You may not see them all the time, but these powerful muscles play an important role in everything you do. The triceps work in tandem with the biceps to help you extend your arms.
Every time you straighten your arms, you have your triceps to thank. These muscles are located at the back of your upper arms.

They are among the largest muscles in your upper arms and play a crucial role in arm mobility. Read on to learn more about your triceps and discover six of the best exercises to strengthen them.

What are triceps and what do they do?

The name “triceps” comes from a Latin phrase meaning “three-headed arm muscle”. And that is exactly what is found in the triceps: the long head, the middle head and the lateral head. Each muscle “head” starts from the upper arm and combines to form a single tendon that attaches to the bony part of your elbow.

The primary role of the triceps is to extend the forearms, and to do this it must work in tandem with the biceps. The biceps pull on the bones of the forearm to bring them closer to the upper body, while the triceps help bring the forearm back into an extended position. The triceps also contribute to the stabilization and good health of the shoulder joints. Whether you play sports or go about your daily activities, you need those triceps to be strong. Not only do they help with any type of movement that requires power, like shooting a basket or throwing a ball, but they also help with everyday activities like holding a pencil or maintaining good posture at a desk.

And while training the triceps is essential, they are often overlooked for obvious reason. People tend to train the muscle groups they can see rather than the muscles that are in the back of the body, most of the time without even realizing it.

What to know before training your triceps

How often should you train your triceps?

For adults, soul best is to engage in muscle-strengthening activities targeting all major muscle groups at least twice a week.

Try to train your upper body muscles every day and ideally include triceps exercises in these workouts. But they must be scheduled on non-consecutive days to allow the muscles time to recover between sessions. When training the triceps, you should first target the larger muscle groups that surround the triceps (like the chest and shoulders). For what ? Muscles are used in the body in a big-to-small recruitment pattern. This means that your strongest muscles, almost always your largest muscle groups, will usually be engaged first.

In other words, if you want to target or build tricep strength, you’ll need to fatigue the larger muscle groups before your body starts engaging the smaller ones like the triceps. The easy solution? Whenever you train the triceps, first do a set of exercises for the pecs and shoulders.

Another pro tip

start with light weights (if using any) as the triceps tire quickly (beginners should start with no weights). The exercise may seem easy with a light weight, but since the triceps are not long muscles, the contraction of the muscle quickly loses its power and, from a certain number of repetitions, these light weights become almost immovable.

Depending on your goals, the number and intensity of your sets and reps also matters.

If you want to train for endurance, try doing one to three sets of 12 to 20 reps of each exercise at a slower pace. If your goal is strength, do three to five sets of 6 to 12 reps at a moderate pace. To focus on triceps power (which will come in handy when you need to exert force in a short amount of time, such as throwing a basketball), do four to six sets of one to five reps at a pace. fast.

How do you know if you’re doing enough reps and sets to get stronger without pushing yourself too hard? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “easy” and 10 is “difficult”, ask yourself if the last movement seems difficult to you. If you’re working on endurance, the last rep should feel like a 6 or 7 on the exertion scale, 6 to 8 for strength, and 6 to 10 for power.

6 Tricep Exercises to Increase Arm Strength

Here are six tricep exercises you can incorporate into any upper body strength workout. Do them after warming up with exercises for big muscles, or include them in the second part of your arm-strengthening exercises.

1 Classic push-ups (or modified)

Get on the floor on all fours, with your wrists directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Lift the knees off the ground and extend the legs behind you so that the body is aligned from head to toe in a long line. Slowly bend your elbows to a 45 degree angle and lower yourself toward the floor until your chest almost touches the floor (or as low as possible). Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise. To make the exercise easier, keep your knees on the floor and maintain a straight line from head to knees. To make the exercise more difficult, place your feet on a bench with your legs extended behind you.

2 Tricep curls

Sit on a chair or bench with your hands on the seat next to you and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your butt off the chair and, from this position, lower your body toward the floor until your arms are bent at 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise. To make the exercise more difficult, do it with your legs straight, heels on the floor, and toes pointing up, making sure your butt isn’t touching the floor. For an even greater challenge, place both feet on another bench.

3 Tricep curls

Standing, with a resistance band in your right hand, place your right hand in front of your left shoulder, right arm against your chest. Wrap the other end of the band around your left hand. Start with the left arm almost bent at a 90 degree angle, the left elbow bent close to the body and keep the tension in the band. Press your left hand down to the floor until your left arm is fully extended. Release to start over. Repeat the full number of reps, then switch sides for one set.

4 Tricep extensions

Sit or stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms above your head, bend them at the elbows and lower the dumbbells behind your head. (If this is too difficult with a weight in each hand, simply hold a weight between both hands). Return to the starting position by stretching the arms above the head and repeat the exercise.

5 side extensions

Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms above your chest; your wrists should be directly above your shoulders and your palms should face each other. Without moving your elbows, bend your arms and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your head. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

6 Above the chest

Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms above your chest, with the wrists positioned directly above your shoulders and the palms facing each other. Bring the dumbbells together so that they are touching. Slowly lower the dumbbells toward your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides. Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.