Do not cheat yourself -- use proper form.
Tight, bulging shirt sleeves or that toned look in a strapless dress are thought to be products of biceps training. However, the larger contributor to your arms are not your biceps, but your triceps. In fact, your triceps take up two-thirds of your upper arm. Incorporating triceps exercises is essential for arm development, but it is important to elicit proper form to keep your joints and muscles healthy.
Kick It Back
The triceps kickback can be performed at the gym using dumbbells or in your home using water bottles. Choose a light enough weight to avoid swinging or rocking your arm. Prepare by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at your waist until until your torso is at slightly above parallel to the floor. Next, bring your elbows up until the back of your arms are parallel with your torso. While holding that position, extend both arms until they are straight out behind you and slowly return to the start position. Perform triceps kickbacks for four sets of 10 repetitions.
Triceps dips are an effective triceps exercise that are performed using a weight bench at your gym or using a sturdy chair at home. Prepare by sitting on a bench or chair with your hands slightly under your hips. Begin by lifting up onto your hands while bringing your hips forward with your knees slightly bent. This is your starting position. You can increase the intensity by walking your feet out or elevating your feet on another bench. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and lower your hips while keeping your shoulders down. Then push back up until you are in the starting position. Perform three sets of eight to 10 repetitions. If you have trouble getting eight to 10 repetitions, many gyms have assisted dip machines which lessen the weight.
Triangle Push-Up Is King
The standard push-up uses shoulder-width arm placement, whereas the triangle push-up places your hands together to form a triangle. To perform the triangle push-up, get into standard push-up position. Bring your hands together so that your thumbs and index fingers are touching. With your elbows tucked into your sides, lower until your chest reaches the floor and press up using your triceps. Make sure your back is flat and your head is aligned with your spine through the entire movement. To make the movement easier, you can perform the exercise with your knees bent until you become more experienced with the full plank position. Perform four sets of eight repetitions and this movement will have your triceps burning. According to a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, the triangle push-up is crowned number one in regards to triceps muscle activation.
With today's busy lifestyles and responsibilities, getting to the gym may not always be possible. However, you can perform these triceps exercises at home using common items. In between television shows is an excellent time to whip out a chair and perform dips, perform some triangle push-ups or grab a few water bottles and rep some triceps kickbacks. It is often easy to sacrifice proper form for higher weight or repetitions, however, you will get the most out of your triceps routine by practicing proper form.