Given our busy schedules and time constraints, it’s important that we maximize the benefits of our workouts. With that in mind, the Installing Muscles team recently did some research to determine which exercises most effectively target the triceps. Everyone strives for those sexy, strong arms, but it’s important to develop these muscles, not just for aesthetics, but also for functional use. We studied eight traditional triceps exercises to determine which exercises were most effective at targeting those muscles with little or no equipment. The three exercises that scored the best results have been listed below:
Killer Exercise #1: Triangle Push-ups
Now, unlike the traditional push-up, where the hands are placed shoulder-width apart, the triangle push-up, involves placing the thumbs and the forefingers together to form a triangle position. The hands are then placed directly under the chest. Just like a traditional push-up, you will assume a full plank position. Try and keep the shoulders, nice and square. And maintain that nice, stiff torso throughout the exercise. For a modification, you can always follow the bent-knee position push-up.
Killer Exercise #2: Dips
The dips are performed using a low bench, but any sturdy chair or ledge can also be used. Begin by placing your hands on either side of your hips so that your palms are resting on the bench and your fingers are hanging over the edge. With your feet together, slowly walk yourself out, extending your legs out in front of you. As you begin the exercise and lower yourself, try to ensure throughout the exercise that your elbows are not raised above shoulder height and try and maintain an angle tighter than 90 degrees at the elbows.
Killer Exercise #3: Triceps Kickbacks
In performing the triceps kickback exercise, proper form is important, not only for targeting the muscle effectively, but also for safety reasons to prevent additional stress upon the spine. Here are some key coaching cues:
- Always maintain a neutral spine and hip position throughout the exercise, whether using the bench or supporting your own body.
- Make sure the movement is coming out of the elbow where you can target the triceps effectively and not through the shoulder.
- The shoulder joint should remain fixed, whereas the elbow should be going through flexion extension.
The results of this research clearly demonstrate that you can achieve strong, toned triceps with little or no equipment. In fact, you can do most of these exercises any time, any place. Just remember to have a purpose behind your training. If you’re training for endurance, two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps will suffice. If you’re training for muscle size and for strengthening, you’d want to think about doing up to four sets; somewhere in the range of 6- to 12-reps.
For more information like this, as well as other great exercise ideas, be sure to follow InstallingMuscles.com. We’ll see you next time.