Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Have you ever waved to someone and noticed that there is excess fat on the back of your upper arms? Ever wondered how you can tone up the muscles in that area? If yes, this article is for you! The main muscle on the back of our upper arm is the Triceps Brachii (Triceps). Compared to our biceps in the front, our triceps is often overlooked during exercise training.
To decrease body fat in general, consistent aerobic exercise is the best go-to method. However, performing some strengthening exercises can also help increase muscle mass and muscle firmness. The following exercises are easy to perform at home, as well as suitable for both novice and experienced individuals. Please be aware to always perform warm up sets with a lower resistance prior to the work out and a cool down with stretches after.
1) Overhead Triceps Extension
For this exercise, grab a free weight or a water bottle that is filled with liquid. Stand up straight, hold the water bottle with both of your hands and bring it directly over your head. Slowly bend your elbows to approximately 90 degrees so that the water bottle is now behind your head. Then, slowly extend your elbows back to the starting position. You can adjust the weight to ensure that you are working at a 60-80% of your maximum effort. Repeat this flexion/extension motion for 8-12 times in a row, rest for 2 minutes in between each set. Perform 2-4 sets in total. Try to perform this home exercise 3 times per week. Make sure you can feel that your triceps muscle is contracting during the movement. If there is any pain on the shoulders or wrists, stop the exercise immediately and consult our exercise specialists for modifications or assessments.
2) Wall Push Ups
For this exercise, stand at arm’s distance from a wall. Place your palms on the wall shoulder-width apart at shoulder height. As you breathe out and bending at your elbows, slowly lean your body into the wall until your chest almost touches the wall. Then, inhale as you straighten your elbow to push yourself back to the starting position. Ensure your elbow is pointing to the ground at all times instead of flaring out to the sides. Similar to the first exercise, repeat the motion for 8-12 times with a 2 minutes rest in between each set, for a total of 2-4 sets. Individuals who have a strong upper body strength can progress to knee push ups or standard triceps push ups.
Training your triceps not only provides you with great upper arm muscle tone, it is also beneficial for elderly to stand up from a chair safely!