ScienceHealth & Medicine

Work for the triceps, ease for the joints

Many exercises can firm up the triceps, the muscles in the backs of your upper arms, but this move is a personal favorite. When you do it, you feel the work in the muscles without feeling any stress in the shoulder or elbow joints. If you are new to weight training, begin with a pair of 2- to 3-pound dumbbells, but as you get stronger, increase the weight to a 5- to 8-pound pair.

1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Straighten both arms while holding the dumbbells together above your upper chest.

2. Keeping your elbows directly above your shoulders and the weights pressed together, slowly bend your arms. Pause with the dumbbells just above your forehead. On an exhale, straighten your arms by contracting the muscles in the backs of your upper arms. Pause at the top of the lift. Throughout the exercise, do not allow your elbows to flare out to the sides. Concentrate on keeping your elbows parallel to each other as you bend and straighten them. Do 8 to 12 reps, rest for 20 seconds and repeat up to three sets.


Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

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