How to Work your Triceps

As the name suggests, your triceps are made up of three parts. One, a long head, originates at your scapula. The second, a lateral head, originates from your humerus, or the back of your arm. The third is a short head which also originates from your humerus, but is lower than the lateral head. Triceps are used to extend the elbow.

When you are working on your biceps, you should take the time to work on the opposing muscles as well, your triceps. If you neglect one or the other, your muscles will be imbalanced which can cause pain and, eventually, injuries.

Tricep Exercises

Triangle Push-Ups

Get into push-up position. Place your hands close together with palms on the ground so that your thumbs and pointer fingers form a triangle. Gently lower your body in a straight line to the floor and slowly rise back to starting position. Repeat as necessary.

One-Arm Tricep Pushup

Lie on your right side with your knees bent and your hips stacked. Wrap your bottom arm around your waist and place your left hand on the floor in front of you, palm down and fingers pointing towards your right. Engage your triceps as you push your body up and off the floor, straightening your left arm as much as possible without locking your elbow. Gently lower a few inches until your body is hovering over the floor, then push back up again. Repeat as necessary, then switch sides.

Bench Dips

This exercise is not only great for your triceps, it works your shoulders and core muscles as well. Sit on a bench with your hands on the bench, palms down at each side of your hips. Walk your feet out until your butt is off the bench and your weight is in your arms and your legs. Walk your feet out even further until your legs are straight and your heels are touching the ground. Gently dip your body toward the ground until your elbows are at ninety degrees. Gently rise back up until your arms are straight. Repeat as necessary.

Kettle bell Tricep Overhead Press

Hold the weight over your head. Keeping your upper arms static, hinge at your elbow to lower the weight behind your head. Hinge in the opposite direction to go back to starting position. Repeat. This exercise can be done with dumbbells as well.

Skull Crushers

Lay with your back on a bench and your feet flat on the ground. Holding a dumbbell or a small barbell with both your hands, extend the weight over your chest and bend only from your elbows. Keep your upper arms as static as possible. Pull the weight back to starting position.

Tricep Kickbacks

Place your right hand and your right knee on a bench for support. Hold a dumbbell with your left hand and alight your left upper arm parallel to the floor against your side. Bend your elbow so that your left arm is at a 90-degree angle. This is starting position. Keeping your left upper arm static and glued to your side, extend your left forearm back until your entire left arm is parallel to the floor. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat as necessary, then switch sides.

Tricep Pushdowns

This exercise requires a pulley machine. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, grab a bar attached to a high pulley with your palms facing down. Keep your upper arms static against your sides as you bend your elbows and push the bar down until your forearms are parallel to the floor. This is your starting position. Push the bar down further until your arms are fully extended, without locking your elbows. Gently allow your forearms to return to starting position. Repeat as necessary.

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