The triceps makes up two-thirds of your upper arm mass and is crucial in developing a big arm circumference.
What is noteworthy, a well-developed triceps makes your shoulders optically broader.
Biceps and triceps exercises
If your triceps is too weak when compared to the biceps, or to other muscle groups, triceps workout will be more important for you than workouts for other groups of muscles.
If the triceps is too small only in relation to the biceps, with the size of the arm being adequate when compared to other muscle groups, you should make triceps workouts your priority.
This being the case, you can follow the following shoulder workout:
1. Standing Barbell Curl, three series x 8 to 10 repetitions, with weight permitting the performance of 12 to 15 reps. Anyway, restrict yourself to 8-10 reps, without causing muscle collapse.
- Seated EZ Bar French Press, 3 x 10-12
- Cable Triceps Extension, 3 x 10-12
- Close Grip Bench Press, 3 x 10-12
How to do triceps exercises
All triceps series are performed until muscle collapse, i.e. with the weight that would make the last rep difficult, yet with a perfect movement technique.
In the final series of any of the exercises (or in each triceps exercise), you can even increase the intensity by adding your favourite intensification method, i.e. drop sets, partner-assisted movements (with the partner helping you at the ‘critical’ point, to enable further muscle work), partial rest during the series, etc.
Triceps exercises: control the weights
One of the reasons why your triceps does not develop well may be its weak stimulation, through application of excessive weights, which forces other, stronger muscle groups to take over the load.
If you want to obtain appropriate isolation and, therefore, satisfactory results (muscle growth), do not use excess loads when working on your triceps.
The above is true especially for French Presses, where excess loads force the involvement of shoulder, chest and forearm muscles. As a result, the triceps does not work as hard as it should. The threshold between heavy and too heavy weight, although delicate, is quite clear. Remember to train hard enough to get close to it, but do not cross it.
Triceps exercises: technique counts
If unable to lower the loads enough to perform the exercise with a perfect technique (i.e. to use all the muscles that should be used), you should start with one or two isolated exercises to obtain preliminary muscle fatigue.
After such isolated exercises, the triceps will be preliminarily exhausted and its tone will improve, thus forcing you to reduce the loads in subsequent exercises and use a better technique.
Below you can find an example of a biceps workout routine that you may want to follow:
- Overhead Cable Triceps Extension (Seated or Standing)
- Lying French Press
- Lying French Press (to Forehead)
Each exercise should be done in three to four series, 10-12 repetitions in each.
Triceps exercises: make sure that all muscle heads work equally hard
If only some of your triceps heads are weak, although you use all of them in each exercise, they probably work unevenly.
Obviously, the heads which work harder are better stimulated to grow.
If the lateral head is too small, choose exercises in which your elbows will be in front of your torso, e.g.
- Cable Triceps Extension (with Arms in Front of the Body)
- Lying French Press (to Forehead)
- Close Grip Bench Press
If the long head is too small, choose exercises with elbows above your head.
- Seated French Press
- One Arm Seated (or Standing) Dumbbell
- Cable Triceps Extension (With Rope)
If the medial head is too small, choose exercises in which you will keep your elbows behind your torso:
- Triceps Dips
- Bench Dips.