up triceps thoroughly before training hard.
Abruptly starting a routine can lead to tendonitis. What starts as
a mild elbow pain can become a debilitating injury. Start slowly;
ease your way into heavier motions with a transition movement like
simple cable triceps press-downs. At the beginning of the workout,
this helps loosen the arms and get some blood flowing to the area.
You're not looking for a burn or bump yet. On the cable triceps press-down,
I prefer the straight bar; but as a warm-up, I prefer a bent bar-
it's more forgiving. You only need two warm-up sets, 15-25 reps, with
Stay with basics.
Basic triceps motions are lying triceps extensions with the easy-curl
bar, barbell skull-crushers and straight-bar cable triceps press-downs.
Dips, close-grip bench, and seated triceps extensions are considered
by many to be basic, but I haven't seen as good results with those
as core movements. Instead, add them to, or substitute them for, the
basics- for variation without sacrificing results.
Train the angles.
Note wrist position; slight variations change the training angle dramatically
and promote stimulation. Unlike biceps training, where small wrist
adjustments disengage isolated active contraction, variations in wrist
position while training triceps spur growth and add muscularity. Choose
movements that challenge your triceps with a variety of wrist positions.
Try a sequence combination of lying triceps extensions with the easy-curl
bar, followed by straight-bar cable triceps press-downs, finishing
with dumbbell triceps kick-backs. Or, do barbell skull-crushers, followed
by seated single dumbbell triceps extensions behind the head, ending
with alternating one-arm handle cable triceps press-downs. Or, try
straight-bar cable triceps press downs, followed by dips, then one-arm
alternating overhead dumbbell French curls.
slam your elbows into the locked position.
Poor form can easily lead to injury. Be explosive and press briskly
to the top of a repetition, but only to a 95 percent lockout. You
don't need to lock your elbows completely to achieve maximum elbow
joint extension actually results in a slight relaxation of the triceps
muscles and even a "laxity" in the joint.
Don't overdo press-downs.
While press-downs are a great core motion and basic to a good triceps
routine, they're often overdone- at the expense of other important
movements! They primarily hit the outside head of the triceps. This
is great for stimulating development, but the outer head is the easiest
part of the triceps to the triceps to develop. So, beyond stimulating
this region, triceps press-downs add little bulk and firmness. While
working hard on the press-down portion of your routine, put more time
and energy into motions that develop the other heads (by the arm to
extend from overhead of from behind the neck).
a full range of motion and go deep.
True stimulation only comes from training a muscle through its full
range of motion. Although some people think they 're been "careful"
by not executing a full range of motion, partial reps are a set-up
for injury. Tendons and ligaments experience positive stimulation
when stretched through a full range of motion. This improves their
strength by increasing their passive tone or "tissue turgor".
Unlike muscles, these structures can't contract, but still have a
strength that correlates with resting tone.
French curls may be the best finishers.
The French curl is the single best finishing movement for the triceps.
Done correctly, it slaps on piles of mass. The French curl involves
using one arm at a time in isolation to lower a dumbbell behind your
head and bring it to the overhead, extended position. It's simple,
but profoundly effective. Stay in form and don't push the weight up
too fast; otherwise you'll lose the feel. It's best used after you've
done your hoisting big weight. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't
work hard at it.
Keep your descent slow and controlled.
As with any motion, slow and controlled descend is paramount to engaging
and triggering deep muscle fiber while remaining injury-free.
Stay away from gimmicks and tricky movements.
Things like cambered bars with adjustable circular rotating grips,
pressing straps, cable ropes and over-sized elastic tension bands
never built great triceps. Though interesting for variation, or perhaps
as a rare finishing motion, these movements are more for rehabilitation
or sports-specific training. No matter how hard you train using these
techniques, by themselves they won't give impressive results.
Squeeze and flex triceps muscles as hard possible
This will add granite hardness to the back of the arms. Unless you
want big, ham-like triceps with no density or shape, spend time contracting
these muscles between sets. Try squeezing your triceps between sets
for a continuous ten seconds, each second progressively increasing
the intensity, and finally relaxing at the end.