Strong is the new skinny, and having a toned, sleeker upper body has health benefits beyond just looking good in tanks and tees. Building strength in your arms isn’t just for show, but more importantly to help with everyday activities such as carrying groceries, lifting children, and even driving. It’s crucial to train your muscles as a young adult so as to avoid injury as you age throughout the years. You’ll begin to lose skeletal muscle in your 30s, and by the time you’re in your 50s, you’ve lost 10 percent of muscle mass. Every year after that you lose another two percent.

When you exercise, the muscle fibers undergo trauma and become injured or damaged. Your muscles grow and strengthen when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown, according to Dr. Len Kravitz, an exercise researcher at the University of New Mexico. Resistance exercise is one of the greatest stimulations for muscle cells with a faster growth rate and strength gain. What the cells are experiencing is hypertrophy and growth is generally slow, so it’ll take several weeks or months for the results to become apparent. It typically takes four weeks for you to see your own body change, eight weeks for your friends and family to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to catch up with your body’s healthy transformation into fitness.

Research suggests that quick and difficult workouts, known as high intensity interval training (HIIT), can produce many of the same or more physical benefits as workouts that are slow and steady. After you’re done with a workout, your body continues to use more oxygen than it would have had you not worked out. When your body takes in more oxygen, you burn more calories and increase the metabolism. By combining three or four of the following moves with 30- to 60-second breaks in between you can teach the body to transition with controled breathing. Expensive gym memberships and fancy workout equipment aren’t needed in any of the following at-home arm toning workouts.

8 Arm Toning Exercises To Engage Desired Muscle Groups:

1. Chair Dips

As a convenient exercise that can be done virtually anywhere with a flat elevated surface, chair dips mainly engage the triceps that cover the back of the upper arm and part of the shoulder blade. The deltoids on the upper arm that connects to the collar bone along with the pectoral muscles that make up your chest are worked during each dip contraction and release.

Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on either side of the front of the chair next to your thighs. Bend your elbows into a 90-degree angle and lower yourself to the floor with your feet firmly planted in place. Then lift your body by straightening your arms and raising yourself into start position for 8 repetitions (reps).

2. Forearm Plank

This exercise works both the core muscles and the deltoid muscles, known as your upper arm. The key to a six-pack is in the core muscles, and by holding in a plank position the body is forced to hold its weight with the deltoid muscles, which are supported by core’s rectus transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques.

Get into a push-up position with forearms flat onto the floor and make sure your spine forms a straight line with your legs. Focus your weight to shift onto your forearms and toes with your elbows horizontally aligned beneath your shoulders. Hold for 20 seconds with a slow inhale through the nose and exhale out the mouth. Don’t press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Rest with knees bent onto the floor for 20 seconds, then repeat 6 times.

3. Dumbbell Curl

The biceps brachialis are significantly worked during the dumbbell exercise. With each elbow flex and extension, the bicep muscle located on the top of your upper arm focus an isolated workout on this muscle group.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold between a 5- to 25-pound dumbbell in each hand hanging in front of your hips with palms facing upward. Bend your left arm upward to a 90-degree angle so that your forearm is parallel to the floor, and hold it in place. Keep both elbows close to your ribs throughout the exercise. Curl your right hand upward toward your shoulder and then lower back down to the start position with 8 reps. Switch sides for another 8 reps and then curl both sides simultaneously for 8 reps of double curl.

4. Hover Rotation

During this workout, you multitask by working the deltoid and shoulder’s trapezius muscle along with your core’s rectus transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques. As far as an upper body work out is concerned, this one engages several muscle groups at once and forces them to contract and hold in place.

Lie down flat on your back. Move your arms back and lean on them with your palms facing down. Raise your hips up to form a straight line with your toes pointing slightly. Stay for 8 counts. Roll your body onto the side, resting your weight on the right arm and extend the left arm straight up to the ceiling. Maintain a straight line again with your hips vertical to the groups and hold for 8 counts. Roll back into double arm position with your body in a straight line and hold for 8 counts then roll onto your left arm to support your body, extend right arm into the air, and align hips vertical to the ground for 8 counts.

5. Weighted Shadow Boxing

Boxing is a valuable exercise that works as a cardiovascular activity. Its explosive nature mimics HIIT exercises and builds muscle groups throughout the traperzius muscles in the shoulders along with the biceps, and triceps. Teres major along with the latissimus dorsi form the back of the armpit and attach to the shoulder blade, giving you an all over workout routine.

Grab between a 5- to 25-pound dumbbell in each hand and move into a boxing stance. Stagger your legs, the dominant one in front of the other and hold weights near your chin. Punch out straight forward with your right arm without fully snapping your elbow into place. Move quickly as you rotate between each arm for two minutes with 30 second rests between each for three reps.

6. Triangle Push-Up

Most people dread the push up part of the workout, but it’s one of the most reliable and effective ways to tone and work muscle groups throughout the arms, back, and shoulders. A pushup works the deltoid, triceps, and pectoralis muscles, so if you’re looking to have stronger and more defined upper arm and chest muscles, the triangle push-up can help you achieve your goals.

Move into a plank position with your hands flat on the floor beneath your chest. Spread your fingers and turn your hands in so that the index fingers and thumbs form a triangle without touching. Make sure the spine forms a straight line with the legs and spread feet shoulder width apart. Bend elbows into a 45-degree angle outward to the side as you lower your chest toward the floor. Press upward and repeat with 12 reps.

7. Tricep Extension

The triceps brachii muscles experience a hard and focused workout as the muscle contracts and releases from the pull of the elbow joint. It’s one of the most basic isolated exercises that also help to develop your shoulders and forearms, and moving up in weights should be encouraged as you grow stronger and are in need of greater resistance from weights.

Hold between a 5- to 25-pound weight in your right hand with right leg leaned back into a staggered position. Lower into a lunge and keep knees bent in a 90-degree angle with left arm resting on your front thigh. Extend your right arm straight back and lower it back into a 90-degree angle with 12 reps. Repeat on the left side.

8. Bicep and Arm Circles

Biceps brachii muscle group undergo considerable isolated exercise through the bicep curl. The weight works as resistance for the muscles to move against and flex. Secondary muscle groups include the pectoralis muscles that are exercised from the muscle fibers’ attachment to the collarbone and shoulder. Earning muscle development here requires moving up in weight classes as reps become easier with time.

Stand with feet slightly wide than hip-width with between a 5- to 25-pound weight in each hand with your elbows bent and palms up. Make sure your spine is aligned straight as you squat and lift arm. Circle your hand up and in toward your shoulder and continue in a circular motion. 16 reps each side. Add in alternating lunges to get a thigh workout into the mix by stepping forward and bending one thigh forward into a 90-degree angle as you continue your curls with the opposite arm.