Rope pulldowns can help tighten your triceps.
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If your triceps aren't as toned as you'd like, you're not alone. Exercise physiologist John Porcari says that triceps weakness - which can result in looser-looking underarms - is a common problem. If you carry excess fat on your arms, use an overall program of diet and exercise to trim fat from your entire body; you can't spot reduce -or reduce fat in one specific area. If your triceps are weak, target them with a variety of exercises, including using exercise machines.
Warm it Up
Exercising without warming up can lead to poor performance or injury; do five to 10 minutes of aerobic exercise as a warm-up. Jumping jacks are good warm-up activities because they also stretch your arms dynamically. Perform eight to 12 repetitions of each triceps exercise. Use enough weight to make your final reps difficult. Reduce the weight if you can't do eight reps with the proper form.
Do Triceps Extensions
According to a 2011 study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the overhead triceps extension is the most effective triceps exercise using a machine. Sit on the machine's seat and grasp the handles behind your head with your palms facing up. Press the handles upward as far as possible and then lower the handles under control to the starting position. You can do a variety of triceps extensions from different positions with a cable machine. Do forward extensions by turning your back to a high cable and extending your arms forward. Perform lying extensions by lying face up on a bench and pulling a low cable upward.
Kick it Back
The ACE triceps study named the dumbbell kickback as the second most effective triceps exercise. Do a machine version of the kickback by attaching a handle to a low cable. Face the machine and grasp the handle with your right palm facing the floor. Step back and then bend forward from the waist so your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. Hold the cable taut with your upper right arm next to your torso (also parallel to the floor) and your elbow flexed at a 90-degree angle so that your hand is just in front of your thigh. Extend your elbow to pull the cable back as far as possible. Keep your upper arm as still as you can and your elbow next to your side. Return under control to the starting position. Perform the exercise with both arms.
Include Triceps Dips
The body-weight dip is the third best triceps exercise, according to the ACE study. Replicate the exercise using a cable dip machine. Attach a low cable to a dip belt around your waist. Grasp shoulder-width dip bars with your palms facing your body and lift yourself by straightening your arms. This is the starting position. Bend your arms to lower your body slowly until your upper arms are roughly parallel to the floor and then extend your arms as you ascend to the starting position.
Push it Down
Triceps pushdowns also make the ACE study's list of the top eight triceps exercises. For the best results, attach a rope handle to a high cable. Face the machine and hold the rope with your elbows at your sides, your hands in front of your chest and your palms facing each other. Pull your hands down and to each side until your arms are extended; stop short of locking your elbows. Return slowly to the starting position. Using a straight bar instead of a rope is a bit less effective.