When people try to build size and definition in their arms, one of the biggest mistakes they make is to put most of the focus only on the bicep. That's why today we're going to focus on how to build your triceps into mighty machines.
Triceps make up the majority muscle mass of the upper arm. The Triceps run along the humerus (the main bone of the upper arm) between the shoulder blade and the elbow. The triceps muscle has 3 heads versus the biceps 2 heads.
3 heads means that the muscle works 3 different ways. When we talk about building your triceps, ultimately that means there are 3 angles to work the muscle.
Let's talk about 3 different exercises to really take build some fantastic, sexy triceps.
The key to building triceps is arm angle. The shoulder, delts, lats and biceps are very close by. So the angle and movement of the arm will make all the difference.
The movement we want is the same as a bicep curl, but we want the opposite force. With a bicep curl we curl the arm from the elbow down up to the shoulder. And in that curl we want the weight to go up toward the sky - curling against gravity.
The tricep pushdown, whether you use a bar, resistance bands or rope, works by placing the resistance above your head and pushing down. By pushing down you reverse the curl motion and are forced to use the back of the arm, the tricep.
Technique is very important as we stated. Start by pressing your elbows against the side of your torso not allowing them to flare out. Start with your elbows bent at 90 degrees so your forearms are parallel with the floor. Press down on the bar or the rope and extend your elbows until your arms are straight and finish alongside your thighs. Straighten and control your forearms back up to starting position.
Using a rope for a tricep pushdown requires you to use your arm stabilizer muscles as well. As you know from the Full Body Blitz, we really emphasize compound movements. Isolation exercises are great if you are a body builder prepping for a show, otherwise compound movements really stress more muscles at once.
Close Grip Basketball Push-ups
While you are learning how to build your triceps, you should learn how more than one way to work the muscles. With the close grip basketball push-up we're looking at a completely different movement, but like the rope, we're working on another compound muscle exercise.
With this exercise your body becomes the weight. Since the body is located above the arms in this pose, it works the triceps not the biceps.
Here's how to do it:
- Assume the push-up position.
- Instead of placing your hands on the floor under your shoulders, place your hands on a basketball and locate the basketball directly under your chest on the floor.
- Keeping your elbows glued to your sides, lower your body to the basketball and then push back up into position.
I'm not a huge fan of isolation exercises. I particularly love these two exercises since they involve stabilizing muscles and they force you to balance while you work. But even combo exercises aren't going to get you to the promise land.
You need a good nutrition, the right mindset and a variety of workouts.
Check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for more information about burning fat and building muscles!