If you go to the gym regularly then you will likely already know that your triceps and your biceps are two very important muscles! Not only will working out these muscles help your arms to look fantastic, but will also ensure that your functional strength is supported.
The triceps muscle, or triceps brachii, originates just below the socket of the shoulder blade, as well as at two points along the humerous. The main function of the triceps muscle is to assist with the extension of the forearm at the elbow joint.
People often assume that working out the biceps is the best way to build bigger arms, but the triceps should certainly not be ignored if this is your aim. Check out the best exercises for building your triceps below!
Best Triceps Exercises
Arguably the best exercises for building the strength and size of the triceps are those that involve pushing movements.
If you have been going to the gym for a while, but haven't given much attention to your triceps before, then you may be surprised at how light you have to start when it comes to choosing weights for the following exercises. The triceps are a common muscle to be neglected, but with a solid workout plan you can soon get yours on track!
Close-Grip Bench Press
Moving your hands much closer together than you would usually position them when doing a bench press is great for a tricep workout. So simply grab the bar much closer to the middle, making sure there is still some space between your hands, and then lift the barbell in the same way that you would do a regular bench press movement.
Overhead Triceps Extension
This exercise requires a set of dumbbels that are a reasonably light weight. When lifting weights above the head it is always best to go lighter and to only increase the weight once you are confident you can safely do so.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand held straight out in front of you. Bring the dumbbells up above your head so that your arms are stretched out straight and then bend at the elbows to lower them down behind you. As soon as your forearms become parallel to the ground then you can lift the weights back up so that your arms are straight again.
To do dips you can use a set of parallel bars at the gym.
Hold a bar in each hand from above and then straighten your arms so that you are holding your entire body weight up. Your knees should be bent with your legs behind you.
Dip your body down until your shoulders are level with your elbows. Hold for a moment and then straighten your arms to lift your body back up to the start position. Lock your elbows as you reach the top and then repeat.
The biceps, also known as the biceps brachii, is a muscle on the front part of the upper arm. It is the muscle that is most commonly associated with building bigger arms, and is often one of the main areas of focus for a basic upper body workout.
The function of the bicep is to help control the forearm and rotates it outwards.
Best Biceps Exercises
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curl
To do this fantastic free-weight exercise you will need a set of dumbbells and a bench.
Start in a seated position on the bench with your back straight and a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your chest up and forwards, and lift one weight up towards the shoulder of the same side of the body. Squeeze your bicep as the weight reaches the top and then slowly lower the weight back down to the start position. Go through the same movement with the alternate arm and then repeat.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Similarly to the last exercise, this movement requires a set of dumbbells and a bench.
Incline the bench to 45 degrees and and sit with your back firmly against the pad. Let your arms hang straight down at either side of your body with a weight in each hand. Try to keep your upper arms in a fixed position, and your shoulders held back. Bring both arms up at the same time towards your shoulders, and then slowly lower the weight back down towards the floor.
The barbell curl is a tried and tested favourite when it comes to free-weight exercises for arms. All you need is a weighted barbell!
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees. Hold the barbell in front of you with an underhand grip - hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and keep your head straight as you lift the barbell from just in front of your hips all the way up to the front of your chest. Hold for a second and then lower back down. Make sure that you keep your elbows tucked in at your sides as you do this exercise.