Targeted exercises can firm up your arms.
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Whether you blame hormones, weight gain or loss of muscle tissue, gravity can take a toll on your body once you hit 40. Skin gradually loses its elasticity, and your once-toned arms might now appear soft and saggy. A healthy diet, cardio and strength training can all promote weight loss. Additionally, targeted exercise can stimulate muscle tissue and firm up your arms, so you'll have well-defined arms to show off when your body fat reduces.
Toning Arm Motions
Toning arm motions work both your biceps and triceps. Although your biceps at the front of your upper arm engage during daily activities, such as carrying grocery bags and opening the refrigerator door, working them in addition to your triceps helps maintain an even muscle balance. To do toning arm motions, stand with your arms extended out to your sides, parallel to the floor. Make fists with your hands, and turn your wrists down. Then open your hands, turning your wrists up, and raise your arms up so your arms are extended up next to your ears. Repeat this combination 10 times.
Dips for Your Triceps
Dips work the triceps at the back of your upper arms, right where that sagging tends to occur. According to research findings by the American Council on Exercise, dips are one of the most effective triceps exercises. They're done while sitting on a bench or chair. After curling your fingers around the front edge of the seat, walk your feet forward until your butt is in front of the seat. Bend your elbows back, and lower your body to the floor. When your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, push yourself back to the starting point. Do at least two sets of eight to 12 reps.
Triceps Extension Exercises
Triceps extension exercises work the back of your upper arms. They can be done with a dumbbell or with a high-pulley cable with a bar attachment. To use a dumbbell, grasps the ends with both hands and extend your arms overhead next to your ears. Bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbell back without moving your upper arms. Feel the stretch in the back of your upper arms, and then extend your elbows to contract your triceps. When using a high-pulley cable, grasp the bar with an overhand grip, and then lower it until your elbows are tucked into your sides. Push the bar down toward your thighs, extending your elbows and squeezing your triceps. Release the tension by bending your elbows and returning to the starting point. Do each exercise eight to 12 times, and finish two to three sets.
Close-Grip Pushup Exercise
Close-grip pushups, also referred to as triangle pushups, target your triceps. According to ACE-sponsored research, this is the most effective triceps exercise you can do. The exercise is started in a plank position with your body aligned from your head to your toes. Place your hands close together so your thumbs and index fingers can form a triangle on the floor. As you lower down, keep your elbows tucked into your sides to really engage your triceps. Push yourself up when your chest is about 1 inch above the floor. Do the exercise on your knees to make it easier. Aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 reps.