Arm pulses are mainly a warm-up exercise to get blood moving and help to build muscular endurance. The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done potentially anywhere.
Arm pulses generally target the shoulder muscles and the triceps and biceps in the upper arm. The rising and falling movement of the arms causes muscle activations in these primary areas.
This exercise is very similar to arm circles. It also follows the same principle of muscle activation and increase in blood flow as the arm circles and is just as effective as well. It engages the muscles in the dynamic stretch which means you stretch as you are moving.
The basic variation of this exercise does not require any equipment to do. However, you can adopt dumbbells into your exercise to add resistance and make the exercise more challenging.
You also need to start with slow pulses slowly increasing the speed in order for the exercise to be more effective.
Repeat the movements for a relatively long period of time preferably a minute or you could keep on going till you feel you cannot keep ongoing.
Arm pulses need you to engage your core muscles, keep your back and your arms straight to maintain a smooth and deep breathing pattern.
It is therefore important to keep your head up and your body in a T formation during the entire exercise. This formation also helps improve your general stability.
HOW TO DO ARM PULSES
The base form of this exercise requires no equipment to do. More experienced people would however prefer to incorporate dumbbells in their exercise to make it more challenging.
Arm pulses are a very straightforward exercise to do.
To do arm pulses properly,
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your head up facing forward.
- Stretch out your hands to either side of your body at shoulder height and parallel to the floor.
- Rotate your hands until your palms are facing up.
- Quickly pulse your arms up and down, raising and lowering them no more than a few inches in width.
- Repeat this motion for a full set of fifty reps or a minute depending on your level of experience.
- After this rotate your hands until your palms are facing down then repeat the pulse movement for another equal set.
- To make the exercise more challenging grab a dumbbell on either hand then does the pulses while holding the dumbbells for extra muscle activation.
WHAT MUSCLES DO ARM PULSES WORK?
Arm pulses primarily target the upper arm muscles and the shoulder muscles to reduce fat build-up in these areas and also tone the muscles. They also work the upper back muscles.
The biceps in the upper arm are targeted by this exercise through the up and down movement of the arm pulses. The contraction and relaxation of these muscles along with the triceps and shoulder muscles are responsible for the arm movements.
Arm muscles will get rid of fat build-up around this general area and improve muscle definition.
Just like the biceps, these muscles in the back of the upper arm also aid in the up and down movement of the arm which in return works on this muscle group.
This also reduces the fat in the triceps and improves muscle definition leading to more toned and better-looking upper arm muscles.
Arm pulses also work the deltoids of the shoulder along with the trapezius in the upper back to increase muscle endurance and definition. This also works for strength training around the shoulder.
BENEFITS OF ARM PULSES
Doing arm pulses comes with its fair share of advantages. These benefits include:
REDUCING FAT BUILD-UP
Arm pulses primarily targeting the upper arm, shoulder and upper back muscles will work these muscle groups to reduce fat build-up.
With the reduction of fat build-up comes the toning of muscles over time. Therefore, regularly doing this exercise leads to better muscle definition from the toning.
WARM-UP BEFORE MORE INTENSE EXERCISES
This exercise provides an excellent warm-up for people who are more experienced and do more intense workouts. It provides good muscle activation for shoulder, back, and upper back muscles before doing intense workouts that focus on these groups
With the reduction of fat around the targeted muscle groups, the actual muscles get toned. This also improves muscle definition giving them more shape.
STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE TRAINING
Arm pulses being a strength and endurance training exercise will work on your shoulder and arm muscles to tone them and increase strength especially when done with dumbbells.
INCREASING SHOULDER STABILITY
Arm pulses target the deltoids in the shoulders to make them stronger and also improve their stability. This also improves your balance overtime.
THEY REDUCE RISK OF ARM AND SHOULDER STRAIN
This is especially beneficial to computer users who spend a lot of time using their computers.
When this is done for a prolonged period of time it becomes detrimental and increases risk of strain in the shoulders and arms.
Arm pulses are an amazing dynamic stretch that relaxes these muscles and joints and can also be used to rehabilitate pain in these areas from strain.
ALTERNATIVES TO ARM PULSES
This exercise is a lot like the arm pulses except instead of pulsing your arms up and down you rotate them in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction.
ARM EXTENSION TO SHOULDER TAP
Unlike the circles, this exercise is done in a plank position. You extend your right arm straight forward and hold for a second then tap your left shoulder then back to start. Repeat this with your left arm and right shoulder as well.
This exercise involves standing with your hands at your sides and lifting them to shoulder height, parallel to the floor. You can also incorporate dumbbells.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING ARM PULSES
Arm pulses just like any other exercise require a perfect form in order for them to be effective and not cause strain.
DOING TOO FAST PULSES
Arm pulses should not be done too fast especially from the start as this can very easily cause strain on your shoulders and arms.
HAVING TOO SHORT SETS
This exercise needs to be done for a set of at least a minute in order to be fully effective. This time can however be pushed up as you progress and become more experienced.
Having right posture is key for this exercise. Hunching forward is one of the most common mistakes among beginners. Remember to always keep your shoulders high and straight to avoid causing strain.
Arm pulses provide an excellent warm-up for more strenuous exercises and can also be used by beginners as their primary arm and shoulder workout.
They are also a dynamic stretch exercise which is excellent for people who spend a lot of time hunched at computers.
Since they can also incorporate weights they are very versatile and can be used regardless of your experience level.