Body basic: Advanced triceps exercise

Author: Canadian Living


Body basic: Advanced triceps exercise

The tricep muscle extends from the elbow to the underarm and is, for the majority of women, the weakest muscle in the upper body; it's also an area that many women consider one of their least attractive. Why? Weak triceps could mean you have jiggly arms. If you find yourself too embarrassed to wear sleeveless tops, start exercising. For a basic triceps exercise, try the Body basic: Triceps exercise. If you already exercise and are looking for more challenge, try this advanced triceps exercise, ideal for fit individuals looking for extra challenge – for runners, walkers, skiers and all racquet-sports enthusiasts as well as for those wishing to improve their posture or overall upper body strength and endurance.

Advanced triceps exercise
Perform the advanced triceps dip on an exercise ball, also known as a stability ball; the ball provides greater challenge not only for triceps, but also for the muscles surrounding the shoulder and middle back. Even your abdominal muscles will get a workout, as they help to keep you stable and upright throughout the action of performing the dip.

1. Begin the same way you would on a chair or bench: Sit tall near the edge of the ball with your hands positioned beside your hips on the upper sides of the ball; keep your fingers spread with your thumbs forward. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and your shinbone in a vertical line.

2. Push into the ball with the heel of your hands and slip your hips forward just in front of the ball. Using your arms, slowly lower your hips toward the floor, keeping your elbows pointing straight behind you, until the backs of your arms are as parallel to the floor as possible; pause for two or three seconds.

3. Push into the ball and use your arms to return to the starting position. At first you'll likely need to sit briefly on the ball before repeating the exercise; eventually, you'll be able to repeat the exercise without having to rest between repetitions. Begin with the goal of completing eight to 10 repetitions; gradually increase the number you complete. Do this exercise every other time you exercise your upper body (about one or two times per week).

Note: If you're unsure of your ability to use the ball, place it against a wall while you perform the exercise, to give you more stability.

Tips for buying a ball:
Look for burst-resistant stability balls, which start at about $35 and are available at sports equipment stores across Canada. Stability balls come in several sizes: 55 cm balls generally fit people between 5'1" and 5'7"; the 65 cm ball generally fits people between 5'7" and 6'2" and the 75 cm fits people taller than 6'2". To double check if the ball is the right size for you, sit on it; your knees should be even with or slightly higher than your hips. Use a firm ball to get the correct sizing; don't deflate the ball to fit it to size. Once you begin the exercises, if you're not used to using a ball or are somewhat out of shape, deflate it slightly until you feel comfortable with the exercise. The more inflated the ball is, the more challenging the exercise will be.

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Body basic: Advanced triceps exercise