Triceps are elegant machines in their own right. It’s a group of three muscles, which connect your arm to your body, and which allow you to push with your hands and extend your elbows.
But the reason we’re so dedicated to the tricep is that it’s one of the most hard-working muscles in your body. You use it to perform dozens of tasks each day. From brushing your teeth and carrying your child, to opening doors or banging out 50 push-ups.
And while arm exercises may not be the most exciting things you can do in the gym, there are a number of benefits in having strong triceps.
Strong triceps make you a stronger person
In fact, your strength isn’t measured by the size of your bicep but by the force in your tricep. If you want to push more weight, you need to build stronger triceps.
A strong tricep helps to create the balance needed for a strong bicep. And where you have balanced, strong muscles, you’re less likely to have injuries too.
Plus, a big tricep is what makes your arm muscles look bigger and more defined too!
Here are five personal trainer-approved tricep exercises to include in your training programme.
1. Tricep push-down
Hold the handle with both hands, keeping your elbows close to your body. Start with your arms bent at 90 degrees. Using the tricep, push the handle down toward the floor, stopping just before your arms are completely straight. Pause and then slowly return to the start position.
2. Reverse One-Arm Cable Triceps Extensions
At the cable machine, make sure the handle is set high. Grab the handle with a reverse grip (palm facing upwards). Now tuck your elbow in close to your torso, fixing your upper arm so it doesn’t move at all. Straighten the elbow slowly, and squeeze your tricep at the bottom of the extension. Pause, and then return to the start position.
3. Tricep dips
Start by locking your elbows, so your body is held at arm’s length above the dip frame bars. Now inhale and slowly bend at the elbows to lower your body. Make sure you keep your torso upright and your elbows tucked in close to avoid injury. When you’ve reached the lowest point you can reach, exhale and push your torso back up (again, keeping your torso upright and your elbows in).
4. Close-grip bench press
Hold a barbell shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms to start. Now lower the bar towards you, pausing at the bottom, before slowly pressing it back to the top.
5. Overhead Lateral Tricep Extensions
Raise one arm vertically overhead, gripping a dumbbell. Now lock your upper arm, bending at the elbow to lower the dumbbell sideways behind your head. Pause at the bottom, before squeezing your triceps to return to the start position.