Here's a triple set of exercises for those flabby triceps

Fitness Q&A

Health & Fitness

December 10, 2004|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

I want to tighten up the flab on the back of my arms. What are the best exercises for firming up that area of the upper arm?

To strengthen the triceps, try the exercises below. Using a variety of exercises -- three instead of one -- will give this area a more complete workout. For each exercise, do three sets of 15 repetitions.

* Triceps press: Choose a weight that challenges you (8 or 10 pounds may be a good starting weight) but is light enough that you can complete each 15-set rep comfortably without taking a break. Grasp the dumbbell behind your head with both hands, elbows bent. Slowly straighten your arms until the weight is over your head, then lower.

* Triceps extension: Lean forward, supporting your left arm on your left knee or on a bench. Hold the weight in your right hand, with your elbow behind your shoulder, dumbbell toward the floor. Extend your forearm behind you, then return to 90 degrees. Repeat on opposite side.

* Triceps pushdown: Use the cable pulley machine at the gym. With elbows locked at your sides and palms facing down, push the bar downward, fully extending your arms. Keep the motion controlled as you return the weight to its starting position.

I recently moved to Baltimore. Where is a good place to take our daughter ice skating this winter?

For great skating, here are a few hot rinks around town:

* Baltimore Ice Rink at Harbor Point, 900-1099 S. Caroline St. 410-752-8632; www.promotionandarts.com.

* Mount Pleasant Ice Arena, 6101 Hillen Road. 410-444-1888; www.nvo.com / nice ice / door.

* Northwest Ice Rink, 5731 Cottonworth Ave. 410-433-2307; www.marylandice skating.com / rinks_northwest.htm.

Now you just have to find a way to stay on your feet!

I want to try a customized online fitness program, but the sites I've found (like weightwatchers.com and cyberdiet.com) focus more on diet than exercise. Can you recommend an online program that is more targeted to fitness?

If you surf the net for your fitness plan (not always the best choice, although it has worked wonders for some), here's a sampling of sites that offer personalized fitness and diet programs.

* Ediets.com

* Fitnessonline.com (iShape is their pay service)

* Nutricise.com

* Myexerciseplan.com

* Workout.com

These sites run from about $5 to $30 per month for a customized diet and exercise plan (some also charge a one-time initiation fee). Not only will they lay out a schedule for you, but most will also track and rate your progress, allow you to create menus and checklists and offer e-mail correspondence with certified trainers and nutritionists.

Please recommend some sporty gifts for the Christmas season. I'm at a loss.

Depending on whose stocking you're stuffing, here are a few popular suggestions:

Under the tree:

* Gift certificate for sports lessons.

* Boxing gloves and a punching bag.

* In-line skates.

* Ravens jersey.

* Swedish exercise ball.

Stocking stuffers:

* Oriole tickets.

* Small free weights.

* Pedometer.

* Golf balls.

Do you have a fitness question? You can submit questions via e-mail to fitness@baltsun.com, or online at baltimoresun.com / healthscience, or in writing to The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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