5 Exercises To Help You Create The Best Triceps Workout!
For many people, one of the main goals they want to work toward is creating 'big arms.' The important thing to keep in mind with this goal is that the triceps muscle is actually what is going to primarily make up the entire arm, so it's the one you'll want to focus your efforts on most.
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This isn't to say that you shouldn't train the biceps at all - you should, just that if you want to increase the size appearance of the arms, building your triceps up is the best way to do it.
When putting together a triceps workout for yourself, one of the main factors you want to keep in mind is making sure you use compound lifts to start with, since it's on these lifts that you'll be able to hoist the highest amount of weight, showing the greatest progress in terms of strength.
Here are some of the various exercises you should choose from to create your triceps workout.
EXERCISE 1 Barbell Bench Press
The bench press is one of the best exercises to perform for the triceps due to the amount of weight you can load on the muscles. Since the bench press is primarily done to target the chest muscles, you will definitely feel it working there, but you should also be able to feel it in the triceps as well.
What some individuals will choose to do when they look to target the triceps more is pre-fatigue their chest muscles doing some chest isolation exercises (such as dumbbell flyes for example) so when they move to the bench press, it places more emphasis on the actual triceps.
Another way to increase the loading pattern on the triceps is to place the hands closer together on the bar, so that you're doing a close-grip bench press. You'll feel this in the triceps muscle as you lower the bar, but be aware that you should also reduce the weight while doing so to make sure you can still maintain proper form.
EXERCISE 2 Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The shoulder press is another compound lift that will work the triceps muscles along with the shoulders as well. This is a good one to do closer to the start of your workout because the shoulders will fatigue quickly, which will make it that much harder to get the weight up on the lift.
Also note that if you're doing incline bench press during the workout, this will also limit the shoulder press, possibly to the extent that you will not be able to do it at all (many individuals find it's a one-or-the-other type of relationship with the incline bench press and shoulder press).
EXERCISE 3 Push-Ups On An Exercise Ball
If you don't have access to a gym and weight equipment, an exercise you can complete that will challenge the triceps to a large extent are triceps pushups on an exercise ball.
Due to the reduced stability of this movement on the exercise ball, you're going to see a much more dramatic recruitment of the triceps muscle than if you were performing push-ups on the floor and you will also really work the abdominal muscles at the same time.
Be sure when performing this exercise that you use the closed grip with the hands since it will transfer more of the stress from the chest to the triceps muscles. If by chance you don't feel fully challenged by this movement, then you can either place your feet on another exercise ball as well or consider lifting one leg off the floor completely while performing it.
EXERCISE 4 Triceps Pushdown
Rope Pushdowns are a more isolated exercise that tends to place a good degree of stress on the triceps muscles and really make them 'pop.' To perform this exercise correctly, make certain you keep the elbows tucked into the sides of the body at all times, which will reduce the chances that you use momentum to guide you through the movement.
Also be sure you bring the elbows as far down and close to the hips as possible since it's at the lowest point of the movement that you get the highest muscle recruitment pattern occurrence.
EXERCISE 5 Standing Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension
Finally, the last exercise that's a good option for working the triceps muscles is Barbell overhead extensions. This exercise can be alternated by using different hand positions while holding the bar, giving you more variety to add to your workout and preventing a muscle plateau from taking place.
By taking the palms-down position on the bar, you'll place a slightly higher degree of stress on the outside of the triceps. If you flip the hands over you'll place more stress on the medial and inner heads of the muscle.
Be sure when you perform this exercise that you keep the elbows directly in alignment with the shoulder joint as much as possible to help prevent injuries and an unnatural pattern of movement. If you lack the shoulder flexibility to do so, you may want to choose to perform another exercise in its place such as dumbbell kickbacks.
Consider Partial Reps
Finally, the last way to kick your triceps training up a notch is by completing partial reps. This would be where you complete a specified number of reps in accordance with your workout program but then after you're finished, complete just the last 50% of the movement, squeezing out another 4-6 reps in that manner before finishing with another 2-3 full reps once again.
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Using this technique will work best on the isolated triceps exercises and should be performed at the end of your workout to 'finish the muscles off.' After using it you typically won't be able to lift much more, so be sure you are done for that session.
By placing a bit more specialization on the triceps muscles as you go about your workout you should be able to see great growth taking place and noticeable changes in how your arms look overall.
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