Battle the Bat Wings: Triceps Exercises for Women

Image credit: Flickr by Petechons
Bat wings, bingo wings, whatever you call them, no one wants flabby arms. And the best way to get rid of that excess fat is by toning and tightening the triceps muscles located on the backside of your arms opposite your biceps. So skip the liposuction and try these five toning moves instead.

5 Triceps Kickbacks

Since the starting position for this exercise is identical to the bent-over row, you can dry this exercise right after for an even more challenging workout. Of course, this exercise is also a great triceps toning move in and of itself. How to do triceps kickbacks: Remember: right leg on the ground, left knee and hand on a bench, lean forward so your chest is parallel to the floor, and hold a 5 to 10-pound dumbbell in your right hand. Bend your elbows back behind you so that the weights are at waist-height. To start the exercise, straighten your arm straight back and raise the weight behind you. Then bend back to your side for one rep.

4 Bent-Over Rows

Not only does this exercise work the major muscle of the triceps (triceps brachii) but also recruits muscles from the upper back (latissimus dorsi or lats as they’re commonly called). Try it with a pair or dumbbells or a single barbell. How to do bent-over rows: Stand with your right leg on the ground and the left knee and hand supported on a workout bench. Hinge forward at the hips so that your chest is parallel to the floor. Reach your right arm toward the floor and grab a 5 to 10-pound dumbbell in your hand. Start with your arm straight out from your shoulder then bend at the elbows to bring the weights up to your shoulder. Your elbow should stop near your waist. Lower back down to the start and repeat. Do the same number of reps on the other side.

3 Chair Dips

Despite the name of this exercise, you can do dips off nearly any elevated surface (ledge, steps, railing, table, workout bench, etc) or even suspend yourself off the floor in the crab position. However or wherever you choose to do this exercise, make sure you keep proper form. How to do chair dips: Sitting on a chair or bench, place your hands on each side of your hips with your fingers pointing towards the end of the chair. Scoot yourself off the chair so that your butt is over the floor and you’re only supported by your hands and feet. Bend your elbows back and lower towards the ground. Once you’re elbows are at a 90° angle, straighten your arms back to the start for one rep.

2 Diamond Push-Ups

By changing how close together or far apart your hands are in the push-up position, you’ll recruit your arm muscles differently. The closer they are, the more you’re focusing on your triceps. If you’ve never done these before, though, you may want to start with the modified version on your knees until you build strength. How to do diamond push-ups: Start in the plank/push-up position with your body weight supported by your hands and feet and your stomach facing the floor. Keep your head, neck, and legs in alignment. Unlike standard push-ups, you’ll need to bring your hands in towards each other so that they touch. Spread your thumbs and index fingers so that they form a diamond. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor and then back up. Make sure your elbows stay in line with your body and lower to your knees if the full version is too challenging.

1 Triceps Extensions

What makes this exercise so great is its convenience. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment and you can do it anywhere. Grab a water bottle, soup can, medicine ball, or any other heavy-ish object you can hold onto and knock out of few triceps extensions. You can also try it lying on a workout bench or with a cable pull. How to do triceps extensions: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a single 8 to 15-pound dumbbell in your hands. Raise the weight so that it starts behind your head and your elbows are pointing toward the ceiling. Straighten your elbows to raise the weight up straight over your head then lower back down to the start. Keep your neck in a neutral alignment throughout the range of motion and be sure you don’t raise your shoulders.

Get ready for your work out with the Top 5 Pilates Warm-ups.

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Incorporate any or all of these moves into your exercise routine two to three days a week and soon it’ll be bye-bye flab and hello seriously sculpted arms. And even if you’re focusing on your triceps, it always helps to balance out your workout by strengthening the biceps.

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