The triceps is a muscle that determines approximately 60% of the volume of the arms. When it comes to working on sculpting your arms, it is often a mistake to focus on the biceps alone. While it’s true that the biceps look great at first glance, the triceps are an essential part of a complete and truly effective arm workout. In this article, we offer you 5 basic exercises to help you improve your triceps muscles.
1. The importance of free weights: barbell and dumbbell exercises
One of the best ways to train the triceps is with free weights, i.e. with different types of barbells and dumbbells. In general, working with barbells allows you to mobilise more weight than with dumbbells, and this, as we will see, is very interesting for our objective.
First of all, we must bear in mind that the triceps, as its name suggests, consists of three parts: the inner portion, the outer portion, and the long portion. To ensure that all three portions of the triceps are activated together in our routine, it is preferable to use more or less considerable weights. This task can be accomplished, for example, with barbells, which are more suitable for heavy weights.
Dumbbells, on the other hand, facilitate a more specific workout of the individual portions of the triceps. This is something that can therefore also be very useful. The combination of barbell and dumbbell exercises will ultimately help us to harmoniously shape our triceps.
2. The triceps extension on the pulleys
The pulley is one of the most popular machines in all gyms and is one of our best allies for strengthening the triceps. An interesting exercise with the pulley is to stand a few meters away from the machine and perform a vertical movement with your arms. It is essential that, during the exercise, the forearms are tensed, and that the arms are kept close to the body.
This is an exercise that can be performed on the pulley both from the front and from the back, which allows us to focus on different portions of the triceps. It is an option that offers us the possibility of a more local, more concrete workout.
3. Multiple ways of working with one’s own weight: from the chair triceps to the crab
In order to have extraordinary triceps, we can’t ignore or undermine the possibilities of the own-weight routines. In this line, it is worth mentioning, for the case in point, the push-ups with hands together. It is a very simple exercise, but with hands together it is very effective for improving our triceps.
We also have the option of doing series of repetitions in certain positions, lifting our own weight. This is the case, for example, of the so-called “crab” position, in which we stand with the palms of our hands and our heels on the floor. The work consists of repeatedly raising the hips, raising the chest a little with each ascent.
These are just two examples, but the possibilities of working the triceps through our body, without the need for specific machines, are innumerable. We should also mention, in this line of bodyweight exercises, chair triceps, which are very useful for toning the muscles of the arm and, in particular, the triceps. To perform them, we need a chair, on which we rest the palm of our hands, and from there, the exercise will simply consist of raising and lowering our body.
4. The triceps dips: very complete exercises for strengthening the triceps and other parts of the body
Triceps dips are very complete exercises, which also strengthen the abdominals and lower back. They are essential for increasing triceps muscle mass.
In this line, we have, for example, the triceps dips between benches, which activate the three portions of the triceps. It is simply a matter of leaning on two benches (the first one with your hands and the second one with your legs) and lowering and raising your body with the strength of your arms, bending your elbows.
We can also opt for the triceps pull-up between parallel bars, which can also contribute to the development of the pectoral muscles. In this case, it is also a self-loading of our body, but with the support, on this occasion, of two parallel bars.
5. The possibilities of the bench press
The bench press is one of the classic exercises for developing pushing strength in the upper limbs. One of its variations, the close grip bench press, is a good way to work the triceps. With a tighter grip, the focus is on the triceps. When performed with a heavy weight, it activates all three portions of the triceps.
In a similar vein, there is also the French press, which is widely used to work the triceps muscles. The key to the French press is to keep the elbows forward, rather than open.
Establish a weekly triceps routine
As we have seen, the triceps are a crucial muscle if we want to properly sculpt our arms. The ways to invigorate it, through training, are many and varied. It is for this reason that it is recommended to do several of the highlighted exercises in such a way that all three portions of the triceps are worked both locally and as a whole. Self-weight work (chair triceps, crab position, etc.), barbells, dumbbells, dips, and presses are just some of the options available to tone the triceps.
The overriding advice, however, beyond the specific suggestions listed in this article, is to persist. Train, train, and train. And, above all, given the preponderance of biceps, don’t forget the triceps. Maintaining a weekly triceps routine will help us to improve our performance and our physical appearance. So let’s give the triceps, once and for all, the importance they truly deserve. Our body will undoubtedly thank us for it.