Triceps are the often-forgotten muscles that contribute to sleeker arms. Located on the opposite side of the biceps, well-defined triceps make the arm look bigger – and they add a little pop to your jump shot.
1. Grasp a dumbbell lightly with your right hand. For starters, use a weight that’s less than 10 pounds.
2. Sit on the edge of a chair or workout bench, keeping both feet flat on the floor, knees apart, shoulders relaxed, abdominals contracted and back straight. (Image 1)
3. Raise the weight above your head, making sure not to bend your back and using your left hand to help raise the weight. (Image 2)
4. Extend your right arm and keep it close to your right ear. Turn the palm of your right hand inward.
5. Slowly bend your elbow until the end of the dumbbell almost touches the top of your right shoulder. Focus on contracting your tricep throughout the exercise. (Image 3)
6. Hold the position for 1-2 seconds.
7. Slowly raise the weight until arm is extended. You should feel the tricep muscle contract. (Image 4)
8. Repeat 8-12 times. The entire movement should be smooth and last 5 seconds.
9. Switch the weight to the left side and repeat exercise.
10. Do 2-3 sets of 8-13 repetitions with each arm.
click photos to enlarge
After two to four weeks, increase the weight by 1½ to 3 pounds to challenge yourself. As long as you’re not cheating by moving your back, heavier weight will help build stronger, more efficient triceps.
For toning the triceps, try using lighter weights and doing more repetitions. For greater mass, use heavier weights and fewer repetitions.
Using free weights and/or machines can isolate this three-headed muscle. Ask a physical therapist or licensed personal trainer for optimal exercises.
To improve your strength more quickly, lift weights more slowly – this allows your muscles to rely more on strength than momentum.
Standard push-ups involve the triceps. Do the push-up with your hands slightly closer together than shoulder width.
If you have any condition which would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.