by Amy Hammond
Face your enemy!
For many women triceps are our worst enemy. You are feeling great about yourself one minute and the next minute you catch a glimpse of your jiggly underarm as you wave to someone and your confidence quickly retreats.
I have known women with naturally great looking arms that still have to fight to keep those triceps in check. They are just one of those muscle groups that need constant attention or they soon misbehave.
Here are some simple moves from Ace Fitness and Real Simple that can help you keep the enemy at bay.
Plank Arm Marches
Assume a plank position on the elbows and toes (knees, if needed). Push up onto the right hand and then onto the left. This places you in a hands and toes plank. Return to the elbows by first placing the right elbow down and then the left. Work on keeping the hips fairly still and avoid rocking them from side to side. 10 repetitions (5 cycles on each side).
Alternating Triceps Overhead Extension
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, arms extended upward and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the weight in the right hand toward your right ear by bending the elbow and keeping the shoulder stationary. Return the weight to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm while the right arm remains straight in the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Elbow Extension (Triceps Kickbacks)
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at the hips and lean the torso forward while maintaining a rigid, neutral spine by bracing the abdominal muscles. Lift the elbows behind the body by extending the shoulders and squeezing the shoulder blades toward each other. Repeatedly straighten and bend the elbows to work the triceps. Repeat 10-15 times.
And, some more tricep training from RealSimple.com
Stability ball push ups
Come into a plank position, with your toes resting on a stability ball. Place your hands a little closer than shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms slowly until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, then press back up to straighten. Do 12 repetitions.
Author’s note: I love any move that includes the stability ball. I appreciate the added core challenge and I think the ball adds an element of playfulness that makes workout more enjoyable. I can tell this is true by the fact that any time I am working out with my stability ball it is not long before my children have joined in the fun.
Skull Crusher (aka French Press)
Editor’s Note: For this you can use either one medium dumbbell, or two light dumbbells, or a light barbell. It’s important to use light weight when first doing Skull Crushers because…well the name says it all, so be careful! For most of us, this will be a weak area to start. Speaking of names though, another name for this exercise, which we prefer, is French Press. Still, to be safe, even with light weights, if you’re just starting out, use a spotter if you need one. Put your gym personnel to work. Ask them to spot you on this to avoid injury.
Using light weights in either one dumbbell, two dumbbells or light bar, to start, lie on a stability ball or a bench and extend both arms overhead. Bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Slowly straighten your arms, then lower them to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.
Appreciation to Ace Fitness and Real Simple for sharing great workout tips! If you’re interested in any kind of health and fitness certification, ACE Fitness is one of the top, so check out their programs.
Wave goodbye to sagging underarms
These five moves can be done at home or at the gym. While they don’t take long to perform they can make a big difference in keeping those devilish triceps tight and toned. With a little effort you can keep those sagging underarms behind enemy lines and feel confident in those sleeveless tops!
My Gym Trainer 1 – Beginner, if you’re just getting starting at the gym, available from Amazon