Bridge to Wellness

November: Strengthen and tighten those triceps muscles

by Gary Hicks

Last month, we addressed biceps strength in the monthly challenge. This month we take measures to tighten and strengthen another area of the arm—the triceps—to avoid those dreaded bat wings that hang low under the arms.

While many get concerned about their triceps because they want their arms to look sleek and lean, there is a more important reason to work these muscles: The triceps muscle makes it possible to extend the elbow. You might think exercising the triceps area is a difficult challenge when you don’t have special equipment available. For that reason, we will look at a simple exercise that can strengthen and tighten the triceps area without expensive equipment.

Begin by facing a wall and standing about 3 feet away from the wall. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart to maintain balance.

Extend your arms and place both hands on the wall at around eye level. While keeping the hands firmly on the wall, slowly lean forward by bending at the elbows until your elbows touch the wall. At this time, your weight should be supported by your elbows. Squeeze the abs, for core stability, and push to straighten the arms back to the starting position, keeping the hands firmly on the wall.

As the exercise becomes easier, move your feet farther from the wall, increasing the body weight that you use against the wall. Still too easy? Try this exercise on the floor, instead of against a wall, from the pushup position and really see the strength gains.

Monthly Fitness Challenge for November

This month’s fitness challenge is to perform five sets of 10 triceps pushups on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the month of November. Use a piece of tape to mark where your feet are positioned and move the tape back each week to increase the degree of difficulty and make strength gains. Then, share your experiences with other readers. Here’s the Facebook link:


Upcoming SAWC or wellness-related community events

  • Nov. 1 – Nov. 29: Adopt-a-Family/Holiday Food Basket program enrollment. In person, by appointment. Please call community outreach at 517-851-7285 to schedule. Applicants will be asked for proof of residency and income. A completed application enrolls a family in both Thanksgiving and Christmas Programs, if desired. See story in the November issue of SCN.
    • Last day to apply for Thanksgiving assistance is Nov. 15.
    • Deadline for donating to the Thanksgiving food basket program: Nov. 19
    • Date for packing Thanksgiving food baskets: Nov. 19
    • Thanksgiving food basket distribution: Nov. 22, 1pm – 3 pm
    • Last day to apply for Christmas-only assistance: Nov. 29
  • Saturday, Nov. 6, 10am – noon, and Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5pm-7pm: Gregory Community Church Clothes Closet. Public can select free clothing from donations. 126 Church St., Gregory.
  • Monday, Nov. 8, 4pm – 5pm: Outreach’s Fresh Food Distribution for anyone who needs food—no registration required, just show up—at Jeruel Baptist Church’s parking lot, 4-5pm. Curbside pick up.
  • Nov. 15 through Nov. 30: Silent Auction Fundraiser at the Stockbridge Library during open hours.
  • Thursday, Nov. 25, 11am – 1pm (Thanksgiving Day): Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner—take out or delivery only. Heritage School.
  • Saturday, Nov. 27: Panther Cub PTO Vendor Fair at Stockbridge Jr/Sr High School, 416 North Clinton.

This column is sponsored by the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition. Remember, if you have health challenges that could hamper your ability to exercise, check with your doctor before taking on a new exercise regimen. Gary A. Hicks, a recently retired police sergeant with a passion for fitness, writes the fitness portion. He has over 35 years of experience in teaching, coaching, martial arts instruction, and police academy instruction

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