The triceps in the back of the upper arm is a traditional trouble spot for women and I'm always looking for new exercises to target this muscle. Well, here's one exercise that's guaranteed to set your triceps on fire!
Stand with your feet parallel, hip width apart, knees bent. Hold a 3# free weight in each hand, arms straight down by your sides, palms in. Bend forward from the hip, keeping your spine straight. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and raise your upper arms so they are parallel to the floor.
Exhale and extend your forearms behind you so that your arms are straight but not stiff. Pause and squeeze the back of the upper arms. Inhale as you return to start and repeat 10 times.
Then, keep your arms straight and pulse up to the ceiling 10 times. Finally, with your arms straight, pulse in 10 times, moving the weights toward each other.
To progress, repeat all three moves again.
- Be sure to align the spine before you bend forward: look straight ahead and pull your shoulder blades down and together
- In the bent-over position, maintain neutral spine alignment, i.e. keep the small curve in the low back
- Keep your head and neck aligned with the spine, i.e. imagine an orange tucked under your chin
- Use light weights, 3 or 4#. This is a toning exercise which uses high repetitions to create definition in the muscle. The pulses intensify the action.
Stretch the triceps after working it: Raise one elbow to the ceiling and reach down your spine with the forearm ("give yourself a pat on the back"). Use the other arm to pull back gently on the elbow. Hold for 10 seconds on each side.
Next week, watch for Part 2 of Awesome Arms: Wacky Biceps Curls.