Strengthening the triceps is not only necessary to have toned arms. Your triceps work every time you push a door or the market cart, for example. They also work as a team with your biceps and other arm muscles to stabilize your shoulder in some movements.
Therefore, strengthening the triceps goes beyond toning and self-esteem, which in turn, will help prevent injuries. Do you want to have stronger and more marked triceps? Then put into practice the exercises that we recommend below.
How are the triceps strengthened?
The triceps is a muscle that, as the name implies, has three heads: medial, lateral and long. Together, they allow extending the elbow. The long head also helps stabilize the shoulder. Therefore, to strengthen the triceps you have to do exercises that induce elbow extension, keeping your shoulder stable.
The best way to strengthen them is to perform exercises that work the three portions, as we will see below.
Exercises to strengthen the triceps
Before entering fully into the exercises, keep in mind the following recommendations:
- Warm-up properly before doing any exercise.
- Maintain scapular retraction throughout the movement. This prevents shoulder injuries and improves the effectiveness of the exercise.
- If you have no previous experience with any of these movements, perform about 10-20 test repetitions without weight so that your body becomes familiar and reduces the risk of injury.
- Visualize the movement while doing it, so you will develop the mind-body connection.
- If the exercise causes pain that does not diminish with the repetition, stop doing so.
Triceps extension with pulley
This exercise is very simple, perfect for people with any level of training, from the beginner to the most advanced. It has many variants with which you can play to do the exercise more or less challenging, such as:
- Modify the position of the pulley (high or low) to work the muscle at different angles.
- Change your position: in front of the pulley or on your back.
In any variant, the important thing is to maintain the scapular retraction and focus the movement on the elbow.
This exercise is preferable to do it with dumbbells. To do it:
- Take the dumbbell with one hand.
- Support the knee and arm on the side that you are not working on the bench.
- Retract the scapulae.
- Raise the elbow, so that it is at the same level as the shoulder. This alignment should be maintained throughout the exercise.
- Extend the elbow.
The most common mistake is to lose the elbow-shoulder alignment. It is important to master that position first to prevent injuries. To do this, perform the movement in front of a mirror so that you make sure you maintain the correct position.
Skull crusher or french press
You can do this movement with bars or dumbbells. If you do it with a bar, it is preferable that it is the EZ bar to keep the wrist in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
Common mistakes of the skull crusher or French press :
- «Drop» the weight to the forehead. To perform the exercise optimally, slowly drop the weight above your head.
- Move your shoulder too much. Remember that the triceps are an elbow extender and a shoulder stabilizer. Concentrate on moving your elbow while keeping your shoulder perpendicular to the ceiling.
Push up to strengthen the triceps
This exercise strengthens both the trunk and the shoulders and arms. Before making the variant to strengthen the triceps, it is important that you first master the classic push up.
The triceps variant consists in modifying the support of your hands. Instead of being perpendicular to your shoulders, your hands will be perpendicular to your chest.
Final recommendations to strengthen the triceps
- If you cannot perform 4-5 repetitions correctly with the chosen weight, reduce the weight.
- If you can’t do repetitions with weight, it doesn’t matter. You can do them without weight or by changing the position of your body. For example:
- You can make the push-ups easier if you do them on the wall instead of the floor.
Remember that the goal is to strengthen your body and prevent injuries. There is no point in increasing your weight if you don’t exercise properly. Master the movement and then add resistance.