Choosing the Best Tricep Workout
The triceps consist of three heads which connect the humerus and scapula bones to the bone in the forearm called the ulna. The heads are known as the lateral, medial, and long heads. The lateral head forms the horseshoe shape of the forearm. The medial is at the mid section and the long head is the largest if the three. The three heads work in unison to allow elbow extension and other forms of movement to aid in various functions. When you think about the many functions your arms perform itís easy to understand why keeping them healthy and fit is a necessary task.
The first step in creating a workout routine is to decide on your level of experience. If youíve not made a habit of exercising your triceps in the past then itís only logical to begin at an intermediate or beginners level. An advanced level will do more damage than good.
Pulley push downs are a recommended exercise to include in the beginners routine. One essential reason for this is because the movement stresses the entire triceps muscle complex. Proper positioning is important with any particular exercise. You should grip the bar overhand leaving them only three to five inches apart in the center of the handle. Though youíre not including your lower body in this exercise, the way you position your feet is still significant. They should be shoulder width apart and about ten to twelve inches back from the handle. Completely bend your arms, pressing your forearms against your torso. Hold the position leaning slightly forward. Move your forearms downward then slowly straighten your entire arm. Flex your arm triceps for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
Also included in a beginners routine might be some close grip bench presses. These bench presses have a much narrower grip than is used with standard bench presses. The closer the positioning of the hands with this exercise, the more emphasis on the triceps is experienced. Youíll want to grip the bar so that your index fingers are about six inches apart. After youíre lifted the barbell off the rack, slowly bring it down to the mid-chest section. Right before the bar contacts your pectorals, reverse the motion pushing the weight upward and back to the starting position. If done correctly youíll feel the tension in your triceps not in your chest.
For a more intermediate routine you may wish to include parallel bar dips. Similar to presses, dips will put some stress on your pectoral muscles but their main focus will be on your triceps. The effect is enhanced by composing your posture in an erect manner. As you grab the bars you want your ankles to cross underneath you. Then slowly bend your arms while you lower your torso toward the floor. When youíve positioned your body to its full extent, meaning fully bent and lowered, come back to the starting position. Once your body is raised, tighten a few seconds then repeat the exercise.
Lying barbell extensions are also included in an intermediate level routine. These are a favorite of the forearm enthusiast. Take a narrow over grip in the center of the bar while lying on the bench. Positioning your feet at the side of the bench for balance, slowly extend your arms directly above your head. Keeping your upper arms still bend your elbows lowering the bar until it just touches your forehead reverse, using your tricep strength to strength to straighten your arms. Bring back to the starting position, and then repeat.
Whatever your level of experience, the exercises mentioned are significant at their levels and compliment even the more advanced routines. However, no routine is acceptable without a good warm up technique to get you started. This, along with proper exercise positioning will prevent injury and allow for a safe and extensive routine.
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