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The Three Best Tricep Exercises

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Arm day can be one of the most fun days at the gym, but don’t limit yourself to just bicep exercises. Your triceps, on the back of your arm, are an even larger arm muscle, and they’re what give you the strength to lift things overhead or bust out a set of pushups. Here I’ll share some of my favorite tricep exercises, along with a crash course on what the triceps are and what they do.

What is the triceps? 

The triceps brachii (“three-headed muscle of the arm”) is the muscle on the back of your upper arm. Its main function is straightening your elbow. 

Each head has a different origin point near the top of your upper arm: The lateral and medial heads both originate on the upper humerus (upper arm) bone. The long head actually starts on your shoulder blade.

The three heads of the tricep merge together into a big flat tendon on the lower part of your arm, above the elbow. This is what creates the “horseshoe” shape you can sometimes see when somebody flexes their tricep. That tendon continues downward and attaches to the olecranon process of the ulna, or to put it in clearer terms, the pointy part of your elbow. 

Unlike the deltoids, where the three heads perform different motions, the three heads of the tricep will all get worked reasonably well with any exercise that has you straighten your arm. 

What’s with all these special exercises for the “long head”?

Since the long head of the triceps originates on the shoulder blade, rather than the upper arm bone, you can stretch the long head a bit by putting your arms overhead. As I discussed in my article on the best bicep exercises, you arguably get the best stimulus for growth when training a muscle in its stretched position. So, overhead tricep exercises are sometimes said to “hit the long head” better.

Will tricep exercises tone my upper arms? 

The same logic that has people doing crunches to get rid of belly fat (which doesn’t work) also has people doing tricep exercises to get rid of “chicken wings” or “bingo arms.” It doesn’t actually work that way, in either case. 

The only thing that will reduce fat in a specific body part, like the upper arm, is reducing fat all over your body. You can’t meaningfully control where your body stores fat; you do have a small amount of control over how much total fat. 

Strengthening a muscle can make it larger and can make it easier to see definition (like that horseshoe where the muscle bellies meet the tendon). It doesn’t change the wobbly appearance of your arm when it’s relaxed, but it does mean you can flex the muscle and show off a little. 

The best exercise for triceps: dips

I’m going to award the crown here to dips. I’ll give some barbell, dumbbell, and cable options below, but if I could only pick one tricep exercise? It would be dips. 

Dips are the exercise where your hands are down at your sides, on handles, and you bend and straighten your elbows to move your body up and down. 

Dips are a compound exercise traditionally done with just your body weight, but you can make it easier by using a band or an assisted dip machine. Once you get strong enough that bodyweight dips are easy, start adding weight. Grab a dip belt (your gym probably has one in a bucket of accessories somewhere) and thread as many weight plates as you like onto the chain. Weighted dips are a seriously underrated exercise, and they tend to improve your bench press as a side effect.

Dips are sometimes divided into two categories: “chest dips” when you lean your torso forward and flare your elbows out, and “tricep dips” when you keep your body as upright as possible, with elbows close to your body. Both are great. Here’s a video on how to do tricep dips: 

If you don’t have access to dip handles (or gymnastics rings, which also work), the next best bodyweight exercise would be tricep pushups. These are pushups with the hands placed close together, and the elbows tucked in close to your waist. 

The best exercise for the long head of the triceps: overhead extensions

Since the long head attaches to the shoulderblade (on the underside, near the shoulder joint), arguably the best way to train it is while your arms are reaching overhead. A 2023 study found that overhead tricep extensions produce greater hypertrophy (size changes) in the triceps than pushdowns. Interestingly, the increase wasn’t just in the long head, but in all three heads of the triceps. 

Whatever the reason, I’d recommend overhead extensions if you like the idea of doing the most “scientific” or “optimal” tricep exercise. (Although to be honest, people have gotten great results doing a variety of tricep exercises, so you don’t have to stick to this one if you don’t like it.) 

This video shows a version of the exercise you can do on a cable machine, but a dumbbell tricep extension would also fit the bill. 

The best barbell exercise for triceps: close grip bench press

The triceps are used in all pushing exercises, including bench press and overhead press. I like barbell exercises, and I like overhead press, so personally I’d gravitate toward overhead strict press if I were just picking something for myself. 

But I’m going to be a little more fair to the gym community at large, and put in a good word for a classic tricep developer, the close grip bench press. 

Bench press uses a lot of different muscles, but the main movers are your pecs (chest), which bring your arms together and in front of you; and, of course, the triceps, to straighten your elbows. The wider your grip, the more you need to use your pecs, and the narrower your grip, the more you need to use your triceps. 

That means that most people take a medium grip width on the bar (hands near or just inside of the rings, usually) to get the best of both worlds. But as an accessory, you can do close grip bench, with your hands just barely shoulder width apart. 





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Barcelona 1-4 Paris St-Germain (Agg: 4-6): Kylian Mbappe scores twice as PSG reach last four

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PSG players celebrate
Paris St-Germain are into their first Champions League semi-final in three years

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris St-Germain thrashed Barcelona to turn around a first-leg deficit and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

PSG had trailed 3-2 after the first leg in France but took advantage of an early Barcelona sending off to secure their place in the last four for the first time since 2021.

Luis Enrique’s side face a semi-final against Borussia Dortmund, who beat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling encounter in Germany.

The semi-final first leg takes place on 30 April with the second leg on 7 May.

More to follow.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Barcelona

  1. Squad number1Player nameter Stegen

  2. Squad number23Player nameKoundé

  3. Squad number4Player nameAraujo

  4. Squad number33Player nameCubarsí

  5. Squad number2Player nameJoão Cancelo

  6. Squad number8Player namePedri

  7. Squad number22Player nameGündogan

  8. Squad number21Player nameF de Jong

  9. Squad number27Player nameYamal

  10. Squad number9Player nameLewandowski

  11. Squad number11Player nameRaphinha

  1. Squad number5Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number7Player nameF Torres

  3. Squad number14Player nameJoão Félix

  4. Squad number32Player nameLópez

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number99Player nameG Donnarumma

  2. Squad number2Player nameHakimi

  3. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  4. Squad number21Player nameHernández

  5. Squad number25Player nameNuno Mendes

  6. Squad number33Player nameZaïre-Emery

  7. Squad number17Player nameVitinha

  8. Squad number8Player nameRuiz

  9. Squad number10Player nameDembélé

  10. Squad number7Player nameMbappé

  11. Squad number29Player nameBarcola

  1. Squad number4Player nameUgarte

  2. Squad number11Player nameAsensio

  3. Squad number19Player nameLee Kang-in

  4. Squad number23Player nameKolo Muani

Line-ups

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 23Koundé
  • 4AraujoBooked at 29mins
  • 33Cubarsí
  • 2CanceloSubstituted forJoão Félixat 82′minutes
  • 8PedriSubstituted forF Torresat 62′minutes
  • 22GündoganBooked at 64mins
  • 21F de JongSubstituted forLópezat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27YamalSubstituted forMartínezat 34′minutesBooked at 40mins
  • 9LewandowskiBooked at 50mins
  • 11RaphinhaBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 5Martínez
  • 7F Torres
  • 13Peña Sotorres
  • 14João Félix
  • 17Alonso
  • 18Romeu
  • 19Roque Ferreira
  • 26Astralaga
  • 30Casadó
  • 32López
  • 38Guiu
  • 39Fort

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 99G DonnarummaBooked at 87mins
  • 2Hakimi
  • 5MarquinhosBooked at 62mins
  • 21Hernández
  • 25Nuno Mendes
  • 33Zaïre-EmerySubstituted forUgarteat 80′minutes
  • 17Vitinha
  • 8RuizBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAsensioat 77′minutes
  • 10DembéléSubstituted forKolo Muaniat 88′minutes
  • 7MbappéBooked at 40mins
  • 29BarcolaSubstituted forLee Kang-inat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Navas
  • 4Ugarte
  • 9Gonçalo Ramos
  • 11Asensio
  • 15Danilo
  • 19Lee Kang-in
  • 23Kolo Muani
  • 26Mukiele
  • 28Soler
  • 35Lopes Beraldo
  • 37Skriniar
  • 80Tenas

Referee:
István Kovács

Live Text





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Magnitude 2.8 earthquake reported in View Park-Windsor Hills

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A magnitude 2.8 earthquake was reported Tuesday at 8:19 a.m. Pacific time in Los Angeles’ View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake‘s epicenter was 7.1 miles beneath the intersection of Overland Drive and Northridge Drive, near Windsor Hills Elementary School. .

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

An average of 59 earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 occur per year in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to a recent three-year data sample.

Did you feel this earthquake? Consider reporting what you felt to the USGS.

Are you ready for when the Big One hits? Get ready for the next big earthquake by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into bite-sized steps over six weeks. Learn more about earthquake kits, which apps you need, Lucy Jones’ most important advice and more at latimes.com/Unshaken.

This story was automatically generated by Quakebot, a computer application that monitors the latest earthquakes detected by the USGS. A Times editor reviewed the post before it was published. If you’re interested in learning more about the system, visit our list of frequently asked questions.



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Justice Thomas returns to Supreme Court after 1-day absence

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is back on the bench after an unexplained one-day absence.

Thomas, 75, was in his usual seat, to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts as the court met to hear arguments in a case about the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Thomas has ignored calls from some progressive groups to step aside from cases involving Jan. 6 because his wife, Ginni, attended then-President Donald Trump‘s rally near the White House before protesters descended on the Capitol. Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, also texted senior Trump administration officials in the weeks after the election offering support and reiterating her belief that there was widespread fraud in the election.

On Monday, Roberts announced Thomas’ absence, without providing an explanation. Justices sometimes miss court, but participate remotely. Thomas did not take part in Monday’s arguments.

He was hospitalized two years ago with an infection, causing him to miss several court sessions. He took part in the cases then, too.

Thomas is the longest serving of the current justices, joining the Supreme Court in 1991.



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