Work your triceps efficiently

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Work your triceps efficiently

    After the push-up build-up challenge, a few bees (namely Ventralcorp, Roselunatic and mkw) said they would be interested in tips to help them build stronger triceps.

    So, here they are! Most of them come from the Lafay Method for Physical training (link in French, sorry!), along with a few pieces of information I got from other readings... and my own experience.

    Why work your triceps?

    You need your triceps to extend your arms. You use them every time you push something, along with other muscles - typically, the shoulders and pectorals. Some difficult exercises like diamond-push-ups, dips or handstand push-ups cannot be done without strong triceps. Boxers or martial artists who want to be able to punch with speed and power will need explosive strength in those same muscles.

    Push-ups are the most standard and obvious exercise to work your triceps. The thing is, since push-ups recruit a whole chain of muscles and your ability to perform in this regard is limited by the weakest link in the chain, you may find that the number of push-ups you can do in a single workout depends more on the strength you have in your shoulders or pecs than in your triceps, which are still able to perform even when the other muscles in the chain are too fatigued to carry on. This means it is worth working those muscles in isolation to make sure they progress as much as the others.


    To isolate your triceps, you can either use free weights, or your own bodyweight with different types of supports, depending on your fitness level.

    An example of tricep extensions with dumbbells:

    This is an effective exercise, but keeping a straight back and making sure you control the weight enough not to hurt your neck on the way down can prove somewhat tricky.
    Also, not every one has access to dumbbells with the right weight.

    On the other hand, using your own bodyweight with a suitable support can be done nearly anywhere. The support will change depending on the difficulty level you are after.

    One of the easiest variants can be done by placing your hands on a wall, like this:

    Note that the lower you put your hands, the harder the exercise will get.

    Of course, the same can be done on the floor. After all, this is as low as you can get.

    The only downside here is the reduced range of motion, since the surface you are leaning on keeps you from flexing your arms as much as you could. For a fuller range, you should use a support which does not block your elbows, such as a table:

    ... or even a chair:

    (Having a child in the background is completely optional )

    A pull-up bar can also be used if you can place it low enough.

    How often?

    For best results, you should use these exercises as finishers, at the end of a workout including push-ups, twice or three times a week (preferably not two days in a row to let your muscles recover and rebuild).

    Do them in three sets to failure with one-minute rest times. Choose a variant easy enough for you to do at least 8 reps in the first set. When you can do more than 20, it means it is time for you to move on to a harder variant, by choosing a lower support (or putting your feet higher, which amounts to the same thing). The difficulty of the chair or table extensions can be adjusted by spreading your legs (the more distance between your feet, the easier the exercise will be).

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Redline; July 1, 2015, 03:29 PM.

    So your hands are supposed to be how far above your head for the form to be right?

    Ever thought about doing one of these tutorials for shoulders? :lol:

    This is great Redline ! I simply can't do the dumbbell version! So seeing bodyweight ones is awesome!


      That's the most helpful thing Redline. I appreciate all of that!


        Redline you rock!! I'm on mobile right now, can't see the videos (my bloody phone shows half of the screen) will check from my laptop tonight, probably with Romain together.

        I have 3+3 weights at home for myself. I practice that first workout each time I work with weights both at home and at gym. Either by using both or with a 7-8kg

        Je vais définitivement suivre ces instructions.. Merci beaucoup !


          Thank you so much for putting in all this effort and time! Very helpful indeed!


            Click image for larger version

Name:	téléchargement.jpg
Views:	407
Size:	8.0 KB
ID:	56473

            Thank you Redline!
            I'm doing the one with dumbbells but quite rarely, I will definitly add it to my hero's journey.
            Bodyweight versions are very cool too and pretty useful as they can be done anywhere.
            Last edited by Ventralcorp; July 1, 2015, 08:47 PM.


              Good, good. Other exercises to test... Thanks !


                Originally posted by Candace View Post
                So your hands are supposed to be how far above your head for the form to be right?
                Roughly at the same level. Putting your hands higher or lower won't affect your form. It will just make the exercise easier, or harder.
                The really important thing is to keep your elbows down and resist the urge of pushing. To isolate your triceps, you merely have to extend your arms, without using your shoulders or pecs to help. Always keep your forearms as parallel as possible.

                Originally posted by Candace View Post
                Ever thought about doing one of these tutorials for shoulders?
                Erm... Two words: "Decline push-ups". Happy?

                Broody_Owl, Roselunatic, TheRaven, Ventralcorp, Digger - you're most welcome.


                  planks, lol.


                    Redline, thank you so much for all the information! And with exercise videos to boot :rocky-3:...

                    I tried the dumbbell exercise after doing the Hunger Games workout (for the Random Workout Challenge) this morning, 3 sets of 10 reps. The last two reps were evil :brow:, will continue doing this!


                      Not sure if this is against forum rules linking other workouts from other websites, if it is, feel free to delete.

                      However, I'm currently following the challenge ( on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

                      I doubt it'll ever make you reach 150 consecutive dips, but the burn is phenomenal and and have noticed a stronger, leaner, harder bicep already.

                      That said, I combine it with this: which I use with my pushup bars to really work the tricep, chest and shoulders more.

                      Workout takes an approximate 30 mins in total per week which is great. You'll all see huge benefits from it. No equipment required and can be done anytime at home.


                        Can I do the one you did on floor but do it a a raised surface?
                        I'm in between wall and floor variation?


                          Candace - sure! Anything that works for you. If you can do between 8 and 20 reps in your first set, then, that's fine.


                            ... and since Ankur.R apparently managed to find this thread and like it even though it's been buried for a while in the Training section... I'm going to give it a little boost. Just in case more people find it useful.


                              Redline good idea I loved your tricep research, maybe when darebee has muscle focused articles this data can be used for the tricep part.