Clearly, I need to do more arm workouts.  My friend’s eight-year-old daughter asked me how old I was.  I made the mistake of saying, “How old do you think I am?”  She walked over to me and instructed me to lift my arm up and out to the side with a bent elbow.  Then she patted my tricep flab to test its giggle-bility and pronounced me “forty!”  I’m thirty-six.  Apparently, my triceps age me.

Everyone laughed and my father-in-love (what we endearingly call my boyfriend’s dad) asked the eight-year-old how old she thought he was.  “Fifty,” she guessed.  In her mind I was ten years younger than a 78-year-old man.

This is my great-grandma.

As a little girl, I was fascinated by my great-grandma’s tricep flab, and she amazingly let me play with it.  She was reasonably toned, but I could still whack her sagging arm back and forth.  Born in 1899, she’d spent her early years washing her clothes by hand and cooking everything by hand, using a whisk instead of electric beaters.  She was strong.  Some tricep flab is going to happen to the best of us.

April Arm Month

In honor of my great grandmother Lavina Leonide Bradshaw Downie (that’s a mouthful), we are designating April to be Arm Month.  For the month we are going to pay little extra attention to your arms!  If you want to join in the fun, you can set a goal for the end of this month—maybe you want to do plank or push-ups daily.  Maybe you want to do a handstand, the monkey bars, or a pull up.  Those may take more than a month of training, but you can start today and craft a plan to reach the goal.

Arm Month Exercise Ideas

Training may include some attention to your wrists.  Maybe you haven’t been doing push-ups because your wrists bother you.  Take this month to do a number of wrist stretches so that you are in a better position to do a push-up by the end of the month.

Consider spending time with your arms overhead.  We don’t do much with our arms overhead except reach for something on the top shelf.  But we have a huge range of motion in our shoulder.  We are built to reach up and out.  Start with some simple arm circles reaching up and overhead and then back down. Or, if it feels okay in your body try gently hanging from a safe doorframe on an angle that feels okay in your shoulder.   You can build up to a straight arm hang with part of your body weight. Never push further than your body is ready to go.  Take your time making progress.

Follow our arm strength calendar for the month.  Remember, work to your level and skip anything that hurts in a bad way.

Commit to doing plank or push-ups every day for the month.

I’d love to hear how you are arms will be getting extra attention this month.

Want to Read More?

Click here to read about stabilizing without tensing.

Click here to read more about my fun relatives and my grandma crawling in an igloo.

Click here for info on improving your headstand.