Triceps, like the other muscles in the back of the body, are frequently overlooked. Lifters who want to create enormous guns, whether for competitive bodybuilding or merely to impress members of the opposite sex, have a major difficulty. The terms biceps and triceps, as you can see, teach you everything you need to know about arm training.
Many people nowadays want large, strong arms, but because they don't take the time to learn how to achieve them, they typically end up doing countless curls and a few bench press workouts here and there. We've all seen it: guys in the gym who believe that training their biceps is all they need to do for their arms because that's the part they see the most.
When you think about it, the bicep is just a mass on the upper arm, and the triceps is virtually everything below it. The triceps account for 66% of the arm. That is why you must work out your triceps properly, since if you do not, you will appear to have little arms. Plus, with a large bicep and a flat tiny triceps muscle in the rear, your arms would appear disproportional.
The prefix bi- signifies two, as in two muscle heads, but tri- means three, as in three muscle heads. You can see right away that if you want to create sleeve busting firearms, the triceps must command at least as much respect as the biceps. Working all five heads, rather than just two, makes getting your arms to 20 inches a lot simpler!
And if you're into bodybuilding, you'll never be able to avoid exercising your triceps because so many stances require them to be visible. This muscle is required not only in bodybuilding, but in almost every sport.
Triceps Anatomy & Function
Knowing how to work out the triceps for optimum size and strength requires understanding their anatomy. Upper, lower, inner, and outer pectorals are similar. If only the lower pectorals are worked, the upper part will appear flat and the entire pectoral will appear disproportional.
Although the effect will be less dramatic if one of the triceps heads is undeveloped rather than your upper pectorals or upper abs, it's still not a good idea to leave any section of the triceps underdeveloped.
As previously mentioned, the triceps has three muscle heads. They are:
- The lateral head - This is the head responsible for the horseshoe shape of the triceps.
- The medial head.
- The long head - the largest of all three.
Different workouts will target a different head, or possibly all three. Knowing which workouts target which head is crucial for triceps development. One thing to keep in mind is that when I say an exercise only works two of the three heads, it doesn't mean the other head doesn't get any work; it just doesn't get as much effort.
Most gym members are aware of the triceps' primary function, which is to extend the elbow or straighten the arm. When you execute a set of pushups, this is what happens. Adduction is the second less well-known function. That is, the arm is brought down towards the body. This function is shared by the lats and only the long head is responsible for it.
Close Grip & Close Reverse Grip Bench Press
Close Grip and Close Reverse Grip are two different types of grip (Palms Facing Away) Bench Press Exercises
Close grip and close reverse grip bench press are two of the best workouts for exhausting the triceps; it's certainly one of the top three. When doing a close grip bench press, make sure you don't pick a grip with your hands too close together.
Lowering the bar will place your hands in an unnatural position, and your body will compensate by bending your wrists outward. This puts a lot of strain on the wrists, and you can develop forearm problems as a result.
Basically, you want to adopt a close grip where your wrists aren't as bent outward and you're not in an awkward position.
My hands on the bar should be exactly in line with my shoulders, according to one rule of thumb I follow. You can also use an EZ bar, which has a diagonal grip that allows you to hold it very close to your body without placing strain on your wrists. Remember that you may hit the triceps with practically every version of the bench press.
Bench pressing exercises target two of the triceps' three heads. That's why it's crucial to pair this with an activity that targets the other or all of the heads.
Cable Push Downs & Extensions
This is yet another massive triceps workout with so many variations that listing them all would be worthless. People have been practicing cable extensions and pushdowns for years with tremendous results, and practically every exercise program incorporates them or a version of them.
Ropes, single-handed pulleys, and various grips (palms grasped down, palms gripped up) can all be used for cable pushdowns and extensions. However, the most frequent method is to grab a straight short bar with your palms facing down and push down (Pushdowns are probably more popular than extensions).
Remember not to move your elbows because this will cause other body parts to assist in pressing the weight down. One arm reverse push downs are another bizarre workout that targets the triceps even more. This is where you reverse the grip on a single-handled pulley (your palm faces up).
Move your hand off the line with your arm so it's closer to your chest and easier to press down, with your arm directly against the side of your body. All you have to do now is press down with that grip. It's incredible, and I'd say that it focuses your triceps even more because you're not leaning in as much.
Extensions are similar to pushups in that you stretch your arm straight up, lower your forearm, and then push yourself back up using your triceps. This also puts extra strain on the stabilizer muscles.
It hits two of the three heads of the arm for the one-arm reverse pushdowns. I'm not sure if cable pushdowns with both arms and a straight bar are two heads, but I'm quite sure it is. Basically, you want to do this exercise with something that hits all three triceps heads or something that strikes the opposite head.
Skull Crushers/ Free Weight Extensions (and It's Numerous Variations)
Taking dumbbells or a barbell, stretch your arms straight up, lower your forearms, then extend the bar back up is the basic movement of skull crushers. This is also one of the top three exercises for triceps development.
The EZ bar is preferred by many people since the grip makes it much easier to hold and lower. Using a large barbell is also inconvenient. Make sure your arms don't move around during this exercise otherwise you won't be concentrating on your triceps as much.
Another version, which falls into the category of skull crushers, exists. I've heard it called a variety of things, but I'll just call it seated triceps press. Take one dumbbell, grab it with two arms, and lower it behind your head, extending it up to just above your head (don't drop it or you'll be done).
This is a popular exercise that a lot of people swear by. This activity is okay in my opinion, but it's an excellent one to remember.
It can be done while standing, sitting on a bench, or lying down. Barbells, EZ bars, and dumbbells can all be used.
Another reason these workouts are so effective is because they target all three triceps heads, so doing a variety of them will ensure that your triceps develop properly.
This is essentially the same as a dip, however instead of pushing your upper body forward to focus on the lower pectorals, you should lower yourself until your body is perpendicular to the floor or almost so. When you do this triceps variant, you should feel very little stress in your pectorals and almost all of it in your arms.
Stretching is one thing you should do with this. If you go into this workout with rigid muscles, you risk injuring yourself. Weight can also be used to add resistance.
This is another fantastic exercise because it targets all three triceps. I don't see many people practicing this exercise, which is a problem because it's a fantastic triceps exercise.
Some individuals swear by it and say it's one of the best exercises they've ever done. Triceps kickbacks can be done in a variety of ways, including in various positions and with one or two arms at a time. I'm not going to explain how to do them because they're straightforward, and if you don't know how to do them, you need some help.
I don't like doing this exercise since it hurts my triceps, but if it doesn't bother you, it could be a nice approach to focus on your triceps. The most important thing to keep an eye out for is cheating. When I watch folks performing this in the gym, I always see them not fully extending their arms or swinging or even jerking the weight up.
I don't know how many heads this exercise touches because I don't practice it, but I imagine it hits all three triceps.