mainly the posterior shoulder muscle called the deltoid. Performing this move slowly and in a controlled manner will gradually build muscle in your shoulders and arms.
Back Lunge to Curl
Start standing with your legs hip-width apart with two dumbbells along your sides. As you exhale, step back into a deep lunge to form a 90-degree angle with both legs, while simultaneously pulling your elbows in toward your shoulders with a bicep curl. Inhale and step your legs back together. Exhale and step back with your opposite leg, drawing the arms up toward your body. Repeat this sequence alternating the legs back 20 times.
Why it works: The goal is to keep the core strong, the legs forming a 90-degree angle front-to-back with the weight distributed into the center, the ribs aligning over the pelvis as you perform the movement. This targets the glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and biceps.
Stability Ball Tricep Kickbacks
Sit on a stability ball placed near a wall and have two 3- to-5-pound dumbbells ready nearby. Start laying face down on the stability ball in a prone position, connecting your bottom rib to the ball and anchoring your feet against the wall. Grab the dumbbells and pull your elbows in toward your rib cage with your palms facing in toward your body. As you exhale, extend your arms straight back in line with your hips and hold for two counts. Inhale as you release and return to the starting position. Repeat this movement 20 times.
Why it works: The stability ball requires the intrinsic muscles of the body to work to stabilize the core. By performing this exercise in this position, you are working against gravity, which forces the body to work a little harder.