So you want to get those triceps to really standout. And why wouldn’t you? Not only are they an important muscle for arm strength, they also look great when they ripple under the skin everytime you move your arms. Hello, summer t-shirts!
In order to really make your triceps pop, you need to train them diligently and in the correct way. This advice is the same for both males and females. Follow these five rules and you’ll be off to a great start for killer triceps.
- Understand the anatomy.
What we’re talking about here is the triceps brachii muscle (which is Latin for “three-headed muscle of the arm”). As the name suggests, the triceps muscle is actually in three parts, or “heads”. There’s the long head, which is the largest one that runs down the back of your arm; the medial head, which sits deep in the middle of the arm; and the lateral head, the one at the outermost part of the arm.For the best results, you’ll want to make sure that your training properly hits all three parts of the muscle. Even though the heads work in tandem, you should start with exercises that primarily target the long head first; this means you can give your best energy to the biggest and most prominent part of the muscle. Beyond that, changing the angle or position of your arms can create movements that engage all the different parts of the muscle.
- Train them twice a week.
Since triceps are a small muscle group that only needs a fairly short recovery time, you can easily give them a workout twice per week. If you’re struggling to make progress on growing them, an extra day of targeting will surely make a difference. Just be sure to leave at least 48 hours of rest time in between.One way to work in some triceps exercises is to train them after you train your chest. This works well because chest-press motions already engage the triceps secondarily, so once you’ve already tried your triceps out a bit, you can easily finish off with a few sets of dedicated triceps movements. Again, just be sure not to schedule your chest day right next to another upper body or arm workout, since some of the same muscle groups will be re-engaged and you need to give these muscle groups time to recover.
- Do multi-joint movements first.
If you’re trying to build bigger arms, start your workout with the exercises in which you can push the most weight. Generally, this means multi-joint movements like dips and close-grip bench presses. On the other hand, if you tire yourself out with something like triceps press-downs first, you won’t have as much energy to power through the multi-joint movements later on.
- Mix it up.
When people think about triceps exercises, a lot of the time they think of skull-crushers and not much else. Those particular extensions are great for the triceps — but they’re not the only type of workout you can do.Mix it up by adding in cable movements like press-downs or reverse grip press-downs. Work in some dips — either machine dips or unassisted dips, depending on your level. Try dumbbell kickbacks or an overhead dumbbell extension (be wary of keeping your elbows tucked in on all of these movements). You can also mix up the way you do your skull-crushers by changing the inclination of the bench.
- Don’t ego-lift.
There’s a good chance you won’t be able to go as heavy with triceps as with other exercises — especially if you’ve already partly fatigued your arms with a chest workout before you even get started on them. But don’t let that phase you. What’s important is how much stress you can apply to the muscle, not how tough you look to the other guys and girls in the gym. The elbow joint is a fragile one, so always emphasize on form rather than on weight. The last thing you want is an injury that keeps you from being able to train.
About The Author:
Dr.Jessica Tilghman specializes in family medicine and is based out of Maryland, USA. She works with her local community to deliver last mile healthcare to those who can’t access it. She brings her passion for community service to the global community through her work with Health.online.