Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tighten + Tone Tuesday

Happy Tighten + Tone Tuesday! This week's exercise is the Triceps Kickback WHY do we love this one? It's one of the top three triceps exercises.  The triceps are the muscles at the back of your arm (you know, the part of your arm that if it isn't toned keeps swinging after you wave).  The last two Tuesdays we taught you the other two triceps exercises in the "Top 3:" the triangle push-up and chair dips.  All of these activate over 85% of the triceps.   Unlike the first two exercises, this one requires equipment.  You'll need to grab a dumbbell with a weight that is heavy enough so you can only do between 10-15 repetitions of the exercise before needing a rest.  

How do you do the Tricep Kickback properly? We're glad you asked! Hold your dumbbell in one hand (for clarity, we'll say the left hand) and stand in a split stance (one leg in front of the other) or rest the leg on the side of your body that is not holding the weight (right leg for us) on a bench.  Next, stiffen your upper body by contracting your abs and then lean forward so your upper body is about parallel to the ground.  Most of your weight should be shifted to your right side (or the side opposite the dumbbell).  You're almost ready now! Last step before working your triceps is to pull your left shoulder back and down and make sure your head is in line with your spine. Make sure your left arm is parallel to the floor and as close to your body as possible. Now, bend at your elbow to lower the weight so it's vertical to the floor. Breathe out and extend your elbow back to the starting position (parallel to the floor). Repeat 10-15 times.    

Here's a visual for the exercise:
Triceps Kickback Visual: Starting Position Photo Source
Don't forget to also try the other triceps exercises we taught you.  Unlike The Overhead Triceps Extention, Rope Pushdown, Bar Pushdowns, Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions and Closed-Grip Bench Press which were found to activate 62-76% of the triceps on average, the Triangle Push-Up, Chair Dip, and Triceps Kickback activate at least 85% of the muscle.

Did you try this exercise? What did you think? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below: