It’s hard to believe that it’s already August. Where has the summer gone?…seriously, If someone could answer this for me, It would be much appreciated! With still an entire month left of summer, there is still plenty of time to implement some new exercises to help strengthen and increase the muscle definition in your arms.
So let’s get into it.
Side point: For those of you who aren’t aware, triceps is a combination of two latin words, tri (meaning 3) + ceps (originating from caput – meaning head). Put it together and you get “3 heads” this is because the triceps originates from three different points in our shoulder.
This is compared to the biceps, which as you can guess refers to: Bi = two, and ceps=heads… 2 heads, aka 2 originating points in the shoulder.
Enough about latin though… Let’s get into the 3 tricep exercises you can use in August (or the rest of the year), to help grow and strengthen your triceps.
1. Narrow Push Ups:
For those of you who have fiddled around and experimented with different types of pushups, you understand the vast differences in muscle activation you can get simply by changing your hand position. When we perform narrow push ups (meaning our hands are placed closer to our body rather than a further apart) we cause the triceps to become more involved which inevitably makes it a tougher exercise.
Keys to focus on:
° Keep your shoulders back – By keeping your shoulder back, you’re putting your shoulders in a safe position to exert force.
° Keeping your elbows close to your body – A common mistake I see during this exercise is people begin to point their elbows away from their body. This puts the shoulder in a compromising position and should be avoided.
If a pushup is too difficult right now, consider starting with an easier alternative. Try doing a pushup with your hands on a box, or even the countertop in your kitchen. As you begin to get stronger, you can begin to lower the box, or find a shorter surface until you’re able to complete a proper push up on the ground!
2. Seated Overhead Cable Tricep Extensions (with rope):
Cable machines are great because you can utilize them for so many different types of exercises. With the seated overhead cable extensions, you are able to isolate your triceps and get a great burn by increasing reps and lowering the weight. A good amount of reps x sets for this exercise would be 3 sets of 12-15 reps when first learning the movement and then in your next workout, consider lowering the reps to around 8-10 and increasing the amount of weight slightly. For any questions regarding your workouts, feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to answer any questions!
Keys to focus on: ° Keep a straight back – A common mistake people do when performing this exercise, is they begin to stick their chest out which rounds the thoracic portion (middle) of your spine. This mistake can increase your risk of injury.
° Keep your elbows in – Much like the pushup, we want to focus on keeping our elbows in line with our shoulders and not flailing them outwards in an attempt to move the weight easier. If we are unable to keep our elbows in line, we should decrease the weight and focus on moving the weight properly until we increase our strength enough to perform properly.
3. Dumbbell Triceps Kickback:
The triceps kickback is one of the most underrated exercises out there. With the tricep kickback you are able to isolate your triceps and in doing so, this exercises is to be performed with fairly light weight. A common weight to use when first beginning to learn this exercise is something around 10-15 lbs.
Keys to focus on:
° Neutral spine – When doing this exercise its important to have a neutral spine, this means that our back should be straight from our hips to our head. As you can see in the picture, the lady is looking straight down and not twisting her neck. This is important when performing this exercise.
° Elbow Movement – For this exercise, all the movement is performed at the elbow, this means our elbow acts as pivot, the weight and forearm are the only thing moving during this exercise.
With these 3 exercises, you are able to strengthen your triceps begin to have those well defined arms you’ve been dreaming of. Let us know if you have any questions regarding these exercises and we will be happy to clarify anything, or give you advice regarding your workouts. Thanks for reading, and till next time! Written by Owner | Andrew Blakey.