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Jeremy Ethier shares his favorite exercises for bigger triceps

The triceps are the largest muscle in your arms, but it can be difficult to train and grow compared to the most famous biceps. Jeremy Ethier, kinesiologist, fitness trainer, and founder of Built with Science, has a movement (in the form of several variations) that you can use to train them more effectively for noticeable gains.

Some people may think that a full complement of pressure movements, such as the bench press, may be enough to stimulate triceps growth. There is some evidence for this, as Ethier cites a relevant study. But there is more you can do. “If you’re struggling with your triceps growth, or just want to get bigger triceps and arms fast, you need to add a triceps exercise to your weekly routine,”

; says Ethier.

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If you didn’t know, your triceps muscle is made up of three “heads”: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. That’s why you have to do the extra work: the study Ethier cites found that all the pushing left the long head underdeveloped. That’s partly because of its function.

“Two heads (the lateral and medial) of your triceps only cross the elbow joint and are only used to straighten the elbow, while the long head also crosses the shoulder joint and has an additional function of extending the shoulder,” says Ethier.

He also explains that the long head makes up most of the mass of your triceps. So if you neglect one of its main functions in your training, you are leaving profits on the table.

“To get bigger triceps, I would recommend doing a triceps exercise regularly that emphasizes the long head in your triceps workout,” says Ethier. “Most triceps exercises that involve holding your arms above your head do this effectively.”

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The exercise he loves: modified rope or bar pushdowns.

“Instead of keeping your elbows in your sides, let them raise and initiate each rep by first straightening your shoulder and then ending the rep with an elbow extension with your elbows by your sides,” says Ethier.

To take it a step further, Ethier says, once your triceps are so tired you can’t complete the reps, you can extend the set by just doing the first part of the exercise until you are completely tired there ( by lengthening the shoulder). .

Another option: perform these modified pushdowns while lying down instead.

“The resistance line of the cable forces the long head to constantly work against the resistance, not only to bring the elbows down, but then to keep the elbows in place as you fully extend at the end of each rep,” says Ethier .

And finally, there’s a third option that you can add to your overhead extensions with a bar or dumbbells if you don’t have a cable machine or straps on hand.

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Follow these instructions to repeat:

Part 1: First, start with your hands holding the weights directly above you. Then lower them onto your sides.

Part 2: Extend your arms back behind your body and lock your elbows in place.

Part 3: Lower the dumbbells behind your head, then straighten them back up.

Part 4: From here, return your elbows to the starting position, then straighten your arms above your head.

Because you are going through so many steps and placing your shoulders in potentially dangerous positions, you are only working with light weight. “You won’t be able to do many reps, but each and every rep will put a lot of tension on your long head as you move through the various movement functions,” says Ethier. “Focus on control, use light weight, and experiment with different grips and ranges of motion with that motion to find what feels most comfortable on you and your elbows.”

According to Ethier, using a neutral grip with dumbbells is the best option for most people. He recommends doing one or two of these exercises at least once a week to complement your current pressure movements or even to swap out some of your other triceps exercises.

“If you focus on that, you can get bigger triceps really quickly,” says Ethier.

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