When it comes to the arms most people fall into two categories: those who can wear tank tops and those who cannot. If you fall into the latter category don’t worry because we’ve come up with some great tricep workouts to burn the fat and tighten the muscles.
There are 2 important factors to understand about arm exercises before we begin. First, if your goal is to build up your muscle you’ll have to use heavier weights that require more effort and fewer repetitions. If your goal is to tone those triceps and get stronger you need less weight and higher reps.
1. Tricep Kickbacks (Two-Arm)
Tricep kickbacks are a great workout because you get the added benefit of working the lower back and hips. Not only will you build and tone your tricep muscles with this exercise, you’ll also help strengthen your back to avoid injury when lifting heavier objects. Just remember to breathe while you workout so you don’t pass out.
Begin tricep kickbacks with a dumbbell in each of your hands. Choose the correct weight based on your abilities and tricep goals. Bend your knees slightly and bend forward slightly at the waist. Your upper arms should remain close to your body. Exhale as you extend your arms straight back, hold that position for a moment or two, and inhale as your return your arms to starting position.
It is extremely important that you don’t round your back forwards. Keep your back straight. Only your knees and waist should bend.
2. Dumbbell Tricep Extension
The dumbbell extension is a rigorous tricep workout that you’re guaranteed to feel! This exercise is about stability and focus, and if done incorrectly can result in a smack to the head. If you want to tone flabby triceps choose a dumbbell weight that’ll allow you to do up to 3 sets of 12 repetitions. If you want lean, mean muscles, choose a weight that allows you to do 4 sets of 9 repetitions.
Begin the dumbbell extension on a workout bench of the floor, just make sure you can lay down without interference. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms in front of you about shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows, slowly bringing the weight towards the floor as you inhale. Hold the weights in this position for a moment and then exhale as you extend your arms straight out in front of you again. Repeat to meet your desired tricep goals.
3. Close Grip Push Up
I know that push ups are the least favorite exercise among my tricep-challenged friends and for good reason. Push ups in general require a great amount of stability and strength, but close grip push ups can be downright torturous until your muscle development begins to improve.
Starting position for the close grip push up–sometimes called the diamond push up–is with your hands on the floor underneath your chest. Your index fingers and thumbs should be touching in a diamond-like position. With your hands in this position lower yourself while exhaling, as low as you can to the floor. Hold the position for a moment and inhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.
These are pretty tough, but definitely worth the effort. If you make it through the first set of 10, be proud and keep going! Remembering to inhale and exhale through each step of the movement is key in decreasing the level of difficulty. If you already feel comfortable with the close grip push up and want to give your triceps a little kick in the pants, add a clap to this move as you push up.
4. Cable Extensions (Overhead)
If you burn fat at the gym like millions of people, consider walking over to the scary pulley machine that seems like a medieval torture device. I promise you…it’s not. Cable extensions have the double-bonus of toning triceps and improving strength.
Start with your back facing a high pulley machine that has a rope attachment. Grab your end of the rope with both hands, making sure your hands are above your head and elbows bent. Bend frontwards at the waist so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Stretch your forearms slowly until they too are parallel with the ground, but do not lock your elbows. Your upper arms should remain stiff as you slowly return your hands to starting position.
Do at least 2 sets of 10 but increase or decrease the reps and weights to get the triceps you want.
Getting toned triceps that you don’t want to hide requires a keen focus on performing the movements of each workout properly. The motions are important to ensure that you’re working the muscle you thinkyou’re working. If you’ve done several sets and don’t feel any burn, there’s a huge probability that you’re not performing the exercise correctly.