Strengthening and shaping the biceps muscles is a relatively easy thing to do. It's a commonly used muscle that easily accessible and doesn't require any strange movements to develop. The triceps muscles, on the other hand, aren't used as often as the biceps and are located on the back of the arm in a slightly tricky position to work. That's why many people have 'batwings': saggy upper arms from little or no use. It doesn't have to be that way, though: trainers have come up with a variety of movements that can be used to strengthen and shape the triceps area so that your arms will be fit healthy both front and back.
When you think about the arm muscles, biceps and triceps are what typically come to mind, but there are actually two other muscles that assist the biceps and triceps in performing work, and allow you to move your arm through a full range of motion. The brachialis wraps around the front of the elbow and is what allows you to curl your arm up and down. The brachio-radialis sits on the outside of the forearms and is what makes your arm twist from side to side. Without these muscles it would be impossible to perform the toning actions that allow you to build the triceps, and luckily they can benefit from strengthening movements for other parts of the arms. As you go through your triceps strengthening routine, think about the underappreciated duo of the brachialis and the brachio-radialias that allow you to fully develop your arm strength.
One of the best movements to develop the triceps is the triceps dip. Find a sturdy chair or table, or any surface that is solid and has an edge. Face away from the chair and place the heels of the hands on the edge. Walk your feet away from you until there is about 30 inches distance from your hands to your feet. With the bulk of your weight concentrated on your hands, slowly lower the body down for a count of 5 and then rise. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions. This is one of the best ways to work the triceps and see fast results. Since you're using your body's own weight, there are no weights or accessories to carry around. By walking your feet away, you use them solely as a support while the triceps muscle is isolated and required to do the bulk of the work. Thanks to this movement, your triceps will firm up fast and be stronger than ever before.
Another popular movement for triceps strengthening is the overhead triceps press. Start by standing with feet about shoulder width apart and weights held comfortably in your hands. Raise the weights directly above your head until your arms are almost fully extended. (Remember not to lock the elbow joint or else you risk injury.) Slowly lower the weights behind you until the elbow forms a 90-degree angle; raise the weights slowly. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions. This movement also isolates the triceps and places the burden of the effort on it. Depending on the weight you use, you can see your triceps firm up anywhere from 10 days to three weeks. Monitor your progress and when you are breezing through your sets without any real struggle, it's time to move up to the next higher weight. Keep challenging your muscles to build the best strength you can.
Another weight training exercise to build the triceps is the backwards lift. Begin by standing with feet about shoulder width apart and holding the weights comfortably in your hands with arms extended by your sides. Turn your palms to face behind you and raise your arms backward as far as is comfortable. Slowly lower back to the starting point. Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions. For an extra boost of toning, on the last repetition of every set, raise the weight slowly and hold; pulsing the arms up and down about a inch to really fatigue the muscle. That little movement can have a big impact on the ultimate shape of your triceps.
Be sure to stretch the back of your arms after working out and if you ever feel any pain, stop and consult a trainer or medical professional. Stay with your program three times weekly and your arms will be looking sleek and toned in no time
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