Spring has come and running costumes are becoming lighter and brighter, and now, I am staring at my flabby upper arms… What can I do?! You may be one of those girls. So today, we asked Maki Shirato, a researcher of Shiseido Basic Research Center, and Shiseido Running Club advisor, Yoko Aizu about the techniques for keeping a perfect posture that helps the upper arms to look thin and exercises for toning and slimming them down.
Researcher of Shiseido Basic Research Center. Certified as health science adviser by the Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine. Engaged in developing beauty related software based on health science including sports, nutrition and relaxation, as well as researching the physical and mental effects of makeup.
Shiseido Running Club supporting staff. Started track and field at high school and participated in many competitions including Inter-High School Championships as a long-distance runner. Joined Shiseido Running Club in 2014. Now, she shares her experience to support various activities including running events.
Key to Everything: Mastering a Good Posture Ultimate Tip for Slimming the Upper Arms
A good standing posture is a very important base not only for sports activities but also for every kind of movements, and helps us do more with less effort from the anatomical perspective. What does a good posture look like? Ms. Shirato says, “From a side view, a good posture can be seen as a straight vertical line drawn through the ear, shoulder, waist, hipbone, pelvis, side of knee, and ankle.”
When a model, Kazuho Ishida tried to keep the posture, she was taken aback saying, “I cannot tell if I am standing straight or not!” Ms. Shirato advises: “It is important to try to keep a good right posture every day. It becomes easy if you set a certain time or occasions such as when you are standing on a train, or when you are sitting at the dinner table. Well, surely you need to build good inner muscles to keep a proper posture but simply keeping the right posture can be a good training in itself.”
When it comes to building inner muscles, “plank” is an effective exercise. Place the elbows directly under the shoulders like you’re about to do a push-up. Hold the body stiff, keeping your abs tight and your head in line with the toes. To begin with, keep the position for 30 seconds in two sets. (Ms. Shirato)
Moreover, there’s a bit of a trick to the basic standing position that can help the upper arms look thinner. Stand with the palms facing forward and keep the upper arms close to the body. This position makes the upper arms look tighter. The pictures below clearly show a difference between a stooped posture (left) and a good posture with the palms facing forward (right).
Get Ready for Tight Upper Arms! Exercises Recommended by Shiseido Running Club
Unfortunately, the upper arms are never quickly tightened through daily activities. So we need some special exercises to slim them down. Again, it may still take time to show the effect, but be patient and don’t give up.
Bye-bye flabby triceps: “Reverse Pushups”
This exercise is to tighten triceps by using your own bodyweight. Tricepses easily get flabby because they are rarely used in everyday life. Try this workout and get slim arms. Ms. Aizu advises: “Keeping the upper arms pressed to the body is the key!”
1) Sit on the floor with legs bent in front of you. Straighten the back and position the hands on the floor behind the back with the fingers pointing to the bottom.
2) Put the weight of your upper body on your arms and slowly alternate bending and stretching the elbows. Repeat for about 10 times.
Stretch the triceps: “Shoulder Opener”
It gets more effective if you add stretches to the above triceps exercise. Raise one arm straight overhead, then bend it toward the middle of your upper back. Pull the elbow gently with the other hand, stretching your triceps. Repeat on the other side as well.
Loosen up the shoulder blades: “Shoulder Circles”
Furthermore, “Rotating the shoulders and relaxing the muscles around the shoulder blades are also effective to tighten upper arms,” says Ms. Aizu. This exercise is also effective for improving running performance.
Ms. Ishida has tried all of these exercises and now what does she have to say?
“I have already included planks and reverse pushups in my daily exercise so I’m relieved and happy to know that I’ve been doing the right exercises. But planks are still tough. (Laughs)”
We also asked Ms. Aizu for tips on how to swing the arms during a run if we want to tighten the upper arms. “Swing your arms keeping the upper arms close to the body and try to pull the elbows back,” she replies. If we are fully aware of these tips, we may be able to effectively tone the upper arms while running!
How do these techniques sound to you? Try to find out the right posture and go for the slimming exercises to get beautifully toned upper arms!
Born in 1990. Started running since when she was at university. Her running motto is: Never overstretch and keep your own pace. Runs twice a week and does muscle training to keep a lean body.
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