Work Those Arms While You’re Out Jogging

Credit: Unsplash
Don’t just let your arms flop in the wind.

Here’s a tangentially-related story to today’s topic: once, when I was walking around town, I saw this guy jogging on the sidewalk. Pretty ordinary guy, nothing of particular note to mention about him, all except for one element: his upper body. His arms and torso were perfectly straight and unmoving. He moved so fast, yet his upper body never shifted an inch. It was like someone had placed the top half of a mannequin on top of a pair of living human legs. It was incredibly unsettling, and I’ve never forgotten it.

The point of that tangentially-related story is that when you’re jogging or running, the notion of working your arms tends to go by the wayside in favor of focusing on your legs. Obviously, leg work is the point of jogging, but just because your arms aren’t the focus of the exercise doesn’t mean you should just leave them hanging there. Put your whole body into it! You can get some pretty good arm work going even while you’re working your legs.

For example, what’s the traditional motion you do when performing a curl with a dumbbell? Arm out, bend up, straighten out. It’s a very simple motion, and one you can easily perform while jogging. It’s not a great idea to do this with actual weights, but if you wear weighted wristbands, you can get a similar effect to a traditional bicep curl.

The main idea of diversifying your jog is drawing inspiration from other kinds of exercise. Here’s another idea: swimming. The arm strokes of a good swim constantly works most of your muscles with shifting, sliding motions. You can perform a breast stroke-style motion with your arms while jogging, which in addition to flexing your arms, helps activate your blood circulation, energizing you.

If you’re worried about looking like a dork while doing these exercises, well, you might, but I’d rather look like a dork and get a full body workout than hold stock still and creep everybody out.