Toning upper arm muscles

Q: My upper arms are flabby. What can I do at home to tone them?

A: That jiggly spot (technically called the triceps) is a problem area – particularly at the time year when sleeveless fashions are in season – for lots of women. The good news, though, is that there are simple exercises that will tone and tighten this spot. All you need are some dumbbells.

The best exercise is the triceps kickback. To position yourself, put your right hand and right knee on a bench so that your back is straight. Holding a dumbbell in you left hand, position your left elbow at about hip height. Your arm should be in a 90-degree angle. The action: Without moving your upper arm or shoulder, extend your lower arm, lifting the weight, until your lower arm is in line with your upper arm. Make sure you don’t twist your back. Hold for a second and then slowly lower the weight back to starting position. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions, three times a week. Allow a minute rest between sets, and a rest day between workouts.

In addition to this area being flabby, it also tends to be weak for most women. That means you’ll want to start with a light weight, about three to five pounds. For best results, increase the amount of weight you’re lifting when you can do three sets of 12 reps and feel like you can keep going. You should begin to notice some firming after about three to four weeks.

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