Fighting Fit – Are you working out your triceps correctly? - MMA - TheMacLife

Fighting Fit – Are you working out your triceps correctly?

There are several dos and dont’s when it comes to working out your triceps.

By John Balfe - 9 Jul 2019

Let’s face it, as committed as many of us are to maintaining an active schedule in the gym so long as you don’t have an official qualification in physical fitness there is a non-zero chance that you are doing some things incorrectly.

As always, we recommend a session or two with a personal trainer to iron out any kinks in your technique before you take on a tougher workout regime but even still it is easy to develop the bad habits that can creep into your form. This can be quite damaging to your body as poor technique is the first stop towards injuring yourself but further to that, you will not get the maximum benefit to your workouts if you are performing them incorrectly.

As noted in GQ, there are several beginner mistakes which can often be seen in a gym so what follows are some tips so as to not stand out like a sore thumb while you’re trying to better yourself.

 

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Skullcrushers

Skullcrushers are the rather dramatic moniker for the technique you may know as lying tricep extensions, where you lie flat on your back on a bench which stimulates all of the muscles in your upper arm but many people aren’t getting maximum efficiency from them owing to poor form, incorrectly placed elbows. Your elbow should be directly above your shoulder or you are wasting your time.

The key is to keep your shoulder steady and your elbow tucked to your ribcage and extend your arm until it reaches a 90 degree angle before straightening on the return journey.

Rope Pressdown

The key with this machine is to isolate your triceps as being the primary force behind the movement, rather than relying on momentum generated from stooping or alternate muscle groups. You will want to be very aware of your movements, with your elbows tucked to your side and slightly in front of your shoulders. Push towards your toes (and not straight down) until the point before you lock your joint, hold and return to your original position.

Be Aware of Your Shoulders

Skullcrushers, for example, are intended to use just one action on your body — your elbows. It is best to use the triceps brachii (a three-headed muscle on the back of your upper arm) to get the full motion. You should be aware of overdoing it too, as there are many tales to be told of over-eager folk in the gym literally tearing their triceps from the bone after attempting to use too much weight.

Be Aware of Your Elbows

If you begin to feel any pain or discomfort that is a pretty good indicator that something is wrong and your body is complaining. If this happens to you it is important to modify your technique, or drop it altogether for a period of time. Dumbbells can be easier on your arms than barbells as they are generally easier to grip and therefore more manageable for your shoulders. If this doesn’t help switch to a standing cable triceps extensions until pain subsides.

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