Pathetically weak arms

topic posted Tue, November 16, 2010 - 7:18 AM by  Sarah
I started belly dancing last month and it's really making me notice just how weak my upper arm muscles are (for instance, when I practice my tribal snake arms for longer than a minute I start to feel fatigued and burning). I need advice on what I can do to toughen these suckers up so that I don't get that burning sensation. Anything helps! :)
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  • Re: Pathetically weak arms

    Tue, November 16, 2010 - 7:32 AM
    Watching your posture (rounded shoulders make for weak arms!), and maybe dumb bells and the lat pull down machine at the sports club? These circular movements can be amazingly painful in the beginning and tough to get used to but you will, after a while. Just do it regularly and practise a little at home too when you can.
    • Re: Pathetically weak arms

      Tue, November 16, 2010 - 8:33 AM
      get littel 3 or 5 pound dumbells and do bicep curls, tricep pulls, also practice the snake rols with these in your hands making sure to not droop the wrist.

      Also, good old-fashioned pushups work!
      • Re: Pathetically weak arms

        Tue, November 16, 2010 - 5:32 PM
        Thanks so much for the tips! I got myself some 4 pound dumbbells and I'll give those a shot - good thinking on the push ups, for whatever reason those didn't even cross my mind! >.< Silly me!
        • Re: Pathetically weak arms

          Tue, November 23, 2010 - 12:45 PM
          If you find the 4lbs being too much for you to handle, I suggest go out and get yourself a set of either 1's or 2's as well.
          Start building with the 1's or 2's, then work up to where you can use both the 4's and the lighter ones, same amount of reps.

          I'm currently using 8's and 3's. At one point I thought about adding 5's in as well… that turned out to be too much for me. But I'm getting there. I plan to add 5's in instead of going up to 10's, at least for the moment. Some days the 8's are still too much for me.
        • Re: Pathetically weak arms

          Wed, January 5, 2011 - 7:30 AM
          Hi Sarah,
          Those light dumbbells are perfect. Two exercises I'd recommend are a lateral deltoid flye, (which will strengthen your deltoids which hold your arms up to the sides for snake arms) and bent over rows to strengthen your upper back to support good posture.

          Push ups are a great whole upper body strengthener. If you are very weak, you can do then against a wall or a sturdy table or railing. This lets you push up less than your whole body weight (with good form!) until you get stronger.

          Here's some clips that might help:

          Dumbbell flye:

          Bent over row:

          Wall push ups:

          Good luck,
          • Re: Pathetically weak arms

            Wed, January 5, 2011 - 8:10 AM
            Hee… and that lateral raise is tricky… I try to do it as part of my routine, but if I don't put it in just the right position (between other exercises) my muscles are usually too tired to do very well. The most important thing in this exercise is to "control" the lift, and not ever try to "fling" the dumbbells up.

            And it's really easy to accidentally move into fling mode – without even realizing it. 2 good, quality lifts will be much more beneficial than 10 flings.
            • Re: Pathetically weak arms

              Wed, January 5, 2011 - 8:22 AM
              somewhere in this tribe is a thread on 100 push-ups in a month program..
              I tried it for awhile. You can really build up your capacity in a short time as well as posture. It was kind of fun fo rawhiel. I am on to other things now, but in the cold uninspiring winter sitting down each eve to do my pushups trials (and I included sit-ups and a leg exercise routine), I found success and a sense of achievement. I wrote my totals down each day. You do 3 sets and on the internet is a guideline of the numbers in the sets you are to try to do.
  • Re: Pathetically weak arms

    Tue, November 16, 2010 - 1:28 PM
    Exactly… I had the same issue when I first started, so I went directly to weight training.

    1 - makes it easier to hold the pose longer
    2 - makes your arms look better overall
  • Re: Pathetically weak arms

    Tue, November 16, 2010 - 3:13 PM
    Dumb bells are your friend! But it took a few months to really billed up my arms. Don't use them right before snake arms but use them about three days a week. Also try to hold your arms up even when you do lower body stuff and eventually your strength will get better . It just takes time.
    • Re: Pathetically weak arms

      Tue, November 16, 2010 - 5:34 PM
      Thanks so much for the advice, as well as laying out a good workout plan, that's really helpful! :) I'm going to give the three times a week a shot and see what happens - it definitely can't hurt (or if it does it will be the good muscle building hurt, I'm sure)!
      • Re: Pathetically weak arms

        Wed, November 17, 2010 - 6:16 AM
        One thing I do at haflas when I get a chance is I always pick up the child of my teacher in the end, give him a ride on my shoulders while I dance to the music, let him do all kinds of acrobatic moves around my body while I hold him, do the "airplane" spin with him...Carrying around any child from age 0-5 will definitely strengthen your arms and kids love this if they trust you. ; )
        You can also make a point of carrying your groceries, luggage, moving furniture yourself, pruning the trees and shrubs in your garden, mowing your lawn, taking out the garbage etc. ,and all of this will contribute your arm strength while doing useful things.

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