Upper Arm Exercises for Flabby Middle Aged Arms

Middle-aged people will often keep upper arms covered to hide flab.
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Men and women can both suffer from flabby arms as they age. It usually manifests as a jiggly area at the back of the upper arm. This can be due to a combination of thinning of the outer skin layer and the subcutaneous fat layer beneath -- which mainly affects women after menopause -- and poor muscle tone. The main muscles of the upper arm are the biceps at the front and the triceps at the back. Exercises to tone flabby upper arms muscles should target the triceps area, although the biceps should not be ignored if you want toned and sculpted upper arms.

Bench Dips

Dips are a very effective triceps exercise that uses your own body weight as resistance. You can do them anywhere so long as you can find something stable to work against. Start on a bench with your hands gripping it on either side of your body. Your arms will be straight without locking your elbows. With your legs either straight or bent at 90 degrees, slide off the bench so that your back just clears it, then lower your body by bending your elbows to 90 degrees while inhaling. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Be careful not to let your elbows flare out. Repeat eight to 15 times depending on your fitness. Add thigh weights as you become fitter. Avoid this exercise if you have bad wrists or shoulders.

Triceps Dumbbell Kickbacks

Triceps kickbacks rely on arm arm extension rather than flexion. For this exercise you place one hand and one knee on a bench, with your knee under your hip and your hand at a spot that will keep your back parallel to the bench. The opposite foot is on the floor with the arm on that side tucked into your side with the elbow bent at 90 degrees. Exhale as you extend your arm back without locking your elbow. Hold the dumbbell extended for one second then inhale as you return your arm to the starting position. Do at least two sets with a weight you can extend eight times but no more than 12. Then switch sides. Add weight when 12 reps become easy.

French Presses

The French press also involves arm extensions, but this is done in a seated position, cupping the end of one dumbbell in both hands. For this exercise your elbows will be tucked in close to your ears, and you will start with them bent so that the loose end of the dumbbell just touches at the base of your neck. Exhale as you straighten your elbows without locking them. You can also do this exercise standing, but only if you have the core strength to maintain your head, back and pelvis in alignment without arching your back. Choose your weight and repetitions as you would with kickbacks.

Triangle Pushups

An American Council on Exercise study looked at eight common triceps exercises and found that triangle pushups were the most effective. This is a pushup where you place your hands together and form a triangle shape with your thumb and forefingers. The hands are placed below the breastbone. This is more difficult and works the triceps much more than a traditional pushup. You can begin by having your knees on the floor until your fitness increases. Lower your body toward the mat until you touch it with your chin or chest. Push upwards until your arms are fully extended at the elbows.

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