THE GOAL: Losing fat on your triceps, or "batwings"
THE EXPERT: Dr. Craig McNamee and Dr. Adam Reynold, personal trainer, chiropractors and owners of Catalyst Health in Toronto
THE INFO: The upper part of the arm can be one of the hardest places to lose weight and tighten, and that's often because we ignore our triceps in favour of the easier-to-reach biceps. There's also more to working triceps than those kickbacks with dumbbells you've solely been doing for years. The "tri" in triceps refers to the three sections of the muscle, each of which needs to be worked in order to see results. The exercises below focus on each of these areas for an all-round effective arm workout.
All you need is 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps of these exercises and your triceps will be tight and toned in no time! These moves are best performed at the gym, where equipment will be readily available.
1) Equalizer Dips (Beginner)
Starts with a firm grip around the equalizer bars, feet extended out in front. Look to a point slightly in front of you to help maintain good posture. Inhale while slowly lowering and exhale as you drive your body upwards for a full range of motion. Don’t let your shoulders roll forward. Remember, chest up and shoulders back. Your shoulders must not go lower than your elbows.
2) Dumbbell Triceps Kickback (Beginner)
Start with a dumbbell in hand and your palms facing your torso. Keep your back straight with a slight bend in the knees and bend forward at the waist. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your head up. Your upper arms should be close to your torso and parallel to the floor. Your forearms should be pointed towards the floor as you hold the weights. There should be a 90-degree angle formed between your forearm and upper arm. This is your starting position.
Now, while keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and use your triceps to lift the weights until the arm is fully extended. Focus on moving the forearm. After a brief pause at the top contraction, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
3) Triceps Rope Extension (Beginner)
Attach a rope to a high cable pulley. After selecting an appropriate weight, grasp the rope with both hands and face towards the cable. Position your elbows at 90 degree as your starting position. To perform the movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in position, your hands and rope should pass just outside your hips to allow for full elbow extension. Squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement, and slowly lower the weight back to the start position.
4) Single Arm Cable Triceps Extension (Intermediate)
With your right hand, grasp a single handle attached to the high-cable pulley using a supinated (underhand; palms facing up) grip. You should be standing directly in front of the weight stack. Now pull the handle down so that your upper arm and elbow are locked in to the side of your body. Your upper arm and forearm should form an acute angle (less than 90-degrees). You can keep the other arm by the waist and you can have one leg in front of you and the other one back for better balance. This will be your starting position.
As you contract the triceps, move the single handle attachment down to your side until your arm is straight. Breathe out as you perform this movement. Only the forearms should move and your upper arms should remain stationary at all times. Squeeze the triceps and hold for a second in this contracted position.
Slowly return the handle to the starting position.
5) TRX Triceps Extension (Intermediate)
Hang the TRX cables at an elevated point so that the handles hang down to just above your waist. Grasp the handles with your palms facing downwards. Keep your body in a straight line and lean forward so that your body makes about a 50-degree angle with the floor. In a slow, controlled fashion allow your elbow joint to flex, lengthening your triceps. When your hands reach directly over your shoulders, exhale as your extend your elbows by contracting your triceps.
6) Diamond Pushups (Advanced)
Lie on the floor face down and place your hands closer than shoulder width for a close hand position allowing thumbs and index fingers to touch. Make sure that you are holding your torso up at arms' length. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. Using your triceps and some of your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step.
Have something that needs fine tuning? Let us know in the comments below.
The new year is the time to take on new challenges, so for the month of January and beyond, The Huffington Post Canada's Living team brings you Fine Tuning: daily workouts, with tips on how to tone up, get healthy and stay fit for the whole year. Each workout will focus on one fitness goal or body part, with our favourite trainers showing you simple ways to get stronger and healthier in less than 45 minutes.
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