Lift me up June

I have a confession! It’s a bit shameful and I feel exposed for saying this, but due to life and everything that happens in it – moving, packing and finding new homes for stuff that’s too good to throw away – I’ve more or less forgotten that I have arms.

This sounds weird, I know. You’re probably thinking, what is she on about? She’s writing this article using her hands (which are attached to arms). So what am I on about? Well for one thing, the fact that I had trouble lifting some of the heavier boxes. This was my first wake-up call. Lying in bed and replaying some of the day, I realised I’d found the boxes heavy. This was a bit of a surprise, as I’m used to lifting my son, who is almost 20kg. 

The next morning I took a look and a feel of my arms and was disappointed. There weren’t much muscles left (being older definitely sucks when it comes to retaining muscle mass. It’s an on-going battle to keep them from deteriorating). Flash forward a week after the move and I’m joining my son on a playground and want to hang – possibly go for a pull-up – on the play tower. I was capable of a semi-pull-up and also realised my grip strength was fading. (This really shows when you want to open up jars). All in all, I have to confess I’ve neglected my arms.

‘How did that happen?’ ‘How can you be in fitness and not be fit?’ There’s no explanation other than I’m human and I was preoccupied with running. Running fast, running hills, running long and running slow. And after getting back from a run, all I thought about was a shower and getting on with my day with a big smile and a good conscience from the endorphins boost. So while two limbs got all the attention and challenges, the two other were just along for the run – but that has to change.

I am therefore inviting you to join me for a month of ‘Lift me up June’ challenges. Every weekday in June, I’ll post an exercise to do on my Instagram @trainwithadane. And I hope you will join me. If you put up photos or videos tag them #liftmeupjune and I will like and follow your progress.

To get you started I’ll post the first two weeks of action here. These drills are all meant to be short and effective – and are a trial to see how far you can get with just bodyweight, normal furniture and outdoor possibilities. 

At the end of June, I hope we are all stronger, can carry more and open up jars more easily. And hopefully, we will continue to use those arms and hands of ours.

Week 1:

Monday: 3x 8-10 Push-ups (from toes or knees. Keep core tight and straight)

Tuesday: 3x 10-15 Dips from chair/ sofa/ bed

Wednesday :10-20 Elbow-to-hand movements in Plank Position (Start a plank on elbows, change to hands without putting knees on the ground)

Thursday: 3x 10 Horizontal Flys (Grab a 0.5L bottle w/ water/ liquid in each hand. Stand against a wall and raise them up in straight arms to each side) 

Friday: 3x 10-30 sec plank


Monday: 3×8-12 Push-ups (from toes or knees. Keep core tight and straight)

Tuesday: 3x 10 Lateral Flys (Grab a 0.5L bottle w/ water/ liquid in each hand. Stand against a wall and raise them up in straight arms in front of you) 

Wednesday: 3x 5-10 seconds hang (find something to hang on. A bar on a playground, a tree, a towel on a doorframe). Either ‘lie down’ or bend your knees if the place your hanging from is too low

Thursday: 3x 10-30 sec Plank

Friday: 10 Push Ups with two second pause at the bottom 

If you are in doubt on how to perform the exercises, you’re welcome to email me, alternatively Google the name of the exercise and watch the video result. Remember a lot of the exercises are not just for your arms to benefit from. Core, abs and back also gets activated in many of these and are key areas to perform well.

I will be posting small videos and photos on my Instagram each day with the daily exercise on my story. If you don’t have access to Instagram, you can take the first two weeks and add time/sets or reps for the final two weeks with the existing exercises. The reason I’m not posting all four weeks here, is to give myself room for creativity for the last two weeks. 

And if you already have good arms, just keep up whatever you’re doing; or if you’re in a gym, you know the barbells and dumbbells are calling you. In any case, keep your arms happy!

Join in and ‘Lift up June’ with me! I promise it’ll be worth it.

Questions and comments are as usual welcome at: or via

Tania Presutti

Tania Presutti is a Danish freelance journalist and fitness professional who now resides in Clonakilty.

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