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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Triceps Exercise

(Remember: I'm not a doctor, so all standard disclaimers apply. Proceed at your own risk!)

Many people start working out for one reason: They want bigger, more muscular arms. (Yes, even women. Muscles don't have to be huge to have a nice shape.) But they tend to focus on the biceps, when the triceps (the muscles on the back of the arms) are the ones that contribute most to your arms' appearance... and strength. When you push something away from you, it's your triceps that do most of the work.

This video shows two common triceps exercises.

The first one - most often referred to as "dips" - are used even by bodybuilders, who usually use a special stand that allows them to hold their entire bodyweight above the floor; in addition, they often hang a weight around their waist to work their triceps harder. For this home version, you can also use two chairs and lower yourself between them. Or, if you're doing them in the kitchen as she is, you could simply use the edge of the countertop the same way she is using the chair.

Note also how she changes her foot positions to change the difficulty; this concept of changing the relative height between the hands and feet is often used with other exercises, especially pushups.

The other exercise, the one using a handweight, can also be done using the self resistance technique I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. All you need to do is ball up your fist as if you were holding a weight, then use your other hand to apply downward pressure as you try to raise your fist.

These two exercises may not seem like much, but they will probably give your triceps all they can handle.

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