One of the pitfalls of aging is flabby upper arms, which makes wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses a less attractive option. As we age, our upper arms appear more flabby because of the loss of skin elasticity. While part of this is caused by aging, another part of this is caused by body weight.
To minimize the loose flesh and feel more comfortable in sleeveless clothing, you can tone your muscles with resistance exercises. Here are 6 different exercises that can be done at home to tone the tricep muscles, the large muscles at the back of your upper arm. Some will require you to use hand weights (a.k.a. dumbbells). However, you can use full food cans instead.
1. Tricep dips
You will need a chair for this exercise. Put your hands on the chair, shoulder-width apart, and your buttocks in front of the chair. Your back should be close to the chair and your legs bent, hip-width, on the floor. Straighten out your arms, keeping the elbows slightly bent. Slowly bend your elbows and your lower body towards the floor. When your arms are at a 90-degree angle, press your arms, pushing yourself back up to the starting position. Do this 10-15 times.
This is a floor exercise you may be familiar with. Lower yourself to the floor and place your hands under your shoulders. Keeping your elbows close you your side, lower your body towards the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times. If you find this difficult it might help to change your starting position - let your knees bend and touch the floor.
3. Tricep kickbacks
This exercise requires 1-2 kg weights (2-4 lbs.). Get on the floor, have both your knees and toes touching the floor. Holding the weights, bend your upper body forward from the hips up and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Extend your arms backwards, with your palms facing each other. You should feel tension in your triceps. Return to the starting position and complete 3 sets of 8-10 repeats.
4. Tricep extensions
You’ll need 1-2 kg (2-4 lbs.) weights for this exercise. You can do this exercise in two ways: Standing or lying on the floor.
If you lie on the floor: Lie on your back, raising your arms above your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent but not locked. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, so that the weights reach the floor. Your elbows should now align with each side of your head. Lift back to the starting position and repeat this motion 12-15 times in 3 sets.
If you stand up: Stand with your knees, making sure they are soft and not locked. Straighten your arms. Your elbows should be next to your ears. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Squeezing your triceps, straighten your arms. Repeat this movement 15 times in 3 sets.
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5. Bend-over row
This exercise requires the use of weights. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees and upper body forward from the hips up. Make sure to keep your spine neutral and not to bend your lower back. Keep your hands straight under your shoulders. Bend your elbows back and lift your arms towards the sides of your chest. At this stage, your shoulder blades should be pulled towards each other. Slowly lower the weights, feeling the tension in your triceps. Repeat this exercise 15 times.
6. One arm push-up
This is a floor exercise. Lie on your left side, with your knees slightly bent. Place your left hand on your right shoulder and press your right palm against the floor until it is straight. Now lift your upper body. Repeat this exercise 10 times and then switch to your right side and repeat another 10 times.