Looking back when I was in my 20’s, I could practically eat anything I wanted, I hardly exercised and I didn’t put on weight. In my 30’s I realized that I needed to take better care of myself, so I began to exercise but what I noticed was whatever I ate before, suddenly began showing up on my body – if I ate a lot of pasta, I became bloated and started to develop a little belly. Then I hit my 40’s and although I continue to exercise, I have to watch what I eat – gone are the days of consuming high carbohydrate food – like bread – and sweet beverages on a daily basis. I’ve noticed my belly has grown a little and I have these, what I like to call, bat wings behind my arms that flap when I wave good-bye, I’m rather embarrassed by them. Is this YOU? Does this sound familiar and do you relate to this – is this how you feel lately?
You already know you need to eat more balance meals including more vegetables and fruits; stay away from starchy foods and pre-package meals; ease off the ‘white’ foods (white breads and buns, cereals, etc) in order to slim down your belly. Perhaps this is something you are working on – trying to do this daily – although not always successful, you are trying your best. But it’s those bat wings that don’t seem to see disappear. You want to know, “How do I make them fly away for good? Are there certain exercises I should be doing?”
Yes, there is a solution to making your arms become trim and toned, to make those ‘bat wings’ fly away from home.
The muscles behind your arms, the ones hidden under your bat wings are called your triceps. These are the muscles you need to work at in order to see them take shape, and although it’s true we do not have the testosterone levels that men do, we can still make a difference by working them to address this issue.
If you search google you will find countless exercises that focus on your triceps, but I suggest you begin with these 3-simple exercises to get you started. You can do them in your home and all you need is a dumbbell. If you’re new to exercise, I suggest you begin with a 5-lb weight, however, if you have been exercising for some time you can begin with a heavier weight, anywhere between 8 – 10 lbs. You can increase the weight as your triceps become stronger and more trim. And as always it’s very important you maintain proper form and you feel your triceps working – feel a burning sensation in those tricep muscles.
Tricep Dips: This is done using a step – perhaps your stairway. Sit on the edge of a step placing your hands directly beside you with your fingers clasping and/or curving around the stair edge. Extend your straight legs out, toes pointing up with your heels on the floor. Using your arm muscles, lift your body (yout bum) off the stairs and shift your weight forward to create a 90° bend in your legs and feet flat on the ground. Focus on bending and/or pointing your elbows behind you – to the back wall or the stair behind you – as you lower your glutes (bum) towards the floor. Ensure you are using your tricep muscles by bending your elbows 90°, do not allow your shoulders to drop. Complete as many reps as you can or time yourself for 30-seconds.
Tricep Extensions: Hold a weight in your right hand and extend it straight up. Bend your left arm to the front and gently hold your tricep (muscles at back of arm – your bat wing) with your left hand, ensuring you are not squeezing it only support (keeping your right arm stationary and not moving around). Bend your right arm and lower your weight down behind you, then extend your arm straight up again. Repeat this movement slowly and with control. And remember, if you’ve completed 20-repetitions or you’ve completed 30-seconds and do not feel your tricep muscles burning, increase your weight. You want to feel your muscle working – exhaust them by the time you hit 12 – 15 repetitions, or the 30 seconds.
Tricep Kickbacks: Using a flat surface like a chair, a coffee table, or a bench, place your left leg on it. Your right leg will remain straight on the floor. Hold the weight in your right hand and place your left hand on the bench in-front of your left knee. Keep your shoulders relaxed to reduce any strain on your neck. Holding the weight in your hand, extend your arm straight down, palm facing you, while keep the weight close to your body bend your elbow to raise your weight until it reaches your ribs (arm forms a 90° angle), now bring the weight down again until your arm is straight. Focus on keeping your elbow against your body as you move your arm.
There are two options for kickbacks. You can either repeat the above movement, or while keeping your elbow bent and now repeat the movement by extending your arm straight out to the back (IMAGE ABOVE). Repeat either one these two movements until you can no longer maintain proper form, because your tricep muscle is burning, or continue the kickbacks for 30-seconds. Again, if you do not feel your muscles working increase your weight.
Continue with these three exercises 2 – 3-times a week. Now, provided you are eating healthy balanced meals and including other whole body exercises that help burn fat you, will begin to see results. It’s no secret what you put into your body, how you take care of it, will show up on the outside of your body and inside your mind – your thoughts and self-esteem.
Remember we all have different bodies and the important point is the ensure you are making an effort to take care of yourself. It’s a positive lifestyle, not a temporary fix that you can just quit and think results will remain. ©