Happy December!!!! A sure way to feel party ready this holiday season is to get those arms ready for any sleeve style, even a fitted long sleeve looks better with shapely triceps. The "tricep-dip" or "reverse push-up" is easy to do at home and requires no equipment. This is a foundation exercise in Barre and can be really effective if done consistently and with the correct form.
To set up:
Take a seated position on the floor. Bend your knees and keep feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms right below shoulders. Your fingertips will be facing your toes. Make sure to keep your wrists turned forwards toward your feet and slightly outwards. Do not let your fingers face behind you. If your wrists are backwards, you're going to be putting too much pressure on the wrist joints and will not be able to control the movement in your arms. To get into the proper alignment, you need to make sure that your shoulders are directly above your wrists. If you allow your shoulders to come forward of the wrists, you will loose the work in the back of the arm.
Once your arms and wrists are in the right alignment. Lift your hips off the floor. Pull your abs in, and the lift your hips a bit higher. Then shift your weight back. Imagine you are trying to get your ribs in between your forearms. The more you can shift your weight towards your fingers, the more challenging and effective this will be.
Now you are ready to start to move! Start to bend your elbows directly behind you. Really important, do not let your elbows rotate out to the side... at all. Make sure your elbows are bending directly behind you. Do not move your hips. Your hips stay still. You want all the work happening in the back of the arms. Start to bend and stretch behind the elbows. Start with 15 repetitions. Bend and stretch. Try not to fully extend behind the elbows. You don't want to hyper-extend the arms.
Be mindful to not let your hips drop towards the floor or travel away from your fingertips. Stay in your challenge zone. Hips stay high and ribs stay as close to your forearms as you can.
Once you have completed your 15 reps, bend your elbows deeply. And start to pulse. 10-15 pulses, staying deep in that muscle (do not straighten those arms). You can repeat this sequence 2-3 more times. If you want even more challenge. Try lifting one leg straight into the air. Bend your right knee, draw it in towards your chest, and then straighten it. Try to get the ankle directly above the hip. Continue your arm repetitions and then switch to your left leg half-way through.
Lengthen the muscles you just strengthened. Sit cross legged on the floor. Sit tall, long neck and a long spine. Lift your right arm up and behind you until your right palm is touching your right shoulder blade. To deepen the stretch, with your left hand gently guide your elbow in towards your self and back. Then switch sides.
Party arms ready to shine this holiday season!
If you have any questions about this exercise or any others, please feel free to send me a note!