The triceps press up
Because there are so many good bodyweight triceps exercises to choose from most people find that once they begin training their triceps they are soon displaying the muscular size and definition they desire. The fact that the triceps also play a part in so many upper body exercises also helps to ensure their development.
If you want muscular, strong and defined arms you should also remember that your triceps make up two thirds of the size of your arms. Yes that’s right! Despite many peoples obsession with training the biceps, two thirds of the muscles in your arms are actually the triceps muscles. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you want impressive arms, good triceps exercises are going to be crucial to you achieving your goal.
Also keep in mind that it is your triceps and not your biceps muscles which are on view when your arms are relaxed. So unless you spend most of your time flexing the far smaller biceps, you can only possess impressive arms by building the exquisite diamond shape that great triceps development contains.
If your goal is to develop muscular endurance and overall fitness rather than muscle and strength I am sure you know by now that this can only be done with high repetition exercises.
How many repetitions you need to do depends on exactly what you want to accomplish but generally speaking, you need to do at least 20 and probably as many as 50 repetitions to gain any real muscular endurance. The good news is that the basic triceps exercises are perfect for the job.
Triceps exercises for muscular endurance
The Standard press up – this is one of the very best exercises for both endurance and overall fitness and it is for this reason that it is used by all Special Forces, martial arts and boxing programs.
Although the standard press up also works most of the other muscles of the upper body you will find that it is normally the triceps that give in first and it is this fact that makes it such a fantastic triceps exercise. Generally speaking most people find that they can immediately manage 20 repetitions and are capable of doing 50 – 100 repetitions within 3 months of solid training.
The Bench dip – the nature of this exercise means that your feet are supported throughout the movement and therefore you do not have to lift a high percentage of your bodyweight.
It is this reason that enables you to build up to a good number of repetitions which again makes this a perfect exercise for developing muscular endurance. Remember to keep your elbows as close to your body as possible throughout the exercise to keep the emphasis on the triceps muscles.
Strength and muscle building
As mentioned earlier, if you do the right triceps exercises the muscle does respond well and it is usually not long before the classic diamond shape of the triceps begins to take shape. However, remember that in order to see the triceps definition that you have built you must have a low level of fat deposits in that area. Therefore, if you do tend to store fat around your arms you must ensure that your diet is correct as otherwise even if you have strong muscular triceps no one will be able to see them.
Also remember that like all other body parts, building strength and muscle in the triceps requires that the exercises are demanding enough to keep the repetitions in the 6-10 range.
Triceps exercises for strength and muscle building
The triceps or (Diamond) press up – this is the standard muscle building exercise for the triceps and is great for building a foundation of muscle and strength. However, most people find that they can soon do far more repetitions than the 6 – 10 needed for muscle and strength Therefore, to make this exercise more demanding try including an isometric static hold of 5 seconds at the bottom of each repetition,
The Parallel dip – this exercise is the upper body equivalent of the squat and there are few exercises that are as effective at developing upper body power and shape. You will find that the closer your elbows are kept to your body the less your chest muscles can assist in this exercise which results in more emphasis being placed on the triceps. Once you can do 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions you can reduce the rest periods between sets and slow the repetitions down to make them more demanding. I also find that lifting the legs into an L-seat position increases the intensity of the dips because of the change in leverage.
How to do parallel dips
It doesn’t matter if you use gym dip bars or if you train in the house and use a couple of chairs the technique is basically the same. Grip the bars and lift your whole body of the ground by straightening your arms.
Make sure you keep your arms as close to the sides of your body as possible and then bend your elbows until your upper arms are at 90 degrees. Once your arms have reached the 90 degree angle push your arms back up until they are just an inch from being completely straight and then repeat the exercise.
By not straightening your arms completely you will be able to keep the tension constantly on the triceps muscles.
To getting the most out of this triceps exercise keep your body completely straight; the only movement should be the bending of you arms at the elbow.
Do not make the mistake of leaning forward when doing parallel dips as this turns it into more of a chest and shoulder exercise.
The L-seat – this exercise is one of the two best bodyweight triceps exercises that you can do and it also has the advantage of being a great abs exercise as well. The result is, you get the benefit if getting great abs and triceps at the same time, how good is that?
The absolute best triceps exercise for strength and muscle building
The most effective bodyweight exercise for building triceps muscle and strength is without a doubt the V-sit. It is only when you attempt this exercise that you realise just how forcefully the triceps muscles must contract and how strong your triceps need to be to master it.
In fact, this exercise on its own can build fantastic triceps and abs as well as being one of the most impressive looking demonstrations of strength that there is.
Before you attempt the V-sit you need to first master and be able to hold the L-seat for at least 15-30 seconds. Once you have done this you can then begin to progress to the V-sit by getting into the tucked position (an L-seat with your legs bent) and then straightening your legs.
You may find that a lack of both flexibility and coordination prevents you from straitening your legs from the tucked to V-sit position at first and it might feel a bit awkward. However, over several months your flexibility, coordination and strength will improve and you will soon be able to hold a perfect V-sit.
Remember that your triceps are far bigger than your biceps and should not be ignored if you want impressive arms.
For endurance and overall fitness do at least 20 repetitions of each exercise.
For strength and muscle building always keep the repetitions in the 6-10 range by making the exercise more difficult or changing to a more demanding one.
Once you have great triceps development keep you fat percentage low to show of its exquisite diamond shape.
For more information check out www.all-about-arm-exercises.com for some great arm exercises.
How Rocky Marciano retired undefeated
The bodybuilding legend Frank Zane
Healthy eating for awesome abs
See the chest guide to compliment your triceps exercises