Today's workout will tone your triceps. Your triceps are on the underside of your upper arm, opposite to your biceps.
This is a problem area for many women. I've known lots of adorable gals who felt self-conscious in sleeveless shirts because they were not happy with this part of their body. If you don't strengthen these muscles, they are one of the first parts of your body to get flabby and out of shape, swinging back and forth in the wind (I've been there, it's not pretty). Fortunately, it only takes a little bit of training to make this a part of your body you can be proud of. Free weights are the way to go if you want to have toned, sexy arms.
Here is what you will need for this simple, yet highly effective workout:
-A body ball
-A single weight. I use a 10 pound weight for this workout, but I recommend a 5 or 7 pound weight if you don't regularly work your upper body. Then you can work your way up as that becomes too easy.
For the starting position, rest your shoulder blades on the ball. This is a great example of how a body ball can be used in place of a weight bench, and it's actually more effective because you have to work harder to keep your balance. Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle and your midsection flat (I tend to let my butt droop when I'm not paying attention, so watch out for that too). Hold the weight with both hands with your arms straight up.
Using a slow, controlled motion, lower the weight toward the floor behind your head. Keep your elbows close to your head, don't let them bow out to the sides. This will ensure that your triceps are doing all the work to control the weight. Lower the weight until it is near your head, then raise it back up to the starting positing, maintaining a steady, controlled motion.
Each time you lower the weight and bring it back to the starting position, that counts as one rep. Do two sets of 12 reps, resting for about a minute in between sets. Then, once your triceps are nice and warmed up, we're REALLY going to work them. You want to be ready for tank top season, right?
The starting position for your final set will be similar to the first position, but you will be holding your hands flat around the top of the weight instead of grasping it at the center.
The reason this version is a bit more intense is because gravity will be working against you. Use the same motion as before to slowly lower the weight toward the ground. Feel the burn yet?
Instead of doing two sets of 12 reps like before, go for a double set of 24 reps without stopping. Think of this as your grand finale, and pour all your strength into this final set.
If the phrase "weight lifting" conjures visions of big meatheads in your mind, try to change your way of thinking. I promise this exercise will not turn you into a body builder (unless that's your goal, in which case you'll need a much heavier weight than what I've recommended here). Weight training burns fat, so if you do enough workouts like this, you will actually end up with trim, petite arms that do not ripple when you wave goodbye. If you've got the necessary equipment, I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think. And as always, I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Just leave a comment and let me know what's on your mind. Have a great weekend!
This exercise is linked up with lots of other fun tutorials and how-to's here!