What are Bingo Wings? Well Urban Dictionary has a great definition: “Loose musculature and skin on the back of the upper arms, especially apparent in older women raising their arms for some reason, such as to shout “bingo!””
As I try to get this 52-year old body toned and into shape, one of the hardest areas to target and firm up are the triceps. This is the skin/muscle on the back of the upper arm which wants to continue to wave “bye-bye” long after the company has rounded the bend.
Here are a few great and fairly easy exercises you can do at home or at the gym. The illustrations are courtesy of ‘REAL SIMPLE’ Magazine.
1. One-arm press: Lie on your left side with legs stacked, knees slightly bent. Place your left arm on your right shoulder. Press your right palm into the floor to lift your torso, extending your right arm until it’s straight. Do 12 repetitions, then switch sides.
2. Stability Ball Push-up: Come into a plank position, with your toes resting on a stability ball. Place your hands a little closer than shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms slowly until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, then press back up to straighten. Do 12 repetitions.
3. Dumbbell Tricep extensions: Lie on a stability ball or a bench and extend both arms overhead, a weight in each hand. Bend your elbows so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Slowly straighten your arms, then lower them to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.
4. Overhead extensions: Stand with knees soft, arms straight up with elbows next to ears, holding a dumbbell in your hands. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your triceps to straighten your arms, pressing the dumbbell up. Slowly lower to the start position. Complete 12 reps.
5. One arm kick backs: Place your left palm and knee on a bench. Hold a weight in your right hand and lift your right arm parallel to your torso. Bend your right elbow to a 90-degree angle. Slowly straighten your arm, pause, then return to the start position. Do 12, then switch sides.
6. Close-grip push ups: Get on the floor in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders (you may choose to leave your knees bent and touching the floor until you get stronger). Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your body. Make sure to contract your abdomen and gluteals. Return to the start position. Do 12 reps.
As always, make sure it’s okay with your doctor before you begin a new exercise. Prepare to be a little sore for a while if you aren’t used to using these muscles. Start with a lower weight (say #2 to 5) until you are strong and sure. I currently use anywhere from 15-20# depending on the exercise but I’ve been doing these for a long time. If you don’t have a stability ball you can use a sturdy bench (think piano bench) or a padded ottoman that’s about upper shin or knee height. Be safe, be smart – but for bingo’s sake – do something!