The triceps are the unsung heroes of arm muscles. They may not have the sex appeal of the biceps, but, ironically, they comprise about two-thirds of the overall extent of your upper arms. Strengthening up your triceps isn’t just about building a set of 3D arms. Yes, your triceps, the three-headed muscle that moves along the back of your upper arm, will make your guns look bigger, beefier than ever.
But a strong, sturdy set of triceps does more than that. Strengthen your tris, and you’re outfitting your body to push everything from doors to people to barbells away from your body, and you’re prepping your arms to brace in a straight-arm position for everything from planks to handstands. Your triceps’ main role is to straighten your arm at the elbow, an action that opposes your biceps (which flex the arm at the elbow, among other things).
There are plenty of ways to train your triceps, too, although spotting just the right muscle contraction isn’t always easy. Remember that locking out your elbow and straightening your elbow are two different things; focus on maintaining tension on your triceps and actively flexing them when you’re in the straight-arm position.
Any movement that has you straightening your arm at the elbow will train your triceps, but there are lots of ways to vary up that arm-straightening motion. Adjusting the angle of your arm relative to your torso can place different levels of stretch on the triceps muscle, and adding pauses, both at the top of reps and halfway through reps can emphasize different phases of the contraction.
Not sure what you need to do to train your triceps? Consider these moves.
#1. Close Grip PushUp
Few bodyweight moves are as useful as the close-grip pushup. First off, this is a certain move that you can take anywhere, a bonus triceps pump whenever you can drop and do a fast set. Secondly, you’re also loading with your bodyweight — and sure, other muscles are supporting you in pressing up, but you’re still getting plenty of triceps activation under load.
How To Do This:
Be in pushup position, with your hands just somewhat narrower than shoulder-width (don’t fall into the trap of thinking your hands must touch each other), hands directly beneath your shoulders, core tight and glutes squeezed. Lower yourself down to the floor, leaning your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Make sure your elbows don’t flare out to the sides; keep them locked in place. Pause, maintaining the squeeze in your core and glutes, then push back up to the original position by straightening your arms.
Youtube Video Credits: HowCast
#2. Close Grip Bench Press
Close Grip Bench Press is a great exercise to work your chest and core. But a change in grip can further expand your arms. “Placing your hands closer together makes it so your triceps have to work harder,”. “That can lead to new growth and more strength.”
How to Do This:
Take a barbell with an overhand grip that’s shoulder-width apart, and hold it above your sternum with arms completely straight. Lower the bar straight down, pause, and then push the bar back up to the starting position.
YouTube Video Credits: ScottHerman Fitness
#3. Triceps Kick Back
This exercise is one of the most basic exercises for triceps development when performed correctly. forcing you to straight your arm so it’s parallel with the ground.
How To Do This:
Stand holding a dumbbell in your right arm, then hinge forward, holding something with your left arm for support. Raise your elbow so your upper arm is parallel to the ground. Holding your upper arm parallel to the ground and without tilting your hips or shoulders, straighten your right arm, squeezing your triceps.
YouTube Video Credits : ScottHerman Fitness
Remember That Progression Is the Key
These are the only few triceps exercises you’ll be doing for the next upcoming days.The key, however, isn’t just doing the exercises, it’s progressing on them. That is, increasing the amount of weight and/or reps you can move over time.
Remember: If your triceps don’t get stronger, they won’t get bigger.