If you’re looking to build lean, well-defined “tank top arms,” then incorporating quality triceps exercises into your weight training plan is a must. The fact is, your triceps make up two-thirds of your upper arm muscle. This is why having exercises that focus on your triceps is integral to building great arms so you can sport a tank top with confidence this summer.
Start toning your triceps today by incorporating these exercises into your routine:
- Lie down on a flat bench.
- Grab the barbell with a close grip —a little less than shoulder width apart.
- Lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you, the same as you would with a traditional bench press.
- Slowly lower the bar until the bar lightly touches the middle of your chest, or 1-3 inches above your chest depending on what you are comfortable with
- Push the bar back up to the starting position.
Extra Tip: Make sure to keep your elbows close to your torso throughout the lift to isolate your triceps.
Extra Tip: Make sure you keep the bar even during the entire exercise, do not let one side drop more than the other as this is a common problem during this exercise. Use a spotter to help, watch and direct you as needed.
Extra Tip: Do not rest the bar on your chest.
Extra Tip: It is important to lower the weight slowly. Try counting to three before the bar touches your chest.
Lying Barbell Extension aka “Skull Crushers”
- Get a spotter.
- Lie down on a flat bench with an e-z bar or barbell placed on the floor behind the head of the bench.
- Have your spotter hand you the bar above your head with your arms extended up.
- Lower the weight very slowly until the bar is a couple of inches above the area just above your head while keeping your upper arms and elbows stationary.
- Use your triceps to push the weight back up to the starting position.
Extra Tip: Perform this exercise with a spotter at first for safety purposes. It also helps to have someone to correct your form when you get fatigued.
Extra Tip: Start with a weight you are certain you can control for your first set and make sure to go very slowly on the way down. You are going to be lowering the weight over your head so you can never be too cautious.
Extra Tip: Keep your upper arms and elbows locked in place to make sure you are isolating your triceps. If you are feeling the exercise in another muscle, and not your triceps, you are not doing the exercise correctly.
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
- Stand up with a dumbbell in both hands and position your feet shoulder width apart.
- Slowly lift the dumbbells overhead until both arms are fully extended.
- Keeping your elbows close to your head and your upper arms stationary, lower the weight down behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps.
- Extend your arms upwards to the starting position.
Extra Tip: Resist the temptation to allow your elbows to flare outward or forward. Focus on keeping them rotated in slightly towards your temples.
Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
- Attach a rope to a cable pulley machine and set it at about shoulder height.
- Grab the rope with both hands, face away from the machine, and extend your arms upward to the point that your hands are directly above your head. Keep your elbows in close towards your head, but not against your head.
- Slowly lower the rope behind your head while keeping your upper arms stationary until your forearms and upper arms make a 90 degree angle.
- Extend your arms back to the starting position.
Extra Trip: Make sure to have a firm stance before extending upward. This will help you keep the isolation of the exercise on your triceps.
Extra Tip: Resist the temptation to allow your elbows to flare outward. Focus on keeping them rotated in towards your temples, but not touching your head.
Commit to performing these four exercises at least one day a week and you will be waving goodbye to winter arm flab and saying hello to lean summer muscle definition in no time.
A great way to ensure you stick to this workout is to share it with a workout buddy that you know would also be interested in sculpting their triceps. Luckily we have a simplified way to do that! Just click the Facebook icon below to “SHARE” this article with your friends and see who is interested in joining you.