Fabulous Arms Get Sculpted With Active Rest
Fitness Rx for Women|August 2016

It is a great way to ensure I get all my exercises in and my heart rate up!” explains Janelle.

Jaime Baird

We know you’ve been squatting and lunging your way to your best bikini body. But, have you neglected your arms along the way?

To help make things interesting, we’ve asked IFBB Bikini Pro Janelle McGuire to share her not-so-typical arm workout intensified with active rest sets. “Active rest is something I incorporate with smaller muscle groups and when I am pressed for time.

For this program, the active rest will be abdominal work and includes exercises emphasizing the stubborn lower abs. Ab training is a perfect complement to the arm workout, as it targets alternate muscles, allowing the bi’s and tri’s to recover between sets.

The abdominal active rest exercises are also a great way to “manage” the rest interval. Taking no more than one minute to complete, the ab exercises keep the time between arm sets short to maximize hypertrophy and maintain blood flow. And, Janelle adds, “Nothing beats a good arm day pump!”

WHAT IS ACTIVE REST?

Performing active rest sets means that you perform an “activity” between working sets rather than sit on the bench and wait for your next set. This “activity” could be anything that would complement your training goals rather than detract from it. Some examples include light cardio, stretching, rehearsing exercise form or performing exercises using muscles other than the ones recruited in the main movement.

The benefits of active rest include: (1) maintaining body temperature between sets, (2) keeping neuromuscular activity high, (3) improving recovery between sets (4) burning more calories and (5) saving time.

The key to effective active rest is to not overdo it. If you push too hard during your active rest sets, you won’t have the energy to invest in your working sets. The key is to keep moving and working without adding excessive stress to the body.

For this program, you will perform abdominal exercises for your active rest sets. If any of these moves feel too difficult initially, begin with standard stability ball crunches and work up to these more challenging moves.

SEATED INCLINE DUMBBELL CURLS

Sitting on an incline bench, hold dumbbells in each hand and extend your arms to your sides. Curl the dumbbells up and then slowly lower to the starting position.

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