Engaging in Tricep Workouts
Triceps are a significant aspect of the human body for those looking to build muscle. While battling against spaghetti arms and attempting to achieve masses of bulging muscles, you'll definitely want to stay loyal to a workout routine that involves tricep exercises. Along with a combination of other various toning workouts, a weekly plan that includes tricep workouts is sure to yield successful results in your fight against flabby muscles.
Tricep Significance and Anatomy
Besides being simply part of your arms, what exactly are your triceps? Just as significant as your biceps, triceps are needed for proper functioning and use of your arms. And instead of being one lonely muscle, your tricep brachii actually consists of three separate heads: the long head, the medial head, and the largest of the three, the lateral head. Not surprisingly, the Latin meaning for tricep brachii actually means “three-headed arm muscle”. Moving on from fancy words, the main job that your triceps perform, is to allow you the capability of extending your elbow. So, without triceps you wouldn't be able to straighten your arms. Another significant function that your triceps take part in, involves using the long head in order to allow adduction in your arms; in English, this means being able to bring your arm toward your body.
For most people who are attempting to obtain mammoth sized guns for arms, one common mistake among the majority, is their habit to stay primarily focused on biceps and completely overlook the triceps. Of course the biceps themselves are necessary for ripped arms as well, but triceps need to be given just as much attention. After all, triceps make up about two thirds of your upper arm.
Knowing the anatomy of the triceps comes in handy in your fight against flab and fat. One example, is to take into consideration the fact that because triceps contain three separate heads, during workouts you'll want to target each muscle. The ultimate tricep workout consists of targeting this trio of heads and not leaving out a single part of the region. Because certain workouts may only target one of the heads, you can also participate in several different kinds of tricep workouts in order to hit all three areas. Remember, even just ignoring one of the heads will result in a much less effective workout for your arms.
Types of Tricep Exercises
Cables, barbells, dumbbells – even your own body weight! There is world of opportunity when it comes to morphing those peashooters for arms into meaty beasts. When exercising your triceps, keep your mind open, as there is a wide variety of workouts to choose from. One of the best things you can do is switch it up. This way your body won't become used to one particular type of workout, and performing different activities will help you to hit all three tricep heads. Trying the following tricep exercises and incorporating them into your workout regime will enhance your chances of whipping those flabby muscles into shape.
One of the most popular tricep exercises that many bodybuilders will engage in, is pushdowns. In particular, a set of pully pushdowns is an excellent way of toning all three heads of the tricep brachii, especially the medial and outer heads.
Start by firmly grasping the center of the bar with an overhand grip, taking special precaution to keep your index fingers roughly 3 to 5 inches apart from one another. Plant your feet equal to the width of your shoulders. While keeping your upper arms near your torso, lean slightly forward. With an exhale, pull the bar down to gradually straighten your arms. Once completely extended, hold the position briefly, then inhale and allow the bar and your arms to come back to the starting position.
• Tip: When performing this activity, always keep your elbows tight against your torso. One common mistake that pushdown enthusiasts may make is accidentally allowing their elbows to stretch too far forward. This problem typically originates during the negative part of the workout during which eccentric contraction takes place. Keeping your elbows near your torso throughout the exercise will certainly decrease any temptation to use other muscles in replacement of your triceps.
2. Lying Barbell Tricep Extensions
A few sets of lying barbell tricep extensions is another surefire way to hit all three heads, particularly the outer and medial heads once more. Lie down on an exercise bench with a barbell of at least moderate weight, depending on what your goals are for your triceps. Begin by extending your arms over your head, keeping your upper arms unmoving throughout the exercise. Be sure to bend at your elbows in order to allow the barbell to descend in an arch like motion until it reaches your forehead. Use only strength from the triceps to straighten your arms again.
• Tip: Keeping your feet at the bench's sides will provide additional balance.
3. Tricep Dips
Dips – also known as upper body squats – are yet another tricep exercise that will allow you to work all three tricep heads simultaneously. Keeping these bad boys on your list of muscle morphing, gun building exercises will certainly have your arms ripped before you know it. For the start position, begin by holding yourself above the bars hovering over the ground, practically locking your arms. With a deep inhale, lower your body toward the floor, keeping your elbows close toward your body, and your torso as straight as possible. You'll want to try and shoot for a 90 degree angle between your forearms and upperarms. Once you've got into this position, exhale, and use your triceps to pull yourself back up into the starting position.
• Tip: Be sure to keep your body as straight as possible. Staying upright will yield the most positive and effective results in your endeavor to achieve ripped arms. Your main objective is to focus on your triceps, but even just leaning or slumping forward in the slightest can mean utilizing strength from other parts of your body, such as your pectoral muscles.
Other common tricep workouts include: pulldowns, lying dumbbell tricep extensions, close grip bench presses, and tricep kickbacks. These are all excellent workouts for effectively toning your triceps. That being said, variety is the spice of life, and with three different heads in that region, you'll want to engage in different exercises to hit your maximum potential. These exercises might be a lot of work – they don't call them workouts for no reason – but remember, triceps are a major key in shaping flabby arms into beefy guns. With a combination of other muscle toning exercises, tricep workouts will certainly lend a helping hand as you strive to tone your arms and succeed in meeting your bodybuilding goals.
Applying Drop Sets To Tricep Workouts
To reach the maximum potential in your tricep workouts, you might want to incorporate a drop set method with your tricep drills. The drop set method refers to a technique that involves engaging in any workout routine that is set to failure, or just under failure. After a few reps, some of the weight is reduced and the workout is continued through additional repetitions.
Other common names for drop sets include: descending sets, triple-drops, breakdowns, and strip sets. Bodybuilders in particular, are fond of this method, as the primary objective of drop sets is to significantly increase hypertrophy, or more simply, muscle size. Aside from those looking to build muscle mass, the majority of athletes – such as runners or football players – do not engage in drop sets, mainly because the goal of drop sets is to increase mass, while other advantages like speed or strength are not gained through this technique. If, however, you are one of those individuals trying to turn those pistols into full-blown guns, then drop sets during tricep exercises are probably for you.
Muscle Fibers | Make Them Grow
The whole premise for the drop set method is to activate every muscle fiber within your triceps. So, with each interval of reps and with continually decreasing poundage through the sets, you're reaching a certain point of failure, but only at each stage. Therefore, at the end of each set of reps, you'll have had met failure strictly for that specific amount of weight, thus you have not yet achieved activation of every muscle fiber. By continuing with additional sets of reps and a constant reduction of weight, you're increasingly activating more muscle fibers that would otherwise be quite stubborn without the aid of the drop sets method.
You begin a pushdown workout with a set of 9 to 12 reps while applying an amount of weight that is just short of failing. By the end of the first set, you'll more than likely be struggling to get the last three or so reps, with a 13th rep being impossible. After this set, you will want to slightly decrease the amount of weight, and begin another series of reps, perhaps only 8 to 10 reps this time, with imminent struggle on the last rep. Upon completing this set and reaching failure for a second time, you can then reduce the poundage and fire up a last set of about 12 to 15 reps. Again, the last reps are difficult beyond measure, and you cannot get to 16. You have set failure to all sets of reps, therefore you have applied a drop set technique into your tricep exercises.
Lifestyle and Nutrition Tips
One major aspect to keep in mind is that of lifestyle. Staying loyal to a high quality lifestyle routine will definitely improve your chances of achieving your goals and obtaining and maintaining strong triceps and other muscles. This means sticking to a smart eating plan, never starving yourself, engaging in a combination of cardio and muscle toning workouts, and remembering to stretch before your workouts.
When it comes to diet, the USDA didn't create the food pyramid just for fun. A complete diet is full of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, fats, and whole grains. This is particularly important for someone looking to tone and build muscles. In the morning, once you're out of bed, you'll need to fuel your body right away by eating a breakfast rich in carbohydrates and lean proteins. Eggs and whole grain toast are a good example. But you can always use your imagination and fix something less generic, just as long as you get the essential nutrients your body requires, not just for meaty triceps, but for your overall health as well.
Not only is a healthy diet something to drill into your head if you're trying to get those massive monsters for muscles that you've always dreamed of, but so is sticking to it and making sure that you're not skipping out on any meals. Getting an adequate amount of food often enough will help keep your metabolism charged which in the end, will help you achieve robust triceps. Though the average person may consume roughly 2,000 calories daily, you will want to alter your own personal calorie intake to your body's needs. To help build muscle, this may mean increasing yours to anywhere to 2,300 – 2,400 calories a day or even more. A popular way to go about this, is to chop meal sizes in half and spread them throughout the day – another plus for your metabolism as your body is having to work more to digest food more often throughout the day.
Along with a variety of tricep exercises, a healthy lifestyle is necessary for toned muscles. Just remember that with time, patience, and a lot of work, you will start to see those triceps shaping up into the muscles you've always wanted.