Strong arm secrets

Strong arm secrets

Biceps take all the glory when it comes to arms, and triceps are often ignored. But even though these two muscle groups are mirror-opposites of each other, they work in tandem when you use your arms. Triceps allow the elbow joints to be extended, and support the biceps while lifting weights. They also make up around 60% of the arm muscles, and are engaged in every pushing, pulling, lifting, resisting or throwing activity involving the arms.

Triceps are often ignored because people find it difficult to isolate the muscles, and the movements for tricep exercises are alien to most, resulting in people giving up even before they have started. If you stick to this simple programme, it will get easier with each passing day, and will reward you with power-packed arms.

Tricep dips

This is a move that is perfect for beginners, yet good enough to build a lot of strength and endurance in the triceps. This workout also strengthens the elbow and shoulder joints and is a great upper-body toner. This is an anytime, anywhere exercise, because all you need is a chair.

Also See | Perfect that workout (PDF)

Perch on a bench or a chair with your back straight and place your hands next to your hips, with your wrists in a direct line under your shoulders. Keep your legs away from the body, with your knees bent, and your feet close together. Only the heels should be planted firmly on the ground. Lift your body off the chair/bench, balancing your weight on your hands. Bend the elbows and lower your hips towards the ground, keeping your back straight and close to the chair/bench. Push back up slowly but firmly. This is one rep. Aim for three reps of 10 to begin with. While doing the exercise, make sure your shoulders are straight and kept down and stretched wide.

Overhead triceps Extensions

This exercise isolates the triceps for greater strength and mass. Lie flat on a bench, with your lower back and hips in contact with it. Keep your feet flat on the ground and close to the bench. Hold a barbell straight above your chest, with your hands not more than 6 inches away from each other and palms facing upwards. Don’t lock your elbows, and make sure that one end of the barbell is not lower than the other. Lower the weight slowly towards your forehead, bending from the elbows. Keep your arms as close to the body as you can, and slowly lift the weight back up to the starting position, keeping your focus on the triceps. Start with a light weight and gradually work your way up. Make sure your back is in contact with the bench at all times, and that you are not pushing with your hips or shoulders to lift the weight. Your arms should also stay in one position, bending up and down only from the elbows.

Coordinated by Rudraneil Sengupta.