Our bodies are constantly adapting as our hormone levels and life roles change over the years. However, one thing remains constant, and that is that we are genetically built to carry fat stores in areas that we sometimes wish we weren't - the waist, inner thighs, outside of thighs and hips, and backs of upper arms.
Try these simple arm-chiselling exercises from Chloe Dallimore, instructor and owner at Xtend Barre Eastern Suburbs, to fight the natural decrease in muscle tone and elasticity, as well as maintaining bone density.
For best effect, grab a couple of light hand weights (0.5kg - 1kg recommended) or 2 filled water bottles.
Mini bend extend
Stand in parallel with legs hip distance apart, knees softened. Open the arms to the side of the body, hands just forward of the shoulder line, palms facing the ceiling. Imagine holding platters on your hands. Slightly bend the elbows - still holding those platters steady. Extend the arms back to the start position. Repeat 8-16 repetitions.
Turn the door knob
Stand in parallel with legs hip distance apart, knees softened. Open the arms to the side of the body, hands just forward to the shoulder line, palms facing forward. Turn your palms to face the front, then the floor, then all the way to face the back of the room, without rolling in the shoulders. Make sure you rotate from inside the shoulder socket, allowing the humerus (upper arm bone) to roll inside the shoulder. The movement should come from the whole arms as opposed to from the elbow. Repeat 8-16 repetitions.
Stand in parallel with softened knees. Lift the arms to High Fifth, framing the face. Sweep the arms slightly down and open them out to a high V position, palms facing down. Sweep the arms slightly up to return them to High Fifth. Repeat 8-16 repetitions.
High V, Low V
Stand in parallel with softened knees. Lower the arms to a Low V (about 45 degree angle away from the legs). Lift the arms back up to High V. Repeat 8-16 repetitions.
Standing in parallel, bend the knees, hinge from the crease of the top of the thigh so your torso leans slightly forward so you feel like a skier down a ski-slope. Reach your right leg behind you so you are in a lunge. Place your left hand on your left hip bone and reach your right arm long behind you, palm facing the ceiling, lifting it to the challenge position (this is where you will feel the tricep muscle start to contract and activate). Pulse your arm up about 3 inches and return to the start position. Repeat 8-16 repetitions. Then try a small circle with your arm, imagining tracing the outside of a cup. Repeat 8-16 repetitions.
Repeat on the other side using with the left leg lunged back, working the left arm.
Single triceps on floor
Lie on your left side on the floor, with your left arm wrapped around your waist, and the right hand on the floor near your left shoulder. Keeping the right elbow hugging towards your torso, press into your right hand to lift yourself away from the floor. The movement may only be small as this is an intense but very effective tricep exercise! Repeat 8 repetitions.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 30 May 2019