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Spur your triceps growth

Tags: triceps

In general, you must first build Triceps mass before you can refine it, says Matt Malotki, who holds an advanced certification from the National Academy for Health and Fitness. "If one of your primary training goals is to add mass to your triceps, it's a good idea to train them first in your workout," he says. "When you train them after chest or shoulders, you've already partially exhausted them, so you aren't able to target them as effectively for mass building." Malotki suggests training triceps before biceps or back over the course of the next eight weeks, during your mass-building phase (see workout, page 40). He recommends the following exercises:

* Triceps press-down. "This is an excellent warm-up exercise to pump blood into the triceps," Malotki says. "Keep your weight moderate and your reps high."

* Close-grip bench press. "This exercise is one of the best mass builders, as it allows you to use a decent amount of weight and target the triceps at the same time," Malotki says.

Form is crucial. "Often, people let their elbows travel out way too far. This can cause injury and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise." Instead, keep your elbows in close to the body to keep most of the stress on the triceps. "When you bring the bar down, don't bounce it off your chest. Press the bar up with a controlled but explosive movement. At the top, hold the peak contraction, forcing your triceps to contract."

Malotki recommends keeping the weight moderate to build the triceps. "When you go too heavy with the weight, you tend to recruit chest and shoulders and reduce the amount of work your triceps do."

* EZ-bar triceps extension.

According to Malotki, this exercise is also a capable mass builder. "My preferred method is to perform them leaning against an incline bench set at 10 to 15 degrees below vertical. Sit against the seat, then scoot up so that the bar can extend over the top of the bench." Lower the bar until your elbows are bent to about 90 degrees, or until you feel a good stretch in the triceps. "It's important to include at least one overhead movement when you work triceps, because this allows for a greater triceps stretch than other positions," Malotki says.

* Dip. "This is a good triceps mass builder and finishing movement, but dips can be a little tough on the shoulders if you have rotator cuff problems," Malotki cautions. Focus on using your triceps in this exercise. "Keep control and avoid using momentum. Lower yourself slowly, and feel the stretch in your triceps. Press back up and contract your triceps without locking out your elbows."

You won't be able to perform as many reps with this technique, but you'll build your triceps much more effectively.

Dakota Mitchell, American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer, adds his suggestions on how to bring out that coveted horseshoe.

* Emphasize isolation movements. "Isolation movements such as press-downs allow you to stay focused on your triceps," Mitchell says. "They involve a single joint--the elbow--and help prevent your shoulders and chest from assisting, forcing your triceps to do the work."

* Use unilateral movements. "Including one unilateral [one-arm] movement is important for increasing detail. You're able to squeeze the muscle out more efficiently when you target one arm at a time," says Mitchell. "When you're using both arms at the same time, it can be hard at first to get a really good contraction, because you tend to focus more on the load-bearing aspect of moving the weight. When you use one arm, you can really focus and even watch it to get visual cues."

Bonus: As you master the detail-enhancing methods of using one arm, you'll see more bilateral benefits. "A good exercise for stimulating both arms is rope press-downs, because you have to use both arms equally," Mitchell says. "With rigid bars, you tend to favor your stronger side."

* Include an overhead movement. Overhead triceps movements are important for creating definition. "I really like single-arm overhead extensions for targeting and developing the long head of the triceps," Mitchell notes.

* Use a slow and deliberate pace to a full contraction. Mitchell says that a slower pace will really stimulate your triceps fibers. "Combine that pace with full contraction. Make your triceps work as hard as possible with a moderate weight, and you'll really bring out the detail."



Warm-up sets * 2 15-20

Close-grip bench
press 4 8-12

EZ-bar triceps
extension 3-4 8-12

Dip 3 15

* Perform two sets of triceps
press-downs with a light weight,
or do two sets of close-grip bench
presses, whichever you prefer.



Warm-up sets * 2 15-20

overhead extension 3 12-15

Press-down 3 12-15

Rope press-down 3 12-20

* Perform two sets of triceps
press-downs with a light weight.

This post first appeared on BE HEALTHY LIVE HEALTHY, please read the originial post: here

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Spur your triceps growth


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