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Best Exercises to Firm the Upper ArmsBest Exercises to Firm the Upper Arms


Best Exercises to Firm the Upper Arms

Like many exercises on this list, tricep dips require no special equipment.

Unlike their counterparts (biceps), the triceps are frequently underutilized in daily activities and weaken without special attention.

The triceps muscle has three heads, or portions, originating at the shoulder blade, upper arm bone, and elbow. The triceps come into play when extending the forearm, such as when using a hammer.

The American Council on Exercise has sponsored research to determine which exercises are the most effective for toning and strengthening the triceps. The eight most effective triceps exercises include:

  1. Triangle Push-ups
  2. Triceps Kickbacks
  3. Tricep dips
  4. Overhead Triceps Extensions
  5. Rope Pushdowns
  6. Bar Pushdowns
  7. Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions
  8. Closed-grip Bench Press

Researchers concluded that the top three exercises on the list are sufficient for quickly toning and strengthening the back of the upper arm. All three of these exercises can be performed without special equipment. Triangle push-ups and tricep dips use your body weight to strengthen the muscles. Triceps kickbacks can be done with dumbbells or weighted household items such as water jugs or canned goods.

Perform strength-training exercises that target triceps muscles at least twice per week. Rotate through two or three different exercises at each session with two sets of 8-12 repetitions per exercise. For variety, you can increase the weight and decrease the reps down to six or decrease your weight and increase reps up to 15. The variety of exercises and intensity will help fully train the different portions of the muscle.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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