Tank Top Tone-Up: Part 4

Kickbacks & Bench Dips

Tank Top Tone-Up: Part 4 - Kickbacks & Bench Dips
With summer approaching, temperatures are rising and so are our sleeve lengths. Goodbye, sweaters and long sleeves— hello, tank tops and strappy dresses! It’s officially time to get armed for summer!

Tank Top Tone-Up: Part 4 - Kickbacks & Bench DipsIn the NEW FitnessRx For Women June issue, I share one of my fast-paced, upper body circuits that target the shoulders and arms, called the “TANK TOP TONE-UP.” (You can find it on page 80 of the new issue.) Over the next few weeks, I’ll be demonstrating those exercises for you, plus a few extra. You can use the exercises in a few ways:

– Add the demonstrated exercises into your current training program for an additional challenge or switch-up.
– Combine all the exercises introduced over the next few weeks into a complete circuit like the one provided in our June issue.


This week, I’m demonstrating KICKBACKS & BENCH DIPS. These exercises build, shape and define the triceps—the back of the upper arms.

Kickbacks work the upper area of the triceps muscle particularly well. This exercise can be performed one arm at a time or with both arms simultaneously. I prefer to do both arms together in the interest of saving time.

How To: With a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward slightly at the waist and raise your elbows back and up to above shoulder height. Keeping your elbows stationary and tucked close to your body, press the dumbbells back to straighten your arms. Squeeze your triceps and then slowly lower the weight.

Bench Dips are a great exercise for developing triceps strength. They can be performed with only your body weight, or you can add resistance with a plate or dumbbell placed in your lap. I find the dumbbell more comfortable, as the plate can be difficult to balance.

How To: Sitting on a bench, grab onto its edge with your hands approximately shoulder width. Extend your feet out in front of you. Lower your body down by bending your elbows; stop when your upper arms are about parallel to the floor. Then, push back up and tighten your triceps.

Tip: The closer your feet are to your body, the easier the exercise will be. Straightening and elevating your legs will be the most challenging.

Perform 4 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.

Check back EACH WEEK for NEW TANK TOP TONE-UP demonstrations and pick up the June issue of FitnessRx for Women magazine (on sale now) for the entire program.