With the gyms now open, classes in full swing and summer on its way, it’s time to join the arms race.
As part of our ‘Best Moves You’re Not Doing’ YouTube series, Men’s Health fitness editor Andrew Tracey is here to help you get there with a no-nonsense guide to building bigger triceps with five fail-safe moves that will get your arms thicker and stronger in no time at all.
In the video above, you’ll see five moves — including barbell classics to bodyweight staples — that are designed to pack muscle onto your triceps. If 2021’s objective is to build bigger arms, then you’ll want to pay attention to your tris, as they occupy around 60 per cent of your upper-arm’s musculature. “Everyone smashes their biceps, the ultimate disco muscle, but your triceps account for two-thirds of the muscle in your arms and it’s the triceps that are going to fill out those sleeves,” says Tracey. Let’s get started.
Close-Grip Bench Press
- Lie back on a flat bench holding a barbell with a narrow, overhand grip.
- From the starting position, breathe in and lower the bar slowly until it skims the middle of your chest.
- Push the bar back to the starting position explosively as you breathe out.
- Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles.
Expert tip: Beware of letting the bar drift forward. It should stay over your chest throughout the movement.
- Lie back on a flat bench. Grip the EZ bar on the innermost grips and extend your arms straight up, palms facing your feet.
- Keeping your elbows fixed and tucked in, lower the bar until it is about an inch from your forehead.
- Slowly extend your arms back to the starting position without locking your elbows.
Bench Tricep Dips
- Stand facing away from a bench, grab it with both hands at shoulder-width.
- Extend your legs out in front of you. Slowly lower your body by flexing at the elbows until your arm at the forearm creates a 90-degree angle.
- Using your triceps, lift yourself back to the starting position.
Triceps Rope/Band Pushdown
- Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station or loop a resistance band overhead.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides grab the handle, tense your core, and bring your hands down until your arms are fully extended, then return to the starting position. Only your forearms should move.
Expert tips: Fight the urge to move your elbows or hips to make sure it’s just your triceps shifting the weight.
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions
- Place your hands on the edge of a weight bench at shoulder to hip distance apart with your arms extended.
- Taking a step back, maintain a straight torso and bend your elbows as your shoulders descend with the movement.
- Keeping your elbows close to the side of your head, exhale and extend your arms through the bench, returning your shoulders to the starting position.
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