Squishy arms are NOT on the menu today.
Did writing on a whiteboard one meeting suddenly feel more jiggly than usual? Or did a recent picture of yourself in short sleeves make you wonder who replaced your upper arms with a pancake?
However the realization came about, it did – your arms could not be farther from Michelle Obama’s. But all hope is not lost, because all you need to add to your weekly workout routine are a few easy tricep exercises.
Triceps are – as the name implies – a group of 3 muscles on the back of your arm that go from your shoulder to your elbow (opposite the bicep). They’re used for fine motor skills like writing, as well as shooting a basketball, playing tennis, doing pushups and yoga – think of how much it kills when your instructor makes you practice going from downward facing dog or plank to cobra over and over again.
‘Lunch Lady arms’ is a slang term for having untoned arms that wiggle and jiggle as you use your arm (apparently they can also be called ‘bingo wings’ so thank you for that, Urban Dictionary).
It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as ‘targeted weight loss,’ so doing all of the tricep exercises in the world won’t necessarily give you skinny, sculpted arms (if that is your goal) but building your tricep muscles does benefit you in that it adds tone, makes other upper body exercises easier, and helps your body lose weight, as muscle mass burns calories faster, even at rest.
While there are a bunch of ways to work out your triceps at the gym, here are some easy ways any beginner can work on them at home with a pair of dumbbells.
The tricep extension is one of the easiest exercises for making sure you’re working the right muscle – trust us, you’ll feel it. To do it:
You might feel a little silly in this crouched over, speed skater-esque position – you can also kneel on a bench with the leg opposite the arm lifting – but it’s a fantastic one for the back of your arms, and it’s a little easier to keep your elbows straight than a tricep extension.
Is there anything more impressive than someone casually doing tricep dips on a park bench during their run? Dips are a more intense tricep exercise because you’re supporting your whole body, so take it slow and work your way up to them!
As with all weight-training, form is more important than doing things quickly or lifting a lot of weight – if you’re not sure if you’re doing it 100% correctly you can ask staff at your gym if you have one, or visit R/XXfitness on Reddit – it’s a place for women and nonbinary folks to discuss fitness in a positive and supportive space.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Lane Baumeister is a staunch proponent of the em-dash and made-for-TV movies.