Build a Better Body: Better Arms

STEP 2: Better Arms - focusing on exercises designed to give you great, toned arms.

The triceps area, the back of your upper arms, is a favorite destination for fat. But with a little effort, it can be trimmer, stronger, and more toned in no time. Here are two of my favorite exercises to target that stubborn flab. Perform two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of each move, resting a minute between sets. Start with a 3-pound dumbbell; you can increase the weight if that is too easy. Do two or three sessions a week but not on consecutive days.

Overhead Triceps Extension on a Ball

Grasp the ends of a dumbbell with both hands and sit on an inflated exercise ball (the edge of a chair will work if no ball is available). Keep your abs tight so you don't arch your back. Lift the weight over your head, positioning your elbows near your ears.

Triceps Push-Up

Kneel on the floor and walk your hands out until your body forms a straight line from your head to your knees. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your abs pulled in.

To continue to tone and create great arms, add these two exercises into your routine:

Do two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise (switch arms if necessary). Move slowly: 3 seconds to lift, 1-second pause, 3 seconds to lower. If you can't do 8 repetitions, the weight is too heavy; when you can easily do 12 repetitions, the weight is too light. Allow 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets. Do two or three sessions per week, with 1 day of rest in between.

Crossover Extension

Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, raise your arm straight up. Place your left hand on your right triceps for balance; it will also help you feel the muscle working.

Straight-Arm Kickback

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees and hips slightly bent, and abdominals contracted. Hold a dumbbell in each hand next to your thighs, palms facing in. Or use a chair for support, and work one arm at a time.

With Step 2: Better Arms going and your better arms in the works it is time to move onto Step 3 (Better Legs!)

AND REMEMBER: There are very few unrealistic goals; only goals with unrealistic deadlines. So keep laying those bricks, every day, one at a time, and do not become discouraged (and remember, all major construction project have some set backs, you need to work through them and push on!) Eventually, you will build yourself a palace.

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