Your arm muscles are there for lifting and carrying, eating, drinking, and once upon a time for hunting and gathering. They raise your hands so that you can brush your teeth, apply lipstick, waive at the crowd while in a parade…you get the picture. Strength is important for all of these activities. But when vanity rears its head you get motivated to take action.
As we age, skin gets soft. That is simply a fact. But you can still have toned muscles (in this case triceps) and fight against that scientific phenomenon called gravity that is trying to give you Granny arms.
- Triceps Extensions.
Using 2-5 lb. weights, stand with your feet in a parallel position and hip distance apart. Bend your knees and lean your torso forward so that your back is flat and your knees are not beyond your toes. You will feel your quads and hamstrings working (this is a bonus!) and you will keep your abs engaged to help support your back and to keep it straight.
Bend your elbows so they are slightly behind your body, but still close to your torso. Straighten your arms behind you, flexing your triceps. Keeping your shoulders down, continue to bend and straighten your arms 8-10 times. You can do 3 sets of these.
Stand in Pilates stance (heels together/toes apart), squeezing the backs of your thighs together. While keeping your abdominal muscles contracted, bring your weights up (and together) over your head. Keep your weights connected throughout the entire exercise.
Starting with bent elbows and shoulders down, straighten your arms up and slightly forward of your head. When your arms are extended remember to keep your shoulder blades anchored down your back (as in, your shoulders stay away from your ears). Then bend your elbows again. Repeat 8-10 times. Usually one set is plenty of this exercise.
A yoga teacher once used the term “Bingo wings” in class to describe the arm jiggle, explaining that it occurs when one raises one’s hand excitedly and yells, “BINGO” during a game. An image that still haunts me.
Do the above exercises 4-5 times per week. And the next time you find yourself at Rotary Club playing a lively game of BINGO, flaunt your toned arms when you win. Or even if you don’t.
Fighting the good fight,