What are Triceps Workouts?
Triceps are the muscles at the back of your arms and their main role is to help you push, pull and extend your arm. They are the extensor muscle of the elbow joints and can be used through isolation or elbow extension movements to ensure that the arms are strengthened against resistance.
The isolation movements include arm extensions behind the back, lying triceps extensions and cable pushdowns while the elbow extensions include press movements such as military press, dips, close grip bench press and push up.
The triceps are sometimes known as the three-headed muscles because of the three bundles of muscles of different origins but they all join at the elbow.Each head works in a different way. The triceps comprises of two-thirds of the upper arm mass and they play a major role in some of the most popular exercises routines and especially in press movements, they depend on the triceps strength.
In your triceps workouts employ supersets with a high volume of work to build better triceps definition
You have to ensure that you start with exercises that you can be able to push the heaviest weights for overall triceps mass
The medial head stabilizes the elbow joint and contributes to the elbow extension and ensures that the emphasis is on the medial head to provide a more direct stimulation
Put your arms in the overhead position to ensure that emphasis is on the long head
Focus on the lateral head which helps to bring variety to the routine and you can do a single or multi-joint movement but particularly those with an overhand grip
Ensure that you are trying different movements and exercises and pick those that are working all three triceps heads
Benefits of triceps workouts
- It helps to create the balance needed for a strong biceps and if you as an athlete have balanced muscles you are less likely to have injuries
- Improves your flexibility and range of motion to prevent soreness and the tightness of muscles
- It lets you as an athlete lift heavy loads through a large range of motion in order to produce large muscles and also gain strength
- They are super easy to set up and perform
- Helps to increase the amount of compression force on the joints which helps to ensure that the joints have stability
- Helps to stimulate the triceps as well as the biceps simultaneously
- It is an effective way of developing good triceps strength and builds more muscular triceps
- Helps to stimulate the triceps fast twitch muscle fibers that are responsible for strength training
- It is a fun way to exercise and add mass in the long head region
- Helps to improve scapular retraction, increase shoulder range of motion and strengthen the weak middle and lower trapezius muscles
- Helps to stimulate the triceps for a longer duration and in a great number of positions
Disadvantages of triceps workouts
When doing triceps workouts in a continuous manner it might inflame the biceps tendons especially at the shoulder joint most commonly seen during bench presses
Before doing any workout routine ensure that you must first stretch and this is how you can stretch your triceps;
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart then lift and bend one arm until your hand is in the middle of your upper back. With the other hand grasp the elbow then gently pull hold for ten to twenty seconds and repeat on the other side
Ensure that your back is straight and the shoulders and neck are relaxed, breathe out while you stretch and breathe in as you release the stretch and maintain a natural deeper breathing pattern. This stretch helps to improve your flexibility and range of motion because after a tricep workout routine it is important to stretch to prevent tightening of the muscles and soreness. Stretch the muscles by extending the triceps and pulling your elbows slowly and hold for ten to twenty seconds then switch sides
Examples of Triceps Workouts
Close grip bench press- Procure a flat bench then lie on top of the bench and ensure that you place the barbell on the pins. Plant your feet on the floor then retract your shoulder blades and arch your back slightly then grab the bar with the shoulder width grip then unrack and bring the bar over your chest. Keep your elbows tucked to your sides throughout the lift then lower the barbell until the bar touches your abdomen. Press it back to the starting position then repeat
Rack lockouts– First you have to move the flat bench into a power rack then adjust the height of the bar place the barbell on the catches and load it with weights. Lie on the bench with the barbell above your eyes hold your shoulder blades together and plant your feet together on the floor behind your knees then push against the floor to shift your weight onto your butt and shoulder blades forming an arch on your back. Press the bar straight up off the catches until you are able to lockout then lower it back onto the catches and repeat the triceps workout
Ball pushups – Place a medicine ball in front of you then keep your palms on the ball, fingers facing out your arms should be fully extended then ensure that your legs are straight then lower your body by flexing your toes and touching the floor with them for support. Now slowly go down until your chest touches the ball then use your strength to rise back to the starting position. Ensure that you do a set of two for ten reps
Close hand pushups – Lower yourself down in a standard plank or pushup position then bring your hands close to each other at chest level with your thumbs touching one another then also ensure that your spine is straight and that your core and glutes are squeezed tight bend your elbows at a forty-five degrees angle making sure that the elbows do not flare out to the sides but are locked in place then push back up to the original position by straightening your arms
Skull crushers – Lie in a bench then hold a five-pound dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other and the arms extended up now flex your elbows and bring the dumbbells towards your shoulders. In that position pause for a moment then bring your forearms back to the starting position and ensure that you do two sets of ten reps
Decline Triceps Extension
Firstly you should set up an adjustable bench to a slight decline of around thirty degrees and lie on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the weights over your chest with your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows and lower the weights to the sides of your head and choose a weight you can do 12 reps with on the first set, and use it for every set
Close-Grip Floor Press
You should lie on the floor and roll the barbell up to your chest then grasp the bar at about shoulder-width, and arch your back so there is space between your lower back and the floor then lower the bar to your sternum and tuck your elbows about forty-five degrees to your sides. When your triceps touch the floor ensure that you press the bar back up.
Lying Triceps Extension
First, you should press the bar over your chest then let your upper arms drift back to about a 45° angle. Slightly bend your elbows to lower the bar behind your head, and then extend them to return to the starting position. Ensure that you keep your elbows and wrists in line throughout the whole exercise
Pullover – First you should hold the bar overhead with a shoulder-width grip then lie back on the floor. Press the bar over your head and reach back over your head while slightly bending your elbows repeat this movement until you feel a stretch in your lats, then pull the bar back over your chest then flex your triceps as you go , ensure that you focus your mind on your triceps then you will feel them engage throughout the whole routine
Tate press– You first lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand on top of your thighs make sure the palms of your hand are facing each other then use your thighs to help you get the dumbbells up, clean the dumbbells one arm at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width length always ensure that when holding the dumbbells in front of you, make sure your arms are wider than shoulder width apart from each other using a palms-forward grip. This should be your starting position, slowly move the dumbbells in a semi-circular motion until they touch the upper chest while inhaling. Ensure you have full control of the dumbbells at all times. As you breathe out, move the dumbbells up using your triceps but in reverse use the same semi-circular motion. Try to keep the dumbbells together as they progress up. Lock your arms in the contracted position then hold for a second and then start coming down slowly.
Conclusion on Triceps workouts
Triceps workouts are a very essential workout regimen for people who are looking for ways to improve their flexibility and increase their range of motion in their routine. It is suitable for both men and women because it creates a balance needed for an athlete to have muscles that are balanced and well-toned and that prevents the likelihood of having injuries
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.