The path to well-toned arms runs through your triceps. Yes, you’ll have to lose excess fat, because spot reduction is a myth. And you must work your biceps and forearms as well. But firming your triceps will help avoid tell-tale sag in your upper arms. Several tools can help strengthen your triceps, including an Olympic triceps bar, an interesting-looking device that contains a rectangular midsection with two small bars inside, parallel to the short ends of the rectangle.
The triceps bar is kind of a cross between dumbbells and a barbell. It's much closer to dumbbell size than barbell size, but you grip the triceps bar with two hands, as you would a barbell. Grasp the two small bars to lift the weight, which makes many exercises easier on your wrists than comparable barbell or dumbbell activities. Despite its name, the triceps bar is a versatile tool that can also work out other areas of your body.
To perform a triceps bar press -- also known as an overhead triceps extension -- stand erect and lift the triceps bar up and behind your head. In the starting position, keep your forearms close to parallel with the floor and point your elbows forward. Exhale as you lift the bar straight up by raising your forearms, while your upper arms remain in place. Inhale as you return to the starting position. Perform at least eight repetitions.
The narrow grip you use when completing bench presses with the bar focuses the exercises on your triceps muscles. Lie face-up on the bench with your feet on the floor. Begin with the bar just over your chest, then extend your arms straight up. Lying triceps extensions, or pullovers, are similar to triceps presses, but they’re performed while you’re lying on the bench. Begin with your arms extended above your chest, then drop the bar over your head and as low as you comfortably can. With each exercise, exhale on the way up and inhale as you lower the bar, and perform at least eight reps.
Vary your routine and work your biceps as well with hammer curls. Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the triceps bar in front of your waist, with your arms extended naturally. Keep your head up and facing forward, then tighten your abs before you begin. Exhale as you lift the bar to your shoulders by moving your forearms only; don't let any other part of your body move. Inhale as you slowly lower the bar. Perform at least eight reps.
To work your shoulders, chest and upper back, complete front raises. Begin in the same position as the hammer curl, with your head up and your abs tight, but keep your arms extended as you raise them from the shoulders, until the bar is above shoulder height. At the top of your lift, keep your arms straight and roughly parallel to the floor. As with the other exercises, exhale when you raise the bar and inhale as you lower it, under control, to the starting position. Perform at least eight reps.
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