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Toning Up with Angles and Reps: Saggy Arm/Triceps Edition

March 29th, 2012 No Comments

Because of my workout routine that involves spinning, weights, and yoga, my triceps get a lot of attention. That being said, most of those workouts only tone two of the three parts of the muscle. I’m sure you’ve noticed the inside of your upper arm is hard to target and therefore stays soft and flabby.  I’m not saying I have the answer for that, but Cederick’s exercises below will help.  They provide the definition for your triceps (the back side of your upper arm).

Remember, the name of this game is light weight, lots of reps, and multiple angles to get you in the toning zone!  Also, you’ll see with the exception of the pulls, you can do most of these exercises at home or at the park with free weights.

(Please excuse the numerous pictures.  My computer AND wordpress are both not cooperating today so I’m having to use Flickr to source my photos.)



Instead of just grabbing a handle and knocking out 3 sets of 15, we are going to utilize three handles to work each head.  The set up and movement is the same with only grip exceptions.

GRIPS: For the rope you will grab the top and pay special attention to your wrists – KEEP them straight at all times.  For the bar, as you will see below, you need to grab it from underneath.  The metal triangle you grab on top.

Angles and Reps: Triceps

Pull Downs: 20 Reps

Angles and Reps: Triceps

  • Attach the rope handle and add two or three plates of weight.
  • Back away from the stand and stand with your feet hips’ distance a part with the weight in your feet distributed equally.
  • Tuck your tailbone and engage your core.
  • Keeping your wrists straight , pull down and exhale.
  • Allow the handle to rise slowly. Stop when your arms are parallel to the ground.
  • Do 20 reps with one handle and then turn around to move on to this movement.

Pull Overs: 20 Reps

Angles and Reps: Triceps

  1. Lighten the weight by one plate and turn around.
  2. Step one leg forward and set your body at a diagonal.
  3. With the rope in your hands, reach your hands over your head so they are over your shoulders.
  4. Press the rope forward, keeping your wrists straight at all times.
  5. Do 20 reps.
Repeat for each handle. Don’t do them all in a row, spread out each set of 40 with one handle throughout your workout.

Tricep Kick Backs

Again the difference in the left and right side are the positioning of your hands.

Angles and Reps: Triceps
 **Click to make photo bigger.**

The left side is a kickback with your palm facing inward to start; on the right side you’ll see your palm is facing forward.

  1. Grab a moderately heavy weight.  I use 10 pounds.
  2. Place same hand and knee on a bench and position your body to create a square.  You need to really pull in your core in order to support a flat back.
  3. Start with your elbow cocked up and your palm facing inward (see top left photo).
  4. Without moving your elbow, extend your hand backwards until your arm is parallel to the floor (bottom left photo).
  5. Slowly return to your starting position.
  6. Do 20 reps.
  7. Switch sides.
  8. Return to your starting side and start with your hand facing forward (see the top right photo).
  9. You might need to lighten your weight for this version.
  10. Kick back your arm just as you did in the first movement.
  11. Do 20 reps each side.

Tricep Dips

Angles and Reps: Triceps

This should be the easiest of the exercises so don’t push yourself too hard here.

  1. Sitting on a beach, squeeze your hands next to your butt on the beach.
  2. Push up and move your self up and off the bench keeping yourself as close as you can to it.
  3. Adjust your feet in front of you.  The more bend in your knees the easier it is. (Above: easiest on the left, hardest on the right.)
  4. Lower down slowly and push up. Keep your butt close to the bench!
  5. 20 reps.

If you want to get crazy, you can lift one foot off the ground.

Skull Crushers

Angles and Reps: Triceps


By now my triceps are dying so you might need a little bit lighter weight than you are used to. I load 25 pounds on the bar. You can use the bar without weights, a weighted and padded bar (they go up to 18lbs), or even free weights.  If you use free weights you can do two sets of this changing the positioning of your hands like you did in the kickbacks.

  1. Load a bar weight weight.
  2. Lay on a bench and engage your core (I put my feet on the bench to support my back).
  3. Position your hands on the bar so they are directly above your shoulders. (In other words, not wide.)
  4. Bend your elbows and lower the bar towards your forehead.
  5. Repeat 20 times.

If you want to go crazy, do press ups quickly at the end, keeping your elbows in tight and pushing the bar up and lowering it down to your chest.

If you can believe it I go on to do weighted dips, but I think this is a well rounded workout right here. It should take you 20-25 minutes total if you throw in some crunches in between. Even if you combo it with another workout, try to do as many of these in order until your arms burn, then switch to another muscle group to give your triceps a rest.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. For more muscles groups using the “Toning with Angles and Reps” method, click here.

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