You Are Here: Home » Boot Camp » Simple Exercise Swaps For Toned Arms and Flatter Stomach

Simple Exercise Swaps For Toned Arms and Flatter Stomach

Hey hey!

The other day I gave you a few simple food swaps (if you missed them, click here) and today I’m going to continue on with the “swap” mode and give you a few simple exercise swaps.

The overwhelming majority of ladies I work with in the studio, either for boot camp or 1-1 training, want two things (other than losing weight) and those are nicer arms and a flatter tummy.

Fine and dandy.

The problem is when they decide to go it on their own, they tend to use largely worthless exercises in their pursuit of nicer arms and a flatter tummy.

They see the fluffy magazines and silly television “trainers” telling them to isolate those areas by doing loads and loads of “isolation” movements.

That’s fine if you have loads of time to spend exercising on a daily basis, but if you’re like most folks…you don’t.

When I create workouts I like to operate under the assumption that you don’t have much free time to spend working out and that working out isn’t the most fun thing in the world for you.

That then leads me to create short and sweet workouts for you to do from home that give you the most bang for your buck.

So, let’s get on with the exercise swaps to help you achieve tighter and more toned arms and a flatter, sexier stomach!

1) Replace any and all triceps and shoulder isolation movements like kickbacks, overhead extensions, lateral raises, etc. with some variation of the push-up.

I could give you dozens of different push-up variations all focusing on different areas, and we do all of them in boot camp as well as my 1-1 training sessions, so why not give a few to you too.

My new favorite is the Push-up w/Shoulder Touch, as not only does it put a lot of emphasis on your arms, but also your core.

To do it, get into a normal push-up position, either from your knees or toes, and proress into a normal push-up, but as you raise yourself up, lift 1 hand off the floor and touch your opposite shoulder.

So if you raise your left hand off the floor as you come up, you would touch your right shoulder.  Pause for a moment, then place that hand back on the floor and progress into another push-up, but this time as you lift yourself up, raise the opposite hand and touch the other shoulder.

Do a few sets of 10-12 of those puppies and, if done properly, not only will your triceps and shoulders be singing, but your core should too.

2) Replace any type of crunch variation with Burpee.

“What’s that you say?  Burpees?  Heck no!!”

Heck yes!

While at first blush, burpees may not sound like a good abs exercise, or a good exercise at all, but they are phenomenal.

When it comes right down to it, the best abs exercises are the ones that burn the most calories, which make you burn more fat.  That’s the reason you want a flatter stomach right?  Remove the layer of fat and it looks better.  Tone the muscles and it looks even better.

The burpee not only burns a ton of calories, but it also “works” the abs to the max – better than 50,000 crunches could ever do (plus it saves your back).

Rather than telling you how to do a burpee, it’s much easier to show you.  In the video below I do burpees as a part of the workout, so give it a watch (and give the workout a try).

YouTube Preview Image

Okay, I’m going to let you go now.  It’s bright and early when I’m writing this and boot camp clients are going to start rolling in any time.

Have an awesome day and I’ll talk to you soon!


P.S. – The newest issue of “Lean, Strong and Vibrant” is ready and has just been sent out!  If you’re not a client, or haven’t signed up to receive it from home, you really should get on board!  This issues is FULL of healthy goodness and the workouts are unbelievable (something I call “The Challenge”)! To learn more, head to:

About The Author

Ed Scow, also known as "The Fit Dad", likes long walks on the beach, snuggling, hand stand push-ups and pretending to work. He's also a fitness & nutrition expert, proud papa and husband to a smokin' hot wifey.

Number of Entries : 165

Comments (4)

  • Tamara

    What happens when you have had two shoulder surgeries. I am in pain doing wall push-ups. No way can I do a normal one, any suggestions or modifications you would suggest?

  • The Fit Dad

    Hi Tamara!

    Have you ever tried using resistance tubing? While not as “good” as a push-up, you should still be able to get much of the benefit, while minimizing the strain on your shoulders.

    Also, what did the surgeries repair? Were they rotator cuff issues, frozen shoulder, tears, or something else? I’m simply curious…I’m not a physical therapist :)

  • Tamra

    Thanks for the reply – 5 years ago surgery for rotator cuff, they immobilized for 6 weeks and then I had frozen shoulder. Back in to manipulate (which I think they tore). Never got to 100% and went to another doc when the pain got unbearable and once again rotator cuff surgery. I am very leary of every hurting the shoulder again – have been told not to mouse right handed, never do any repetitive motion where my arm is out-stretched i.e. as simple as washing the hood of a car. . . but of course I do. Thanks for asking – I do you therabands but not like I should I guess. I will try to it more diligently. Thanks for the tip.

  • The Fit Dad

    Hey Tamara!

    Wow. That’s…not fun!

    I’ve worked with a few people who have had frozen shoulder/torn rotator cuffs and it is a long recovery, but I’ve never had someone tell me they’ve been told to be that careful with it FOREVER. That seems a bit odd, like someone doesn’t want to take the time to actually help you.

    Like I said, I’m not a doctor or physical therapist, but I have had some success with this type of thing through massage and simple exercise. Why don’t you shoot me an email and we can figure out what a good course of action would be and, if we can’t figure anything out, I could at least give you some extra pointers with tubes.

    If you have any of my newsletters, just reply to one of those or hit the “shoot me an email” button at the top of the page. I’m afraid of “spam robots” which is why I’m not listing my email address in this comment :)



Leave a Comment

© 2013 & beyond ELS Wellness, Inc. and Ed Scow

Scroll to top