The Top Triceps Exercises for Bigger Arms

Posted: 2nd September 2010 by Darren in triceps training
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The triceps muscles make up over three quarters of the upper arm, yet they are often times neglected by bodybuilders who underestimate their value. If you want to make your upper arm look strong, muscular, and powerful, you will want to work on building muscle mass in your triceps. There are a great number of exercises which work to exercise the triceps, some of them do so directly and some of them work indirectly. In technical terms, these are either isolating exercises which solely work the designated muscle, or compound exercises which aim to work larger muscle groups, but use the triceps as synergists. To maximally exercise your triceps, your routine will need to be populated with a good mixture of both types of exercise. Here are some of the best exercises for stimulating your triceps:Seated Overhead Tricep Extension (Overhead Raise)There are several variations of this exercise, including seated and standing versions. The seated version will provide you with a greater degree of stability. The best way to do this exercise is by using a single heavy dumbbell, though you can use a barbell, or a cable machine if you so choose. Sit on a supportive bench chair and securely grab the dumbbell using both hands. The dumbbell handle should be vertical. Extend your arms until the dumbbell is directly above the crown of your head. To effectively utilize this exercise, your upper arm should be vertical, and stay that way through completion of the motion. Bend your elbow and reach behind your head with the weight. The elbows should be tightly pressed into your ears at all times during the exercise. Stretch your muscle fibers deeply by reaching as far behind your head as you can, while still maintaining a straight position with your arms. If you use a barbell, you might find it more difficult to maneuver it into a suitable position during set up. It is much easier to use a smaller weight, or dumbbell, than attempting to load weight onto the bar and then hold it safely above the head. If you perform this movement correctly, you will quickly experience great gains in your triceps. The beauty of this exercise is its simplicity. Should you have difficulty with the positioning, ask someone to spot for you, or sit in front of a mirror to be sure your upper arm is vertical at all times. Close Grip Bench Press (Close Bench)There are several pieces of equipment you can choose from to perform this exercise. You can use an Olympic bench with a full-sized bar, or a free standing bench with a bent curl bar. The curl bar is safer for the wrist joints, but the full-sized bar will allow you to bear more weight. Either of these set ups will give you the same results; you just need to decide what is preferable to you. This exercise is identical to the Flat Bench Press, except for the positioning of your hands. The Close Bench employs a narrower grip; ideally you should place your hands no wider than bench width – around six inches apart. You should take your grip around the middle of the bar, and elevate the bar to a point directly above your eye-line. When you do the down movement of this exercise, the bar should be level with your lower chest. DipsDips are simple yet effective exercises which are highly recommended for developing the three muscle bundles in the triceps, the pectoral muscles, and also the deltoids. The outer pectorals which are situated next to the armpit will receive ample secondary stimulation. Dips are most easily performed on the parallel bars which can be found at most gyms. You will place your feet on the pads provided, grasp the bars which should be around your hip height, and then simply lift yourself off the footpads. Your arms will be straight at the height of the movement, and then bent at a 90 degree angle as you lower yourself back to the starting position. Your triceps will be working continuously to control your ascent and descent during this exercise. In the event that your gym does not have parallel bars, you can use two benches as an effective alternative. Using a sitting-type position, place your feet on one bench, and grip the other bench using your hands. Your body weight should all be distributed on your hands and feet. You can then lower your weight between the benches by bending the tricep muscles, and then return yourself to the starting position by pushing down with your hands on the bench. Whether you include some or all of these exercises in your upper body workout, you need to push your triceps to their limits without causing them injury. If you make a conscious effort to squeeze the whole tricep as you exercise, you will notice a rapid increase in muscle mass, and soon be the proud owner of impressive arms.

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