By Tom Bonanti
It takes hard work and tenacity to build a formidable set of arms, but having great triceps will set you above the rest! Triceps make up two-thirds of your upper arm, therefore it is logical that the bigger and more defined these babies are, the more massive your arms will look.
The triceps are responsible for the movement of extension of the elbow and produce motion of the forearm. Because of their larger size you need to work tri’s a lot longer and harder than biceps. Hit triceps twice a week using three-to-four exercises of three-to-four sets, and between eightto- 12 repetitions.
Use free weights for triceps to give you a better range of motion and produce a fuller muscle. Always make sure you get a good stretch for tri’s, especially as you conclude the workout. Stretching helps bring out the separations and detail in the muscle. Here are some dynamite exercises that will leave your triceps feeling pumped after only a few sessions: Whenever you are working a muscle group, always include at least one exercise that will take the muscle group through its full range of motion. Close-grip bench presses will do this for triceps.
Lie face up on a flat bench, feet firmly planted on the floor. Take a barbell or E-Z curl bar from the rack (or have your trainer or workout partner hand it to you). Use a narrow grip so that your hands are only two-to-three inches apart. Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower the weight to your lower sternum, and immediately push upwards. Always begin with a light warm-up set. I especially like this exercise for mass building.
Triceps extensions are a classic. Start this exercise by holding a lat machine bar with your hands twoto- eight inches apart. Now press downwards from your chin until your arms are straight (just barely locking out the elbow). Return and repeat. Most bodybuilders keep their elbows tucked in at their sides during this movement. A few deliberately hold the elbows out to the sides and lean into the exercise. The choice is yours.
This exercise can also be performed with a rope instead of a straight bar or lat machine bar. Bent-over triceps kick-backs are great for isolating each triceps. Don’t be surprised if, upon examination, you find that one of your triceps is bigger or stronger than the other: This is common and this exercise will help build strength and symmetry in both arms. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and hold on to a rack or bench with the other hand. Raise and lower (kick back) the dumbbell at an even rate, keeping the upper arm in line with your torso and parallel to the floor.
Keep your upper arm tight against your waist throughout. Be careful not to over use your wrist as you kick the weight back and extend the elbow. Lying triceps extensions, or “skull crushers” as they sometimes call them, are killers. Lie on your back on a flat bench and hold a barbell or E-Z curl bar at arm’s length above you. Lower it slowly to the forehead, and raise the bar again to arm’s length above you.
This is a more advanced exercise and you may have to wait until your tri’s are ready for this one. Remember, your biceps are fun to pump, but they are the smallest muscle group of the upper body. Your triceps are a larger muscle and require more work. You may not see them, but everyone else does when you turn your back at the beach, or are your tightest muscle shirt. For more tips on pumping up your triceps —or anything else that you may fancy —contact TrainerTomB@aol.com.
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and owner of Pump’n Inc Gym at 1271 NE 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale. For more tips on how to get bigger beefier arms by summer, give me a shout at TrainerTomB@aol.com