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3 Simple Tricep Workouts For Stronger, Toned Arms

<article> <section> <p>Our triceps—the muscles on the backside of our arms—are an area of the body most people want to look strong and toned. Perhaps you think the best way to tone your triceps is to isolate them and do exercises like tricep extensions. But we think there is a better way..</p> <p>In fact, isolation exercises will make your muscles bulkier. If you’re a bodybuilder, that’s great, but if you just want your arms to look lean and toned, there’s a better way to do it.</p> <p><i>So how do you tone your triceps? What are the best tricep workouts?</i></p> <p>There are two keys to toning the muscles in your arms.</p> <p>In this article we’ll go over the two keys, why strong triceps are important (besides looking good), and the three best tricep exercises you can do at home to train your triceps.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="triceps-diagram-image-0126"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Do Your Triceps Do?</header> <p>Your triceps, or <i>triceps brachii</i>, are a major muscle group on the backside of your upper arm. They work together with your biceps muscle—located on the frontside—to flex and extend your arm. The triceps press things away from your body (example: push-ups) while the biceps pull things closer (example: pull-ups)<sup>1</sup>.</p> <p>Your triceps also help stabilize your shoulder joint. Because the shoulder joint is a “<a target="_blank" href="">ball and socket</a>” joint and has the ability to move many different ways, strong triceps are important. Ball and socket joints have lots of mobility but are relatively unstable. When supporting muscles are strong, joints are better protected.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>How Do I Tone My Arms and Triceps?</header> <p>Two things will help you tone your tricep muscles: <a target="_blank" href="">functional, full-body exercises</a> that work your upper body muscles and a <a target="_blank" href="">good diet</a>.</p> <p>Don’t be fooled into thinking you must isolate the muscle group you want to tone or firm up. This is a myth known as ‘spot reduction’<sup>2</sup>. Unfortunately, you can’t ‘target’ specific areas of your body or make them more toned by exercising them more. Our bodies don’t work like that.</p> <p>Toning has more to do with losing body fat than anything else. When you take in fewer calories than you spend, your body will burn up stored fat, giving you a lean, toned look.</p> <p>Don’t take this to mean that exercising is not important for toning chest and arm muscles. In fact, working out a few times a week will tone your arms much faster. Exercising helps you <a target="_blank" href="">add lean muscle</a> and burn more calories, meaning faster weight loss.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Toned Arms and Bulky Arms—What’s the Difference?</header> <p>Here’s another reason full-body exercises and good diet are better for toning your arms: you don’t want to get bulky.</p> <p>Traditional ‘bodybuilding’ type exercises—like tricep extensions—are meant to isolate your tricep muscles so they get as big and bulky as possible. This is good for bodybuilders, but if you prefer the lean, toned look to being big and bulky, you won’t be happy with the results.</p> <p>Full-body exercises like push-ups work several muscle groups at once, strengthening your arms, core, and legs all at once. </p> <p>You add lean muscle in your shoulders, arms, and chest more gradually, burn more calories, and develop a more balanced physique than with isolating exercises.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Can You Workout Your Triceps Every Day?</header> <p>Compared to muscles like the <a target="_blank" href="">glutes</a>, <a target="_blank" href="">hamstrings</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="">lower back</a>, your triceps are small. Don’t be afraid to exercise your triceps three or four times per week, but every day is not necessary. In fact, you’ll get better results if you give your muscles time to repair after a good workout.</p> <p>Overtraining your triceps can lead to tendonitis in the elbows or tightness in the chest and shoulders.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Are the Best Workouts for My Triceps?</header> <p>Here are three full-body, functional exercises for building strong, toned triceps. </p> <p>These push-up exercises naturally progress from one exercise to the next, so there’s at least one exercise here you can use no matter what your current fitness is like.</p> <div class="row justify-content-center text-center"> <video autoplay loop muted> <source src="" type="video/webm"> <source src="" type="video/mp4"> </video> </div> <div class="sub-head">1. Kneeling Dolphin Push-ups</div> <p>Dolphin push-ups are a great way to work your triceps if you can’t do full push-ups yet. In the starting position, your body will look like a sphinx: forearms in the front, knees on the floor, tight in the core. Pushing your forearms into the ground and pressing behind your body, bring your hips in the air and back as you finish in a modified ‘downward dog’ position.</p> <p>These are one of the best tricep exercises out there because they force you to keep your elbows tucked tight to your body.</p> <p><strong>Exercise Challenge</strong>: Add these into your circuit or <a target="_blank" href="">functional training workout</a>, alongside at least one of these <a target="_blank" href="">low-impact cardio exercises</a>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="tyler-high-plank-with-direction-0126"> </picture> <div class="sub-head">2. Push-Ups</div> <p>Push-ups are the king of upper body functional exercises. They work your triceps, core, and leg muscles in the starting position, which looks just like a <a target="_blank" href="">good plank</a>. Shoot for max reps during each twenty-second interval.</p> <p>Focus on squeezing your abs, pressing your fingers into the ground, and keeping your body in one straight line. To really work your triceps, do all your reps keeping your elbows at a forty-five degree angle to your body—no letting the elbows ‘flare’ out to the sides.</p> <p>Here you can see Coach Tyler break down perfect <a target="_blank" href="">push-up and squat</a> reps. You won’t get a good tricep workout if you don’t set up push-ups the right way, so really focus on the cues that set up the correct form.</p> <p>If you can’t do regular push-ups yet, you can use a wall or piece of stable furniture to modify the reps.</p> <p><strong>Exercise Challenge</strong>: Add push-ups into a circuit or <a target="_blank" href="">functional training workout</a>, adding at least one of these <a target="_blank" href="">low-impact cardio exercises</a>. Shoot for max reps during each twenty-second interval.</p> <div class="sub-head">3. Explosive Push-ups</div> <p>Explosive push-ups are an advanced exercise that require strength in the arms, shoulders, chest, and core muscles. If you can’t do at least three good push-up reps, stick with those for now. </p> <p>Explosive push-ups use all the principles and the same starting position as a regular push-up. The difference is your hands leave the ground during each rep as you explode up from the bottom position. Push hard into the ground and go up as fast as possible. </p> <p>For what it’s worth, explosive push-ups get much easier after you’ve <a target="_blank" href="">lost weight</a>. </p> <p><strong>Exercise Challenge</strong>: Superset (completing both exercises back to back with no rest in between) explosive push-ups with one of these <a target="_blank" href="">lower-back exercises</a>. Do three supersets of five to ten reps each, resting one minute between sets.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Precautions</header> <p>The exercises we recommend will help tone your triceps when you practice them consistently and with good form. If you have pre-existing injuries or limitations, ask your doctor before trying these exercises—especially the more advanced ones like explosive push-ups.</p> <p>If you haven’t been exercising, limit your reps early on and work your way up slowly!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Strong, Toned Triceps—Wrapping Up</header> <p>The two best ways to get toned triceps are to use full-body, functional exercises and to eat <a target="_blank" href="">healthy food</a>. Don’t be fooled into thinking spot reduction or ‘targeting’ certain muscle groups will firm them up. Burning off fat and adding lean muscle all over your body is the key to looking your best and to long-term weight loss.</p> <p>Plus, full-body exercises won’t just give you toned triceps—they’ll balance your physique by adding lean muscle everywhere, which helps you look better all over.</p> <p>For more on how Warrior Made can help you make a <a target="_blank" href="">body transformation</a>, check out our <a target="_blank" href="">exercise section</a> and our <a target="_blank" href="">YouTube channel</a>. Our at-home workouts take thirty minutes or less and will help you tone up your arms, legs, and core!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="">Triceps brachii</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="">The Myth of Spot Reduction</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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