It's unfortunate that you didn't consult a local fitness expert (like myself) instead of running the poor article from the Toledo Blade on how to have fabulously toned arms like Michelle Obama ("Building Better Arms," March 23). I would never recommend the exercises pictured on the front page of the Mazagine as described because they put too much unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Also, I don't even understand the names the trainer has given these exercises -- there is no such thing as a lateral bicep.
The proper way to do the first two types of bicep curls described is with a cable machine that has the pulleys anchored at shoulder height. I would never recommend a punching motion with weights due to risk of injury and ineffectiveness at accomplishing anything except stressing the joints. You could use a cable or elastic tube anchored at chest height from behind so that you are pressing the handle out in front of you by extending your arm. This motion actually uses the pectoral muscles with the triceps assisting (think chest press), so it would help tone the triceps.
When you use free weights, you must keep gravity in mind. Gravity is always pulling the weight down, so the muscle you wish to work must be positioned so that it is working to lift the weight against gravity.
Pittsburgh is filled with fitness experts and athletic trainers. Next time, stay close to home and do your own research.
The writer is a