I can remember so many great holidays when all of my brothers and sisters and cousins loved to get together at grandma’s house. There is always something special about grandma and going to see her make Christmas, Christmas, because she was so loving and fun and sweet and because she made the best cookies ever.
But every now and then some of us kids would go to snickering when Grandma got excited and started waving her arms around while talking about something that stirred her up. Her lower arms between her elbow and shoulder would go to swaying back and forth that my mean cousin Mark often remarked that we could make a ride out of them. We called that part of Grandmas body, “grandma arms.”
Of course, grandmas are not the only women who get “grandma arms”. As children we used the term interchangeably for our aunts, parents or female teachers who got that characteristic sway of loose muscle and skin in the triceps. It seemed to be a classic sign that this is an old woman, at least when you are 7 it is.
No wonder when we begin to see the first signs of “grandma arms” in ourselves, it can be a cause for emotions that range between concern and wholesale panic. I recall watching a movie with the beautiful actress, Julia Roberts who to me is the poster girl for youth and beauty and as she performed a dramatic speech, I saw it. Even on the angelic Julia Roberts I saw “grandma arms”. And she’s Tinkerbelle!
The question is not if we are going to experience the loss of muscle tone and sagging of muscles that most women experience in their arms as they age. The question is, what we are going to do about it? If you are an active woman who is committed to fighting the signs of aging with a healthy and fit lifestyle, you no doubt will start looking for additional arm exercises for women to add to your workout to combat this unsightly problem.
The good news is we can firm and tone our triceps area but not the same way men do. If a man just begins using free weights to focus on the triceps for a few weeks, those muscles will become hard and strong at any age.
But that is the difference between the genders and the difference testosterone makes in a man’s body. A successful program of arm exercises for women will use a variety of toning and strengthening exercises that are balanced to workout the entire upper body. You cannot just focus on exclusively on arm exercises for women because the woman’s body will never “bulk out” like a man’s body does.
By actively utilizing a workout program that builds the arms, the shoulders, the upper back, the abs and the pectoral muscles, the overall firming will pull those sagging muscles into conforming with the rest of your upper body shape. This will reduce the incidence of “grandma arms”. But it will have the additional benefit of enhancing your total shape to make it firmer and more shapely which is something we all can be happy about.
Work with your exercise trainer to focus your workouts on swimming, rowing and specific lifting exercises that integrate the triceps into stretching and toning multiple muscle groups at once. The outcome is you will be healthier overall and you won’t see one muscle group get out of proportion to others which is not only unsightly, its unhealthy.
But by being patient in gradually growing stronger and better toned throughout your upper body, you will be happy to see your arms return to a similar shape as when you were younger. Then when the kids come over, they may not be able to be impressed with your “grandma arms”. But they will still love your cookies.