When talking about strong arms, what comes to mind is attractive biceps lined up by gorgeous veins. But little do people know that it is actually the triceps that make your arm stronger, even more so than your biceps. This is because triceps account for two-thirds of your arm, as opposed to the one-third of your arm that is comprised of biceps. So if you’re aiming to have strong and shapely arms, then triceps should be a higher priority for you than biceps.
What are triceps?
Triceps, as the name suggests, consists of three heads and is situated at the back of the arm. It consists of a medial head, lateral head, and long head. Medial head is smaller and usually goes unnoticed, it is the lateral head that forms the bulk of the triceps, and is seen on the lateral side of the arm. When people refer to strong triceps, they are actually talking about this lateral head. The long head is just behind the arm in the posterior compartment, which gives the definition to the arm.
Factors that contribute to bigger and stronger triceps
There is no one-stop solution for building stronger triceps. It depends on the following factors-
- Genetics: Some people gain mass faster than others. This is largely to do with your DNA.
- Motivation and commitment: What is your level of motivation to build triceps? To what extent can you dedicate yourself to this cause?
- Current workout plan: To what extent does your workout plan pay attention to your triceps?
- Current physical fitness: If you are a beginner, then it might take you a while to get there, as compared to the time it would take someone who is already a regular fitness freak.
What is the best exercise to build the perfect triceps?
Do compound exercises: The best compound exercises are pushups and the bench press. You must never neglect compound exercises that work on multiple joints. The reason is that muscles are interconnected in the body, and several muscles act in tandem during any single act.
Some basic rules to keep in mind before you start working on your triceps;
- At least one heavy triceps workout per week with progressive overloading
- You must set aside a day exclusively for triceps at least once a week.
- You must progressively increase the weights as your progress to challenge your muscles.
- Train triceps directly to get the maximum benefits
We have picked a few exercises that work on triceps directly.
Bench press with a close-grip
Lie on a flat bench and hold the barbell with a close grip. This will boost the lateral head of the triceps. The chest also gets strengthened here, which is an additional perk.
Position your hands on a secured chair or bench, and keep your legs extended in front of you. Then slowly bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. In addition to working your triceps, dips work your chest and shoulders as well.
Overhead triceps press with a dumbbell
Take the dumbbell in a single hand and do an overhead press. This particularly acts on the long head of the triceps to add definition to your arm.
The Skull Crusher
This exercise is easy and simple to do and is done lying on a flat bench and triceps is extended. The medial head is strengthened through this.
Triceps Push down
One of the easiest triceps exercises. Take a straight bar, attached by cable to a high pulley. Keep your arms extended, perpendicular to the floor. Then bring the bar down till it touches the front of your thighs.
Avoid over training
A common mistake made by over-enthusiastic fitness freaks is overworking your body. If you over-train, you run the risk of losing it all. So know when to stop. It is as important, if not more, than starting. Keep changing the combination of exercises to cheat the muscle growth plateaus.
The golden rule of all exercises is “Nutrition.” Never neglect good nutrition. Talk to your personal trainer and your dietitian, to find out the what kinds of foods will help you in your goal to build muscle.
You have to find out what is the best exercise for you. What works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. You have to experiment and find those combinations that suit you. Some advice heavy weights low reps training, while others advice low weights higher reps training. Ultimately, your trainer and you can find the combination of reps & sets that works best for you.