By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
One of the most common trouble spots for most men and women to keep firm, is the triceps muscle, the muscle on the back of the upper arm. As we age, that becomes an even more obvious problem area.
When it comes to exercises, the push-up remains one of the most effective ways to strengthen the triceps without using resistance devices. The classic push-up, which is excellent for strengthening the chest and shoulder muscles as well as the triceps, is an intensive exercise and not everyone has an easy time performing it. Let’s look at two ways to modify it.
A wall push-up can be done by placing the hands, shoulder-width apart, with the fingers pointed up. Start with the feet about a foot or so from the wall. You can increase the degree of difficulty by positioning the feet farther away from the wall. Initiate the movement by slowly bending the elbows and letting the chest come toward the wall. Keep the back straight and tighten the buttocks. Then straighten the arms and push away from the wall.
SIDE LYING PUSH-UP
Another modification is the side lying push-up. Lie down on your left side. Place your hands directly under your shoulders with fingers pointing forward. Push up and down, keeping your head in line with your spine. Do 5 to 10 push-ups and then change sides. *REMEMBER TO CONTRACT THE ABDOMINAL AND GLUTEAL MUSCLES ESPECIALLY DURING THE LIFT PHASE.
Another way to strengthen the triceps is to…Stand with your hands behind your head, fingers touching and elbows bent. Slowly raise your hands as high as possible, keeping your fingers together.
Hold this position, then slowly lower your hands to the starting point.
You can add resistance by using a soup can. Do one arm at a time. Use the other arm to support the working arm. You can feel the tricep working. Keep the elbow pointed toward the ceiling as much as possible.
Add these exercises to your ARSENAL OF ARM TONERS AND SAY, “FAREWELL TO FLABBY ARMS!”