Did you know that your Triceps muscles make up about 2/3 of your arm? We often joke about our triceps, calling them terrible names such as ‘bingo wings’ or ‘tuckshop arms’ when they are no longer as youthful as they once were. Saggy triceps can make us feel self-conscious and (hopefully) regretful for the many times we sniggered when somebody made a ‘tuckshop lady’ type of joke.
However, our triceps also have a serious and important role to play: they serve to stabilize the shoulder joint at the top of the humerus. The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body, possessing the ability to turn and rotate in many directions. However, this movability means that the shoulder is a relatively unstable joint, and the triceps plays an important role in stabilizing it.
The triceps muscles also allow for extension of the arm at the shoulder, adduction of the arm at the shoulder and extension of the forearm at the elbow. Allowing us to reach for things with ease, wave to someone we know and put our arms out to give a great hug.
This exercise on the Wunda Chair uses your triceps muscles to push yourself up from the fully lowered position. The springs attached to the foot rest will assist you in elevation, allowing your triceps time to grow in strength gradually. By focusing on maintaining correct alignment you will be engaging your core to keep you in that position. And you will be using the full power of your hamstrings to push the foot rest back to the starting position, again requiring engagement from your core.
The Wunda Chair Triceps Push may look like a simple exercise but it requires a deceptive amount of muscle engagement from several areas of your body. And isn’t that one of the great things about Pilates? The exercises may look easy but gosh they really get in there and make you work hard, getting you a real ‘bang for your buck’ for the investment you are making in Pilates and your health.