Thursday, July 21

Top 3 Best Tricep Exercises

Summer is sizzling and whether you like it or not, tank tops and swim wear rule the fashion scene. As a result, many female bootcampers are requesting exercises that tone the "jiggly bits" and "bat wings" on the back side of their arms. The guys are wondering how they can get that horseshoe-shaped definition in the same area. So which exercises are most effective at doing that?

The American Council on Exercise recently sponsored a study that shed some light on the answer. And not surprising, the study revealed that 2 out of the top 3 best tricep exercises use body weight for resistance!

Tricep Anatomy
Our triceps - which are located at the upper, back of our arm - have the potential to be the power house of our arms due to the fact that our triceps have about twice as much muscle mass as our biceps. The tricep brachii has 3 heads: medial, lateral and long head. Our triceps help extend our elbow, straighten the arm and helps our lattisimus dorsi (back muscles) lower the arm down towards the body.
Tip: If you want to increase the weight you bench press, increase the strength of the complimentary muscle: your triceps!

Best Tricep Exercises
To determine which tricep exercises were the most efficient and effective, researchers used electromyographic (EMG) electrodes to measure the muscle effort. They attached 2 sets of electrodes on each subject's triceps and asked them to perform a series of tricep exercises.

Which tricep exercise took home the first place prize?
Triangle Pushups!

In 2nd and 3rd place respectively were tricep kickbacks and tricep dips.

Those which scored significantly lower than Triangle Pushups included:
  • rope and bar pushdowns
  • lying barbell tricep extension s
  • overhead tricep extensions
  • close grip bench press
View the full Tricep Study

Sadly, one of my favorite tricep exercises was not featured in the study: the single arm tricep pushup. This is an especially challenging, advanced exercise. Try using one arm to bend and extend the elbow using half your body weight as resistance!

Remember, while triangle pushups, tricep kickbacks and dips are the most effective tricep exercises, overall body fat reduction is a key ingredient to getting the "toned" look in any specific body area. Be sure to incorporate a nutritious diet and cardiovascular activities into your healthy lifestyle.

Jill Tomich is the co-founder of Boston-based Ultimate Bootcamp. Her 13 years of broad experience in the fitness industry means she has a lot of tricks - and toned triceps - up her sleeves. Read more about Jill...

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