Training your arms is something that all of us do and probably make the mistake of emphasizing the biceps way more than the triceps. If you work them on the same day, which one do you hit first? Ahhh…biceps; no shit. And if you do a ‘push/pull’ split, you probably squeeze in tris after beating the shit out of your chest and/or shoulders.
And you wonder why your arms look like total crap.
You need to show a little love for all of your body parts and train them equally, meaning that you can’t always do them in the same order. There is a big difference from working a muscle when it’s totally fresh and when it is pre-exhausted.
So that’s the first mistake many people make with their triceps training, but we will not even count that in our list. It is the most important one to correct and deserved the full intro.
5. FLYING ELBOW DISEASE
An effective isolation movement like triceps pushdowns can be totally blown by not keeping your elbows tight to your sides. The same goes for other popular triceps movements such as skull crushers, close grip bench presses, dips and overhead dumbbell extensions. Allowing your elbows to flare out will bring your chest and shoulders into the mix and take away the bulk of the work from the triceps.
4. NOT GOING OVER YOUR HEAD
All three heads of the triceps need to be trained every time out and how you hit each of them will be determined by the angle of your arm(s) while performing the movement. To hit the long head (which is attached to the shoulder), you need to include at least one overhead exercise.
3. UNDER ON THE UNDERHAND
How many triceps exercises do you do with an underhand grip? Probably zero to none if our guess is correct. But that is the best way to work the medial head and that is the one called upon to help stabilize the entire elbow joint. Some preventive maintenance on an injury-prone area is a smart move, so mix in some ‘palms up’ sets.
2. CUTTING YOURSELF SHORT
Half-assing your reps happens frequently with triceps. Due either to there being too much weight or just being lazy causes the range of motion to be cut short without the benefit of full lockout – which is the only way to work the triceps properly on certain exercises. What you want to do is go all the way up/out/down and lock out your elbows to put all of the tension on the triceps. And then control the weight during the negative portion of the rep, too.
1. DANCING KNEES
If this is a triceps article, why the hell are we talking about the knees? Simple – they play a big part in doing the pushdown exercises properly. Once you get yourself in the starting position, don’t move your knees forward or backward. Doing so will transfer the emphasis from the triceps to the shoulders. If you find yourself struggling at the end of a set, push the inside of your knees together to keep from moving them.