This week, we’ve reached part three of my workout series: arms.
Arms make up a huge part of a well-rounded fitness routine. However, gym-goers often neglect triceps. Triceps, as instructor Tunde Oyeneyin from Peloton explained, help stabilize the shoulder joint, support body weight and enhance overall shoulder and elbow strength.
So, strengthening your triceps will prepare you to carry your Trader Joe’s groceries back to campus, push the move-in carts up the Hilltop or write that short-answer midterm by hand. Strengthening your triceps is good for preventing shoulder injuries and improving posture, not just building strength. As constantly using phones and computers already makes us prone to hunching — and thus, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, stiffness and soreness — strengthening our triceps becomes more than an aesthetic or gym-rat-centered desire. Strengthening our triceps could alleviate some pain from the postures our technological society requires us to adopt.
For those convinced (or who were already convinced) to strengthen their triceps who enjoy lifting weights, Tunde from Peloton recommends gym exercises such as Overhead Extension, Triceps Dips, Preacher Curls, Triceps Extension, Triceps Kickbacks, Diamond Push Ups and Triceps Pull-Downs.
Yet using free weights does not represent the only method to strengthen your arms. As Hoyas, we have a plethora of options available at our fingertips. For instance, I see Hoyas working on arm definition while playing basketball on the James J. Gilroy, III Basketball Courts in Yates Field House, Georgetown’s fitness center. Playing basketball obviously activates the upper body — when shooting the ball, you use the deltoids, triceps and biceps for force and power.
But you may not be thinking about your triceps directly during a Yates basketball tournament with friends. Instead, you could be playing basketball as a part of your fun, well-rounded routine that happens to strengthen your arms when you push the ball away from your body. In the same way, playing squash in one of Yates’ private rooms can challenge you to think about strengthening your arms through a game-based approach. Playing tennis, ping pong, racquetball or golf in the indoor netted golf practice facility (yes, Yates has a golf facility with two hitting areas and a putting green) also provide fun ways to strengthen your arms, along with your coordination.
For those who enjoy taking actual fitness classes, I would recommend Georgetown University Campus Recreation (GU Campus Rec) Group Fitness classes at Yates. I wrote about Group Fitness classes last year, but GU Campus Rec has introduced more fun offerings this year that I want to highlight. In terms of arms and triceps, relevant classes might include HIIT, BEAT Barbell, Zumba, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga Flow, Bootcamp, Barre and Strength Circuit. Here’s a rundown of some of GU Campus Rec’s new and classic offerings.
For those unfamiliar with HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, it is a circuit-style training class, new to GU Campus Rec, which personal trainer Chris Waters teaches. Participants do body weight calisthenics and light-to-intermediate weight training. Chris Waters also teaches Bootcamp, a class mixing bodyweight exercises with HIIT.
Zumba, taught by Marieteresa Porcher Allen, incorporates styles such as cumbia, merengue, salsa, reggaeton, afrobeats, hip-hop, pop, mambo, rumba, flamenco and calypso to offer a workout that evidently depends on arms and cardio.
Power Yoga, taught by me, represents an athletic tradition of yoga that builds heat, strength and flexibility. Power Yoga places an emphasis on arm strength by both holding and progressively flowing through postures. Vinyasa Yoga Flow and Yoga Flow, taught by Destiny Martin and Kelly Hunger, respectively, provide varying levels of yoga that also focus on connecting the breath to movement and strengthening the arms in an unexpected way: through holding a posturing or a Vinyasa transition rather than lifting weights.
Lastly, Strength Circuit (new to GU Campus Rec), taught by personal trainer Jalen Wright, leads you through a circuit-style workout targeting each muscle group and prioritizing strength and stability.
Building your arms can take many different forms: the classic gym approach, a game-based one, or even a Group Fitness approach. Luckily for the Georgetown student, all of these approaches fall under one roof (Yates). Whether you want to obliterate the competition in an IMLeagues basketball tournament, write a fast and well-developed timed essay for your midterm or alleviate neck pain from bending over your computer and phone all day, GU Campus Rec possesses the available resources for you to strengthen your arms and, consequently, your life as a Hoya.