How Can Women Get Toned Triceps?
This article is in direction response to one of the podcast listeners from the Mass and Shred Podcast that I do with Tracy (www.twoodardfitness.com). This listener has a very specific question about triceps, so I wanted to address it in a post since this is a question that I hear a lot.
“Hey guys, thanks so much for the podcasts! I love that you are giving tips. I have a question for you, I have “batwings” and I have been doing some tricep stuff to help but it seems like they are not going away. Are there other things that I can do to help rid myself of this plague? Thanks so much.”
First off, thank you for listening because it means a lot to us. Now, on to the question at hand. To make things simple, you can spot add, but you cannot spot reduce meaning that you can target when to add lean muscle mass to by selecting the exercises that target specific muscles in a specific angle at a specific weight and number of reps, but you cannot do a cardio exercise that will eliminate fat from a specific body part. Unfortunately, too many so called authorities online will tell you that this is the case, but it is simply not true. You need to burn fat from head to toe. Anything to reduce your overall body fat will help.
Also keep in mind that skin loses elasticity as you age, so we are not going to look like we did when we were 20 without some very hard work. I wanted to add in that last part to let you know that it is very possible to do for the dedicated. For loose skin, you could always try lotioning that area daily, but that will not provide massive results.
The good news from all of this is that any kind of cardio that you are doing now will help. Perhaps you may need to ramp things up a bit if your workouts are feeling stale, but any cardio (that is performed safely) is good cardio and will benefit your goals in the long run. In terms of ramping up cardio, I would introduce HITT training (High-intensity interval training). The high intensitity intervals in HIIT training make so much difference when it comes to increasing your heartrate and making the most of your workouts.
In addition to the cardio, we want to also take the time to start sculping the arms now. Once we shed the excess fat from that area in question, that new lean muscle will shine through in all its glory. You will even begin seeing changes during the process.
The majority of women are not looking to bulk up their arms. Just would like a simple tone where you see muscles that are defined, but they are not necessarily wanting to see bulging veins. When you are lifting weights to tone your arms, you want to make sure that you are indeed toning and not bulking. You want to keep weight lifting reps to 15 per set (to failure). You want to pick the correct weight to finish that 15th rep and not be able to lift it even one more time. You also want to keep your rest periods between sets to 30 – 60 seconds. We want to hit the triceps hard and fast.
Here are a few exercises that will get you those shapely triceps that most women could only dream of.
Get into a push-up position (either on your knees or up on the balls of your feet) with your hands forming a diamond, and your thumbs and forefingers touching. Lower yourself by bending your elbows straight back, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, then slowly push back up and repeat.
Get on the floor in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your body. Make sure to contract your abdomen and gluteals. Return to the start position.
Stability Ball Push-Up
Come into a plank position with your toes resting on a stability ball. Place your hands a little closer than shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms slowly until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, then press back up to straighten. This can also be done with your feet on any raised surface such as a sofa.
Sit with the heels of your hands on the edge of a sturdy chair seat. Slide your butt off the seat and support your weight with your hands. Straighten your right leg. Your left leg should be bent at about a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows back and slowly lower your butt toward the floor keeping your elbows tucked in. Your body should just clear the seat. Push back up until your arms are straight without using your feet for help. Repeat with your left leg extended. (Note: Skip this one if you are a beginner or have shoulder or back pain.)
Close-Grip Bench Press
This often overlooked exercise is one of my favorite tricep exercises. This is basically the same as a bench press, but you bring your hands closer together. Lie back on a flat bench. Using a close grip (around shoulder width), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position. As you breathe in, come down slowly until you feel the bar on your middle chest. Tip: Make sure that – as opposed to a regular bench press – you keep the elbows close to the torso at all times in order to maximize triceps involvement. After a second pause, bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out and push the bar using your triceps muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: It should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up. (Note: If you are new to this exercise, use a spotter. This exercise involves keeping the weight balanced and it takes a few sets to become accustomed to that.)
Place your left palm and knee on a bench. Hold a weight in your right hand and lift your right arm parallel to your torso. Bend your right elbow to a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten your arm, pause, then return to the start position. Do 12, then switch sides.
Dumbbell Skull Crusher / EZ Curl Bar Skull Crusher
Lie on a stability ball or a bench and extend both arms overhead with a weight in each hand. This exercise can also be done with an EZ curl bar to hit the triceps from a different angle. Bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Slowly straighten your arms, then lower them to the starting position.
Stand with knees soft, arms straight up with elbows next to ears, holding a dumbbell in your hands. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your triceps to straighten your arms, pressing the dumbbell up. Slowly lower to the start position.
You can pick 3-4 exercises to do for a 4 week cycle, then switch things up a little for another 4 week cycle. Here is an example starting routine.
|Exercise||# Sets||# Reps
|Close-Grip Bench Press||3||15|
|EZ Curl Bar Skull Crusher||3||15|