Today let’s discuss the triceps area of the arm and the best exercises for them. I will also touch briefly on some of the benefits of strong upper arms.
The triceps are the muscles at the back of your upper arm – from the shoulders down to the elbows. They are affectionately referred to as the ‘bye bye jiggles’. That’s because when you wave goodbye to someone you can feel this area of the arm shaking.
As a diabetic, one of the potential problems you will face is neuropathy (loss of feeling) in your extremities . . . including your fingers and toes. Triceps exercises will help to restore proper circulation to your upper arms since they target this area. They will also help to bring back feelings to hands that are numb due to poor blood flow. You can almost feel the tingling going away after each triceps exercise. You will be able to grasp objects more effectively which will prevent injuries.
There are several exercises for these muscles. I will describe the most effective ones and you can choose your favorites from these.
The first set of exercises will be the French curls. To me these are the most effective exercises for targeting the triceps. There are different variations of the french curls exercise but let’s focus on the basic ones for now.
Dumbbell French Curl
For the dumbbell french curl we will begin with light weights. (Unless you are into serious bodybuilding there is no need to use heavy weights). Grasp a dumbbell in each arm and raise them overhead as if you are about toss them at someone. Keeping elbows at shoulder width . . . lower and raise the weights. Your upper arm (triceps) should remain stationary and you should be moving only the lower portion of your arm. Do eight to ten repetitions and rest. Three sets should be sufficient for now. These exercises can be done one arm at a time or you can use both arms.
French curls using a bar
The next triceps exercise involves using a curling bar either by itself or with light enough weights to allow you to do ten repetitions. Grasp the middle portion of the bar with both hands while sitting on an exercise bench. Lie back onto the bench and hold the bar with your palms facing upwards. Keeping your elbows at shoulder width, lower the bar until it’s almost touching your forehead. Raise bar up as if giving it to someone. Repeat ten times for one set and rest. Do three sets and move onto the next exercise.
Remember to use only your forearm to raise and lower the bar. Your upper arm should remain stationary.
Variation of dumbbell French Curls
A variation of the French curl is to use a single dumbbell. While standing, grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hoist it overhead and behind your neck. Raise and lower weight for ten repetitions. Again three sets will be sufficient. These can also be done while lying with your back on an exercise bench.
The last set of exercise for this group of muscles is called the triceps kickbacks. These are done from a bent over, kneeling-on-a-bench position. They can also be done using a stable chair. Use a weight that will allow you to do ten reps. While kneeling with your left knee on an exercise bench or a chair, and grasping the weight with your right hand, raise your arm backward at the elbow as if passing the weight to someone behind you. Your elbows should be locked as close to your side as possible. Do three sets with each arm and rest.
Your triceps muscles should be pumped after doing any two to three of the above exercises.
There are many variations of triceps exercises. In fact some gyms have an entire section dedicated to this muscle group. I suggest starting with those described above and progressing from there. Go slow at first and be sure to use proper form throughout all the movements. In a short time you will begin to notice a difference in the way your arms look and feel. Be consistence.
To a healthier you,