Exercises target biceps, triceps

Here are some exercises to tone and firm up your upper arms.

• Bent-knee push-ups: Kneel on floor, place hands on floor in front of you about shoulder width apart, arms straight and back flat. (You'll be in a slanted position.) Bend elbows and lower upper body, almost touching floor, if possible. Push back up to starting position and repeat.

• Biceps curl: With one weight in each hand, sit on the edge of a stable chair or bench, arms at your sides. Bend arms at the elbows so the weights come up to shoulders. Lower arms to starting position. Trainer Dina Gilbert says you can do one arm at a time, but two at a time is more challenging and forces you to also use your abdominals. “Just don't rock your body, swing the weights up or bend your back to lift the weight,” Gilbert says. If you're doing any of that, the weights might be too heavy. Lift at a slow, steady pace.

• Triceps kickback: Kneeling on a bench with one leg, bend opposite arm at the elbow, holding one weight close to the armpit. Push the weight back until the arm is extended behind you, keeping it close to the body. Return to starting position. Complete the set, switch sides and repeat.

• Biceps hammer: Sit or stand with back straight, feet about hip width apart, arms at sides holding one weight in each hand, gripping with thumbs on top. Bend at the elbow and move one arm up across your body, to mid-chest level. Lower arm to starting position. Repeat with other arm.

• Dips: Sit on a stair or bench (even a curb), feet on the floor in front of you about hip width apart. Place hands at your sides and push up to lift yourself off the seat until both arms are straight. Then lower your body, dipping down slightly in front of the bench, bending at the elbows. Push back up but don't sit, then lower yourself again. “It's a small range of motion,” Gilbert says. “Don't dip down too far.”

• Behind-the-head triceps extension: Using both hands, hold a weight and extend arms straight up, over the head. Bend the elbows and lower the weight behind the head until the arms are at a 90-degree angle, then push the weight up again. Be careful not to hit your head!

• Shoulder press: Hold one weight in each hand and stand with arms raised at a 90-degree angle, the “goal-post” position. Push straight up, fully extending arms over your head. Return to starting position. Keep back straight and abdominals tight.

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