Here in Southern California it's sunny almost all year round, but the phrase "suns out guns out" is starting to be uttered from the mouths of gymrats around the rest of the country as Spring is slowly turning into summer. Diehard bodybuilders know how important it is to properly train the triceps, but the average weekend warrior is likely to focus more on the biceps when challenged to make an impression for the gun show. The Triceps muscle composes 2/3 of the "bulk" of the upper arm, which means if you're not working them as hard or harder than the biceps, you're doing yourself a serious disservice. Here are 3 Best Triceps Exercises that you probably aren't doing.
3 Heads Are Better Than 1
The anatomical name for the Triceps is Triceps Brachii meaning 3 headed muscle. Why should you care about the anatomy of the Triceps? In order to properly train any muscle group you need to understand how it functions. Doing a Standard Triceps Pushdown may seem to give you a good workout, but you're not fully training the entire group. If you want to add mass to your arms then you need to pay attention. The Long Head of the Triceps is also referred to as the inner triceps and it's the largest of the 3 heads. Here's the most important thing you need to know about training the Triceps: there is no way to specifically isolate one head or part of the Triceps. Just like when you're doing abs work, with each movement the entire muscle group is contracting. Having said that, there are some exercises that require more effort from the long head.
3 Best Triceps Exercises
1. Bodyweight Skull Crushers - You work the long head of the Triceps more effectively when you fully extend the muscle through it's full range of motion (ROM). Over head exercises like the French Press or Skull Crushers are great. The Bodyweight Skull Crusher doesn't even require using a weight and you can do it almost anywhere. Check out this demo video from GymPaws Personal Trainer Derek Opperman: 2. Do Dips Dork - That's right, the basic dip is one of the best triceps exercises you can do. If you're new to doing bodyweight exercises like Dips try using the assisted dip machine until you're more confident that you have the proper form mastered. The key to dips is to make sure you're fully extending the arm at the top of the movement and get a little "squeeze" in. Focus on the negative part of the movement, which means lowering yourself slower than you raise yourself. 3. Close Grip Push Ups or Close Grip Bench Press - The key to doing either one of the triceps exercises is to keep your elbows tight to your side and maintain a slow and steady movement. Using a false grip can help as well. That means rather than wrapping your thumbs around the bar keep them along side of your palm. Obviously with push ups you don't have to worry about this. So there you have it... The 3 Best Triceps Exercises you're probably not doing. Wonder why we focused on bodyweight exercises? Each of the exercises above requires you to focus on creating the exhurtion from your triceps rather than using the momentum of your body. Triceps Pushdowns or Pull Downs using the cable machine are two of the most popular triceps exercises and they're also done incorrectly the most often. Using momentum or your bodyweight to move the weights reduces the effort needed by your triceps. Try adding these three exercises to your next workout and get ready for some massive gains!