Next-Level Workout: How to work your triceps to get bigger guns
In this new eight-part series, CNA Lifestyle brings you trainer-certified moves to help you reap more results from your workouts.
To help you get out of your workout rut, CNA Lifestyle spoke to various trainers to highlight the specific exercises that will let you break out of your fitness funk. This week, which marks the final instalment of the Next-Level Workout series, we focus on the triceps.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR TRICEPS ARE WEAK
When compared to the biceps, the triceps brachii (or triceps for short) are often overlooked. They are less likely to be worked than the biceps, perhaps only as an afterthought – or when you still have enough juice to crank out more reps.
But like the opposing muscles in the other parts of your body – the quadriceps and hamstrings, for instance – strong triceps are the supporting cast to your leading act the biceps. They’re what make your upper arms wobble unflatteringly when neglected, so they are essential if you want to build some serious guns.
Looks aside, strong triceps are necessary for every pushing movement and some pulling movements as well stabilising the shoulders. They’re the muscles that let you throw a block, swing a bat or pass a ball.
WORKING THEM ALL AT ONCE
Most people associate working the triceps with the overhead triceps extensions, and you wouldn’t be wrong to think of doing the same as they are very specific to the muscles.
The problem is, that’s just it. But we’re not going with just push-ups – another popular triceps workout – either, said Shaik Humarhamdani, 31, head coach at Ritual Gym.
Instead, he recommended the off-set push-ups, which shift your weight further out, so the triceps have to work harder with the same body weight.
While this move will engage your chest more, it will also give you a more rounded workout that works more of your core muscles. Best of all, you don’t need any equipment.
“It’s a compound movement. The off-centre position knocks you off balance and you have to engage more of your core to maintain stability,” said Humarhamdani.
Perform a push-up as normal but on your second downward movement, extend your right arm out to the side, elbow at a right angle, and spread your fingers out for better stability. As you come up, bring your extended arm in. Repeat the same actions with the left arm, and alternate the left with the right arm.
Listen to your body. There’s no point in aiming for more reps if your form is not good.
Humarhamdani recommended eight to 12 repetitions for a start. “Listen to your body. There’s no point in aiming for more reps if your form is not good because you’re not hitting the right muscles. You may run the risk of injury like tearing your triceps,” he said.
“If you can’t increase the number of reps, perform the movements more slowly. Or do the elevated version of the push-ups with your feet on a platform.”
Next-Level Workout is a fitness series from CNA Lifestyle. Consult your doctor before starting any training programme.