MUSCLES IT WORKS:
Triceps (Back of Upper Arms)
HOW TO DO IT
Holding one dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend forward at your hips to approximately, but no more than, 90 degrees (meaning your back is parallel to the ground). Keep your gaze on the ground slightly in front of you (this keeps a straight line from the top of your head through your hips). Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other and bend your elbows so that they are tight against your ribs. As you exhale, extend the dumbbells behind you, straightening your arms. Inhale as you bend your elbows again.
SETS & REPS
Do 3-5 sets of 10 repetitions (reps).
Do 1-3 sets at 60 seconds per set.
WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE
5- to 12-lb. dumbbells; or resistance band (red or green). Most men will start at the upper end of the dumbbell range (or a more difficult resistance band); most women will start at the lower end (less weight/resistance).
Dumbbells or resistance band (red or green)
DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
you have low back problems.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT
You should feel the muscles in the back of your upper arms working during this exercise. To maintain correct form, make sure you engage your abdominals to keep a flat back in the bent-over position. Your shoulders should also not move much throughout the movement.
HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
If you notice that your back is rounding or you feel discomfort or pain in your low back, do this exercise in a staggered stance. Stagger either your right or left foot forward about 12 to 18 inches before bending at the hips; this should release any pressure in your low back. You can also try an upright (instead of bent-over) triceps extension to modify this exercise.
HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you are able to do 2 additional repetitions per set or complete 60 seconds without getting very tired, consider adding repetitions, time, and/or sets to challenge yourself. For example, instead of doing 10 repetitions for 3 sets, do 15 repetitions for 3 sets. To increase intensity without changing sets or time, try adding weight or using a resistance band (use a red or green band) instead. To do this exercise with a resistance band, wrap the band around an upright object (such as a light pole). Stand far enough away from the pole so that the band is slightly taut. Bend your elbows so that your upper arms and forearms form a 90-degree angle at your elbows. Exhale as you straighten your arms, and inhale as you bend your arms.
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