Farewell to Arms

Posted Jun 13 2011, 12:01 am

Triceps; a three-head muscle attached at the shoulder that runs the backside of the arm down to the elbow. It’s also that part of the arm which might wave before the hand does. *grin*

Got that kind of wave action going on? Well, here are three, easy-to-do-at-home exercises which can help tightened up those “flapping” triceps.

#1 Push-ups. Yes, push-ups. That glorious exercise you love to hate or hate to love. Whichever. Position yourself on your knees, with your back straight and arms on the floor. (Hint: I’ve found that the farther your hands are away from each other, the easier this exercise – if only a teensy bit.) Keeping your head and neck in line with your spine, tighten up your abs and lower your chest to the floor. Note, I said chest and not your nose. Even if you only go down one inch, that’s fine. Hold for a two-count then straightened your arms. Repeat 10-20 times, depending on your fitness level. Rest, then do another 5-15 push-ups. As you get stronger, increase the number of reps and try bringing your hands closer together. This will really engage your triceps. I love push-ups (just ask my gym rats) because they work not only your chest and triceps, but your abs and glutes as well. But if you have wrist issues, like carpel tunnel, double check with your health care professional before trying to set the world record for push-ups. Remember to breathe; inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up.

2. Over-head dumbbell extension. You’ll need a 2-5 pound hand weight. Barring that, you could also use a 32 or 64 ounce bottle of juice. Sit or stand with your back straight and abs engaged. Gripping the weight/bottle with both hands, lift it above your head. Now, on a count of 4, lower the weight/bottle behind your head as far as what is comfortable. Hold for a count of 1. Lift the weight/bottle back up to starting position on another count of 4. Repeat 5- 10 times. Rest, then repeat. Don’t forget to breathe; inhale down, exhale up.

3. Skull Crusher. You’ll need two hand weights or two cans of vegetables/soup. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. With a weight or can in each hand, extend your arms straight up to the ceiling, palms facing. On a count of 4, bend your arms at the elbow and bring the weight or can to your ears. (Take care not to live up to this exercise’s name and hit your head. It kinda hurts. LOL) Hold for a count then return to the starting position, again on a count of 4. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. To add a nice twist, as you extend your arms up to the ceiling, turn your palms so they face your feet.

On a personal note, I’ve had surgery on both my wrists (though not the traditional carpel tunnel surgery), have suffered from tennis elbow and have arthritis in both shoulders. Even with those challenges, I do all three of these exercises; I’ve just learned to adapt and modify. Take the over-head extension. I can’t use weight because of my arthritis, but I still feel it; I just do a lot more reps.

If you’re having a hard time with push-ups, here are a couple of tips to maybe make them a little less hateful: don’t go down so low; vary the distance between your hands; place your hands in the grips of hand weights to change the angle on your wrist; or elevate one hand onto a 6-inch step with the other hand on the floor.

Always remember: if it hurts in the joint, don’t do it. If it hurts in the muscle, give me another 10 reps coz it’s working. 🙂

Enjoy your week(s)!




3 responses to “Farewell to Arms”

  1. Donnell says:

    Linda, these are awesome-looking exercises, and you certainly look like you employ them. Off to try them. Thank you!

  2. LOL! Ah yes, the “flapping” triceps. Time to get to work on those. Great list of exercises. I should do a rep every hour (or half hour) to get me away from my writing desk and get the blood circulating to my brain 🙂

  3. Neveah says:

    It’s really great that people are sharing this ifnroamtoin.

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