The more it challenges you, the more it changes you. This philosophy can be applied to exercising the chest and triceps in a same-day workout. The chest and triceps work together to coordinate most pushing movements originating from the shoulder, so it's almost impossible not to combine them.
Compound workouts — exercising multiple muscle groups at once — while intense, may be more beneficial than isolated activities. First, determine the best muscle group combinations to workout together. Exercising the muscles of the chest and triceps together, the chest and back on the same day, or a back and biceps workout, can strengthen these areas in a quicker amount of time.
Muscles respond well to change. That's why involving more than one group of muscles and multiple movements is an effective way to achieve strong, healthy triceps and chest muscles in a single workout.
Choose Compound Muscle Combinations
The American Council on Exercise explains the benefits of compound exercises, which are multi-joint movements that involve more than a single group of muscles. Performing compound exercises can lead to increased calorie burn, improved intramuscular coordination, improved movement efficiency, increased dynamic flexibility and act as cardiovascular activity.
Compound exercises that work the chest and triceps are also a great way to achieve results in less time, especially when using them in a single workout performed once or twice a week. Steer clear of working out the same muscle groups on consecutive days in order to allow the muscles to recover. The bench press is another compound workout that involves the muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps.
Train the Chest and Triceps
According to a study published in the March 2012 issue of Sports Medicine, researchers determined that the exercises performed in the beginning of a workout led to the participants making greater strength gains than when the exercises were completed at the end of the session. So if you want to strengthen one muscle over the others — say, your chest over your triceps or vice versa — do exercises that target that muscle at the beginning of your workout.
To target your triceps without chest involvement, try exercises such as triceps kickbacks, triceps extensions or triceps dips. For exercises that work the muscles of the chest with minimal involvement of the triceps, opt for variations on chest flys utilizing equipment like cable pulleys or free weights.
Read more: Top 5 Pectoral Exercises
Try Body Weight Exercises
The Mayo Clinic recommends ditching the dumbbells or strength-training machines in favor of using your own body weight. Utilizing body weight as resistance challenges multiple muscle groups all at once.
You can use your own body weight to build strength in the upper body with activities that work several muscles, including those located in the arms, shoulders and chest, all at the same time. Pushups, for example, are a classic compound body-weight exercise that work your chest and triceps at the same time, combining the function of multiple muscles to strengthen the arms, chest, core and back.
Make the most of your next workout with challenging, strength-building exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.