In this article we are going to focus on the triceps muscle.
The triceps muscle is the large muscle at the back of the upper arm. It has 3 heads – the long, lateral and medial head (hence Tri) and is attached to the shoulder blade and elbow joint.
The triceps muscle is used to help bend and flex the elbow, allowing your forearms to move. It is also used to help stabilize the shoulder joint.
Why train your triceps?
- Your triceps muscles play a role in some of your compound lifts, like bench presses and Shoulder presses. If this muscle is weaker, it will hinder your progress in these exercises, and may even lead to muscle imbalances.
- Your triceps can increase your shoulder stability, reducing the risk of injury.
- The biceps tend to get more of the focus when it comes to arms, but the triceps make up 2 thirds of the arm, so for a more toned leaner arm you need to work those triceps!
Here are 3 of my favourite triceps exercises
Skull Crusher – You can use either an EZ bar or dumbbells for this exercise. Difficult to perform but has maximum benefit. Lying on a flat bench, position your bar/dumbbell’s directly above your head. Then rotate back 2 inches. This is your start position. Keeping the elbows in position lower the weights so that they end up just above your forehead (hence Skull Crusher). Then return to the start position.
Cable press down – This is an excellent exercise to really isolate the triceps muscle. You can use a variety of different grips. I prefer the rope attachment. Standing upright grab hold of the attachment (which should be at the top of the cable runner) and press down to the floor. Make sure you keep your elbows tucked into your side and they don’t move during the exercise.
Kickbacks – This exercise can be performed with dumbbells or on the cable machine.
With dumbbells, place on knee on a flat bench and the same side arm just in front, so your back is parallel to the bench. Hold the weight in the opposite hand and bring the elbow up into your side, in line with your back. Push the dumbbell out to a fully extended position, then return so that it it’s at 90 degrees to your back.