Since we're always hunting for new ways to tighten and tone our arms, we reached out to Kellie Sikorski, a trainer at Barry's Boot Camp Miami, for a few tricep exercises for women. Why triceps specifically? Because although triceps are a "small muscle group located on the back side of the arm," Sikorski says it is a great area to tighten and tone, as it is "very hard to gain bulk there." In fact, she says the more you work this muscle group, "the tighter and leaner" your arms will appear.
She compiled a tricep-toning workout, complete with compound exercises and isolated reps. Of course, the effects will vary from person to person, but Sikorski notes that if you perform these exercises three to four times a week, incorporating them into your full-body workout routine, you should start to see results in just two to three weeks. For the four exercises Sikorski swears by for stronger, leaner triceps in just under a month, keep on reading.
1. Tricep Push-ups
Start in standard push-up position on a yoga mat, like Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat ($65), with your hands together in a diamond shape. If this proves too challenging, Sikorski says to place your hands farther apart or by your side with our "elbows tucked close to the rib cage." Push up on an incline for a full-body workout, "keeping abs, glutes, and quads tight," says Sikorski. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
2. Tricep Dip
Engage your whole body while also working your triceps with this multi-joint compound exercise. Sikorski says to start "with hands on the edge of a chair, body facing away from [the] chair." You can either bend or extend your legs, although Sikorski says extending your legs is more challenging. Once in position, lower your body "to the point at which [your] upper arms are parallel to the ground." Then, push your elbows straight back while keeping your shoulders relaxed, and "come back up to full extension of the arms," she says. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
3. Overhead Tricep Extension
This tricep and core workout starts by "standing tall with glutes, quads, and abs engaged," says Sikorski. When ready, extend one or two dumbbells like Marcy's Dumbbell Set ($30) overhead. Next, Sikorski says to "bend at the elbow, trying to get the weights to touch the back of your shoulders while keeping the elbows and biceps close to the head." If you find yourself overarching your back, she says to take a split stance with your feet. Keep extending and repeating around 12 to 15 times.
4. Tricep Kickbacks in Split-Stance Position
This isolated tricep exercise begins in a lunge position with "both feet facing forward and your back heel elevated to challenge stability," says Sikorski. Once set, hinge forward and place your non-weighted arm on your quadriceps. Then add movement, which Sikorski says comes from the arm holding the dumbbell. Start at a 90° angle, and extend your arm back, "flexing the muscle at the end of the movement, one end of the dumbbell pointing to the ground," she explains. Repeat 12 to 15 times per arm.