The triceps, located in the back of the upper arm are responsible elbow extension. They are composed of the long head, the lateral head and the medial head. The medial head, often called the lower triceps, is often harder to tone than the lateral and long head. Some people claim that performing weighted dips and closed-grip bench presses can work this area, but no research supports this theory. In fact, the all or nothing theory of muscle contraction states that when muscles contract, all fibers are activated.
Triceps Training Schedule
A triceps workout should be performed three times a week with a 48-hour rest between training sessions. Perform three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Although the triceps assist with exercises such as the bench press and the overhead press, they are often the weakest muscles in the upper body. As such, triceps exercises should be performed after you have worked the larger muscle groups.
Close-Grip Bench Press
If you are performing a full-body workout, this exercise can serve as a bridge between the your chest and triceps exercise. After you've completed a set of traditional bench presses. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Adjust your grip so that your hands are closer together. Begin with your elbows bent. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, slowly straighten your arms, but do not lock your elbows. Slowly lower the bar. If you don't have access to weights or a barbell, you can use a resistance band, tucked under your shoulders.
The close-grip push-up is another way to make a transition between your chest and triceps exercises. It can be performed in either a straight leg or a bent knee position. In this push-up variation, your fingers will be pointing toward your face. Assume either the bent knee of straight leg position. Draw your belly in to stabilize your spine. As you inhale, bend your arms and lower your chest toward the floor. Exhale as the arms straighten. Avoid locking your elbows.
Sit on a bench with your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the bench, with your fingers pointing directly ahead. Lift your hips off the bench. Bend your elbows and lower your hips toward the floor, and then slowly straighten your arms. Add challenge by extending your legs and placing your feet on another bench. You can add weight by placing a weight on your lap, but you will need a spotter to make sure that the weight stays in place.
Dumbell Overhead Triceps Extension
This exercise can be done while seated on a bench or on a stability ball. Sit with both feet on the floor, about hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell with both hands on the handle. Begin with your elbows bent, and facing directly ahead. The weight will be behind your head. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, slowly straighten your arms.