Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

January 25, 2004

I want to tighten up the back of my arm. I think it is the triceps and I was told to do bench dips, but while I was doing them, my wrist hurt so badly I wanted to give up. Are there any other exercises that are more comfortable and get the job done? (Jane from Seldon)

The problems with bench dips could be shoulder impingement, carpal tunnel and other related injuries to the wrist and hand. Another exercise which is effective for triceps is the lying dumbbell extension.

  • Position: Lie down on a flat bench or mat with a dumbbell in each hand. Pick a weight that complements your strength level. Extend your arms overhead so you can look up and see the weights. Your palms should face each other, knuckles to the outside.
  • Movement: Stabilize your elbows, bend your arms and slowly lower the dumbbells toward your shoulders (elbows are pointed up), pause and extend, exhaling on the up phase. Repeat for 10-12 reps and do it for 3 or 4 sets depending on time and the fatiguing process of the muscle. 3 or 4 sets should do the job.
  • Tip: Don’t let the elbows flare to the outside. Keep your elbows pointing at the12 o’clock position. Maintain the speed of 2 seconds down and 2 seconds up and mentally squeeze the muscle on the extension.

This exercise is more comfortable and should tighten up those triceps in no time!

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Sunday morning from 10:30 to 11:00 AM on WLIE 540 AM