If you’re tired of upper-arm jiggle, you don’t have to surrender to a lifetime of long-sleeved shirts. By incorporating the right lifting moves into a healthy lifestyle you can tighten your triceps and wave good-bye to arm flab. Along with a balanced diet and cardio exercise, you can lift, bend and extend your way to strong, sexy arms.
Targeting the Triceps
As the main muscles on the back of your upper arms, your triceps let you flex and extend your elbow. Just think about every time you bend your elbow and you’ll know why triceps so important. Without flexing and extending your arms, it’s almost impossible to lift heavy items like shopping bags, reach for your mail or perform almost any part of your workout routine. By developing tricep strength you can improve your appearance and be stronger for daily life.
When it comes to your triceps, you’re in for a treat if you’ve got a gym membership. Most fitness centers have a number of machines designed to help you get a dynamic triceps workout. One of your best options is the cable machine on which you can do sets of triceps pushdowns using a variety of attachments. You can also use the cable machine to do standing triceps kickbacks or slide over to the triceps press machine for a few sets of arm-blasting presses from a helpful supported position.
Exercises with Dumbbells
With just a simple pair of dumbbells you can work your triceps to the max. Because they are small and don’t require much space, dumbbells are perfect for home workouts if you don’t have the time or money for a gym. From either a standing or seated position you can use dumbbells for triceps kickbacks or overhead presses, or you can lie on a flat bench for skull crushers or triceps extensions.
One of the best things about tightening your triceps is that you can still achieve your goal even if you don’t have any equipment. Triceps dips are some of the most effective moves you can do for your upper arms, and they can be done anywhere and at any time -- no gym or weights required. With nothing more than an available bench or chair, you can squeeze in quick sets of dips, which work the upper arms just as effectively as any machine.
When working to tighten your triceps, maintain good form and a solid core during each exercise, especially when using the cable machine. Avoid letting the momentum dictate your motions and stay in control of the cable. Don’t use more weight than you can safely handle, and always check with your doctor before starting any exercise plan, especially if you have had previous back or shoulder problems.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.