Spotlight on Upper Arms
Conquering Gravity and Genetics!
By Diane Robert
If you have been blessed with incredible genetics, can wear sleeveless tops and strapless dresses without a second thought to your upper arms, than to the envy of many, you probably don't need to read any further (providing age is on your side).
If on the other hand, you retreat at the thought of waving triceps or sleeveless side poses, there are some positive steps you can take to firm and tone this important area of your body.
Heavy upper arms can be passed down from the genes of our mothers or grandmothers and be genetically predisposed to excess fat accumulation in this area. Often if you are overweight in general, thick upper arms are a result of those extra lingering pounds.
There is also the issue that has been dubbed by many as the "flabby arm" syndrome. This is a condition that occurs through the lack of exercise and as a natural part of the aging process. The tricep muscle loses its firmness and shapeliness causing the skin to noticeably sag.
The goods news is that the tricep muscle when developed can be anesthetically pleasing. It consists of three segments including the long, lateral and medial head.
If you are prepared to eat healthy and train right, you can firm and tone your upper arms and be proud the next time you haul out that sleeveless top from your drawer.
This is not to say that you are going to be able to "spot-reduce" as many ads and commercials will have you believe. Instead you will be able to firm and tone your arms by weight training exercises and eliminating the fat through sound nutrition and cardio workouts.
Tapping into the Fat Reserves
There are no shortcuts in the quest to lose body fat and keep it off. It takes time, perseverance, a good diet combined with a cardio regime. Many fitness experts agree that to attain optimum results, cardio should be performed four to six times per week. Approximately twenty minutes of cardio is required to begin to stimulate the release of stored fats. Gradually work your way up to forty-five minutes to one hour in order to achieve the most favourable results. Studies indicate that less intense cardio for longer durations eliminates fat reserves more efficiently. Always seek the advice of your family physician before beginning a program of exercise.
Weight Training Exercises for the Triceps
Here are some great exercises you can do at the gym to help tone and firm the tricep muscles. Include them in your regular program for a minimum of three months.
1. Seated Dumbbell Pull-Up - 3 sets, 15 - 20 reps.
2. Triceps Pull Down - 3 sets, 15 - 20 reps.
3. Tricep Kickbacks - 3 sets, 15 - 20 reps
4. Triceps Push-ups (ladies way with knees on floor - 3 sets to your LIMIT .
If you are not able to get to the gym, I recommend that you purchase a set of 2.5 to 5 pound dumbbells. You will be able to perform exercises #1, 3, and 4. Substitute Exercise #2 with triceps dips using a wooden chair or bench with your feet on the floor.
Be realistic and do not expect changes over night. Allow three to four months of regular training to attain good results.
The difference between dreaming of results and attaining them is knowing how to cross the fine line between procrastination and participation!