This post is about how to banish the infamous ‘bingo wings’, which secretly work to veil the triceps like a hood; those so-called ‘triceps’ are a large, three-headed group comprising a long, medial & lateral head, all positioned towards the back of the upper-arm. Whether in or out of the gym, we use them for every movement requiring a push, and indeed some that require pulls too. Weaker triceps could well limit the effectiveness of training shoulders, chest and back, and might also stop you from heroically saving the day if extreme arm strength is required in some sort of an emergency! When worked-out properly, you can actually sculpt these triceps so that they look just-so for an upcoming spring getaway occasion! Click MORE to see a full tricep-targeting routine shot wearing the latest collection of Forever 21 activewear …
It may surprise you to learn that these triceps account for around 2/3 of the muscle mass in your arm, so regardless of whether you’re searching for size or developing definition, it’s absolutely worth training triceps rather than simply cultivating the ‘gun show’! Biceps regularly steal the aesthetic limelight, but to simply ignore their close cousin would, IMHO, be a mistake – theres a sound logic behind creating balance between these two antagonistic pairs of muscles, for movement, skeletal and postural purposes. If you’re looking to train arms but are after a session that’s relatively soft on your elbows, I’d opt for the combination of cross-trainer, arm bicycle, and classic swimming work; if however you’re keen to include weights, read below & make your selection from my suggestions, with associated how-to instructions & images! And critically, remember to stretch out after your session or you probably won’t be able to type very much the next day!
COMPOUND ARM EXERCISES (employs triceps AND surrounding muscle groups):
1) Narrow-grip Pushup – as per the below picture, (targets all 3 triceps, as well as chest)
Place your hands about shoulder width apart but keep your elbows tight against your sides. This homes-in on the triceps far more than the traditional wide-grip push-up. Works triceps, chest and core.
2) Dips – as per below picture, (targets all 3 triceps, as well as the shoulders and core muscles too)
Place both hands a shoulder-width apart on a bench, straighten both legs out in front of you. Straighten both arms whilst keeping a slight bend in the elbows. Slowly lower the upper-body towards the floor and keep elbows tucked tight by your side. At the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands and push yourself back up to the starting position with your triceps.
ISOLATION ARM EXERCISES (focuses on the target ‘triceps group’ only):
1) Skull Crushers – as per below picture.
Lying on a bench, hold a bar with an overhand grip. Extend both arms over your head positioning the bar directly over your eyes. Maintain elbows tight and the upper arms in the same position throughout the exercise. With a slow tempo lower the bar down towards your forehead. Slowly press the bar back up to the starting position, and repeat.
2) Cable Pulldowns. As per below picture.
Keep arms close to the body. Bring the rope down & separate each hand until it touches the side of the thigh and the arms are fully extended. The upper arms shouldn’t move. Then slowly bring the rope back up to the starting point.
3) Arm extensions behind the back. As per below picture.
Hold the rope with both hands then extend arms above your head. Keep elbows close to your head . This will be your starting position. Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you hold the upper arms stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched. Return to the starting position by flexing your triceps as you breathe out. Repeat for the required amount of repetitions.
4) Dumbbell Kickbacks. As per below picture.
Bend forward at the waist, keeping the back straight. Keep the both upper arms tucked into your side. Extend the elbow to straighten the arm pushing the dumbbell out behind.
5) Classic Triceps Extension. As per below picture.
Bring the dumbbell straight above your head then slowly lower the weight behind your head finally slowly raise the dumbbell back to the starting position.
SOME TRICEPS TIPS ???
– With all triceps exercises, keep the back of the wrists aligned with your forearm – no bending, as this exerts too much pressure on your wrist.
– Keep elbows at your side when doing pressing movements – this ensure you’re not ‘accidentally’ employing shoulders to help the movement!
– Avoid overtraining the triceps. They also get worked during chest and shoulders. Make sure to give triceps enough time to rest, recover and rebuild!
– Don’t forget to contract – lock out the elbows and hold the position, to promote more intense contractions in the triceps, i.e. pause at the point of most exertion for a couple of seconds – squeeze the muscles to really engage them.
THIS POST INCLUDED A SPONSORED COLLABORATION WITH FOREVER21 AROUND THEIR ACTIVEWEAR COLLECTION; I WAS GIFTED AN OUTFIT OF MY CHOICE. MY OPINIONS ARE GENUINE. FOR MORE ABOUT WHY I TAKE ON SUCH PROJECTS, PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE PAGE HERE.