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Armed and dangerous: Top tricks for tank top season
by Katie |  May 22, 2014

There's no way around it: Hotter temperatures mean you're ditching the sleeves, but chances are, your arms aren't quite ready to make their debut. That doesn't mean you should have to suffer in the sweltering heat under a cardigan. 

By cleaning up your diet, incorporating a few strength exercises and then supplementing your efforts with the right skincare products, you can get ready to rock those tank tops all summer long.

Fight flab with fitness
Not getting to the gym is no excuse - many of the most effective exercises can be done at home and with little no equipment. JJ Virgin, celebrity trainer and author of "Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy" told Fox News that she recommends moves like tricep dips, old school military pushups and pullups. If you have a few dumbbells lying around, she suggests doing some upright rows, bent-over rows or overhead presses. You can even squeeze these in during TV commercials, on a quick lunch break at work or while you're waiting for dinner to cook at home.

In an interview with Oprah magazine, Cornell McClellan, personal trainer for the First Family, revealed that there are a few in Michelle Obama's repertoire that work especially well.

If you want the First Lady's coveted arms, McClellan suggested doing 12-15 reps of an overhead triceps extension and a "skullcrusher," followed by 15 reps of a standard bicep curl and a hammer curl with a 5- to 15-pound weight.

Sometimes you need a little extra help. Bring in the big guns with bliss fatgirlslim armcandy, a cream that comes in a tube with a nubbed massaging applicator. The formula, which contains caffeine, lactic acid and moisture beads, is aimed at reducing redness and bringing out the best in your skin - meaning all those sweat sessions won't go unnoticed.

Fuel your guns
You may be tired of hearing you are what you eat - but the saying holds true for your arms, too. JJ Virgin explained that the best way to bust your "bat wings" is by consuming mainly lean protein, like chicken and shrimp, plenty of leafy greens, like spinach, and cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli. Don't forget the high-fiber complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and wheat berries.

There are other foods you should avoid if you want enviable arms. Dr. William Kraemer, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut and an expert in resistance training, explained to Fitness magazine that it's crucial to stay away from sweets. Not only is sugar empty calories, but he noted that excessive consumption hinders your fat-burning enzymes from working to their full potential.

Slimming secrets
Now that you have the food and fitness aspects down pat, there are some other tips you should keep in mind if you want to see some rapid results. 

JJ Virgin explained that it's important to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep with minimal interruptions. While you may not see the link, adequate rest is key for regulating your hormones and also ensuring your muscles can recover properly. Virgin also advised looking for ways to bust stress - which can potentially hinder your metabolism and hormonal balance - whether that means doing a little yoga, meditating or getting a massage.

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