Triceps are the most common obsession for my over-40 clients. Not so lovingly referred to as bat wings, that underside of the upper arm that wiggles and jiggles can really cause us women grief. The best way to improve the overall appearance of that area? Weight training. (No surprise there.)

All you need is a bench or chair, some light- to medium-heavy weights, and about 15 minutes per day, two to three days per week. For best results, do three sets of 10 to 15 reps three times per week, depending on your fitness level.


Tricep Dips

The trick to this is to remember that the farther your legs are extended, the more difficult the exercise is.

Position yourself on the edge of a bench or chair with your hands holding onto the edge of the bench. Ankles can be under knees for beginners; for a more advanced exercise, extend your legs. Bending your elbows, slowly lower your body toward the ground, keeping your back as close to the edge of the bench as possible. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

TRICEPS overhead extension

Overhead Extension

Keep your arms close to your head, as though you are hugging your ears with your elbows.

Holding a single dumbbell in both hands, extend your arms straight overhead. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and then slowly press the dumbbell back up, squeezing the triceps as you press.

TRICEPS kick backs

Tricep Kick Backs

Make sure to keep your elbows high and don’t swing your arms. Concentrate on keeping movement in the triceps.

Place left knee and left palm on a bench and lower your body to a parallel position, with your right foot on the ground. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, bend your arm to a 90-degree angle, forearm facing your body. Extend your forearm back and pause to squeeze for a moment before returning to the starting position. Do one set and repeat on the other side.

TRICEPS skull crushers

Skull Crushers

You can perform this move either on the ground or on a bench using either a barbell or dumbbells.

Lie flat on your back with a weight in each hand (or both hands holding a barbell). Extend arms above your face with palms facing up. Slowly bend your elbows and lower the weights behind your head, bringing them to the bench or floor. Pause and extend to starting position.

TRICEPS push-ups

Tricep Push-ups

The difference between tricep push-ups and push-ups that target chest muscles is the placement of the elbows. Tricep push-ups are great for shoulders, core, and back, too.

Get into a plank position either on your knees or toes. Place your hands right under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor. Keeping your core engaged, bend arms and slowly lower your chest to the floor. Press into your hands and return to the starting position. The entire time, keep elbows hugging into the midline, instead of letting them flare out to the sides.

You can even do inclined tricep pushups if you feel like changing things up. 


Want even more tricep exercises to try? Check out this quick 5-minute barre workout that targets your triceps. 




Photos: Patricia Pena

5 triceps exercises for women over 50



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