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Health and Fitness Tips

Triceps Understood

Are your arms not growing any-longer? Can't figure out why? Take another look at your biceps - are they getting enough attention? If you want the kind of arms that get respect from both sexes, you need to train them smart. Here's how to put together a routine that will bust your tape measure in no time.

Understand the anatomy of your triceps. A sound understanding of your arm's physiology is paramount as you construct a well-designed triceps program. The triceps brachii, often referred to simply as the triceps, runs adjacent to the humerus (upper arm bone) on the upper rear side of the arm. This muscle group consists of three distinct heads - the lateral, long, and medial. A good triceps routine is complete only when maximum stimulus of all three triceps heads is achieved.

Triceps Tips
* Begin your triceps exercises by choosing a compound movement when your energy and strength levels are high. A good choice would be the dip (keeping your body as straight up-and-down as possible, for emphasis on the triceps).

* Don't be afraid to add another triceps exercise from a different angle. On your second exercise, use the overhead extensions with an EZ-bar or single dumbbell, or seated machine overhead extensions. This keeps the muscle guessing and growing.

* Add isolated exercises using different angles and grips. Examples include: cable movements like pressdowns; kickbacks (dumbbell or cable); or various triceps extensions using the cable machine. I recommend pressdowns as well as kickbacks, because they work both the medial and lateral triceps heads.

* Finally, figure out which day of the week to position your triceps workout can be a bit tricky. As you know, your triceps are a major player during your chest and shoulder training, specifically in pressing movements. In turn, many of the chest and shoulder movements will play a significant role in your triceps training.

As you have been reading, an effective triceps workout offers a whole gamut of options relative to movements, grips and variations. As you become more advanced in your training, be sure to learn and include many of the variations I have mentioned. Exercise variety is the best way to ensure that your hard work will result in the development of balanced arms, and continued muscle growth while relieving the boredom of following a stale routine.

Remember that triceps are integral in the development of your arms and your overall upper-body strength.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed