The tabloids make merry with photo spreads of the turkey wings on Penelope Cruz, Madonna and Sharon Osbourne. You may not have the fame or fortune of these ladies, but by hoisting kettlebells, you can be a toned Nestie with better-looking upper arms that don’t flap in the breeze. While you cannot spot reduce the jiggle in your upper arms, you can certainly add muscle mass to your triceps, and burn fat and gain muscle, with kettlebell exercises.
You can work out with kettlebells three times a week, with a day of rest between workouts, or twice a week if you have limited time. With the cardio and strength benefits of exercises such as the kettlebell swing, you burn fat all over. “Personally I feel it all helps since I don't really believe in spot reducing,” notes Lauren Brooks, the author of “Kettlebells for Women: Workouts for Your Strong, Sculpted & Sexy Body.” Brooks does recommend kettlebell exercises especially for triceps development, so that as the fat leaves your body, the underlying muscle tone appears, ready to be admired in your sleeveless outfits.
You lie flat on your back, on the floor or a mat, to perform floor presses. To place the kettlebell in the home or rack position between your forearm and bicep, you first lay it on the floor near your torso and then roll over, grasp it with two hands, and then roll back, nestling it into place. You’ll have to roll over a second time if you are performing two-kettlebell presses. From here, you can perform a chest press by holding the ball of the bell, handle between your thumb and index finger, Brooks advises, and pressing the bell toward the ceiling and then lowering it.
For a one-arm or two-arm floor press, perform the same lifting and lowering motion, but with one or two bells respectively in the rack position, handle in the palm of your hand and ball on your forearm. For the seesaw floor press, push up one arm and then lower it as your raise the alternate arm.
Here comes an excellent challenge for your triceps. Place a mat on the floor to protect your knees. Perform pushups, either on your knees or toes, while grasping the handles of a pair of kettlebells placed directly under your shoulders. As you get stronger, perform the pushups on your toes and lower yourself so that you nearly touch your chest to the floor. To really test your balance, work up to the diamond pushup. Place a large kettlebell, above 8 kilograms or 20 pounds, on its side, so the top of the handle touches the floor pointing away from you. Grasp the sides of the handle as you assume the plank position, and lower and raise yourself to perform the pushup.
Your posture and shoulder stability benefit as well as your underarms when you perform waiter walks. Deceptively simple, the waiter walk entails hoisting a kettlebell of a weight you can comfortably control above your head, with the elbow locked, and walking around for 30 seconds, then switching arms. You can also perform a double-bell variation, Brooks notes.
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- Kettlebells for Women: Workouts for Your Strong, Sculpted & Sexy Body; Lauren Brooks
- Lauren Brooks; Owner, On The Edge Fitness; San Diego, California
- Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images