We all know that being consistent and tracking your workouts is the most effective way to encourage progression and force adaptation. But changing up your training programme every now and then, and in the right way, is a great way to stimulate new muscle growth and strength increases.
“Keep the bread and butter of your programme consistent, but mix up the fillings. This makes for an exciting training programme AND sandwich!”
Sometimes it’s helpful to just learn, and throw a few new movements in to your current training plan without drastically changing your whole routine.
Now, it’s easy to come up with new exercises, but much harder to come up with new AND effective exercises. We hooked up with Personal Trainer Craig Murray to bring you eight super effective and safe exercises that’ll help you kick your triceps in to shape in the New Year.
1 – Smith Machine Close Grip Floor Press
What we like most about this exercise is that you can load the heck out of it without worrying that your triceps are going to let you down. Because they will, and the Smith Machine will help you out with that. It’s a variation of a Barbell Close Grip Bench Press, without the worry about going to failure. Big compound movements like these always work well for the triceps, and should be a staple within your upper body plan. Just be sure with any close grip press variation that you tuck the elbows as close to the ribs as you can throughout to really target the triceps.
2 – Eccentric Barbell Triceps Extension
Have you ever tried eccentric training? Well you’re missing out! It’s arguably one of the best ways to grow muscle, when done properly and programmed correctly. Plus you’ll be sure to feel those triceps the next day after throwing in some eccentric work. These are essentially an eccentric Skullcrusher, with a concentric Close Grip Press. By nature of these exercises you’ll be lifting a greater relative weight in the Skullcrusher portion of the movement, and returning to the start with the much easier exercise. Eccentric strength can be 20-40% greater than concentric, so choose a weight around 20% greater than you’d typically perform Skullcrushers with and only perform the eccentric portion, followed by a pretty cushy concentric portion.
3 – Adapted Triceps V-Bar Pushdown
These are a great way to change up your typical triceps pushdown exercise. By tilting the torso forward, allowing the elbows to come up and bar to come above the head, you’re shifting the emphasis of the exercise on to the long-head of the triceps located at the back of the arm. Bringing the elbows up causes an increase in passive tension in the long head of the triceps, where ordinarily with the elbows by the sides these muscles are more relaxed and less active.
4 – Adapted V-Handle Triceps Pushdown
Here’s another way to mix up your triceps pushdowns. Have you ever tried using a V-handle and really kicking your elbows out towards the sides? Give these a try; you’ll love the different feel to them.
5 – Rollover Barbell Triceps Extension
We love this because it’s another exercise that takes those elbows overhead, hitting the long-head of the triceps. Notice how Craig allows his elbows to roll-back, really stretching the triceps, and combines the roll-back with a triceps extension. When going heavy with this one make sure you’ve got the help of a gym bro to help pass you the bar. Because of the roll-over element you’ll be able to handle more weight than if you were performing a traditional triceps extension, so don’t be afraid to go heavy. Just make sure you go to the gym with a friend that day!
6 – Extreme Dip Station Triceps Drop-Set
We like misusing equipment and finding alternative ways to perform exercises. Just watch the video, we needn’t say more apart from leave this one for right towards the end of your workout! Good luck ?
7 – Extreme Dips Drop-Set
Ok, ok, we seem to like names with ‘extreme’ in them. But you’ve got to admit these dips are pretty extreme. Hopefully you know the importance of Dips as an upper body strength exercise, and muscle builder?! So taking Dips and turning them in to this high volume ‘extreme’ version of the traditional exercise with added extras, your triceps are in for a treat. We can’t really say this is an exercise, more of a method really, but either way you’ll thank us for the extra triceps gains.
I build Olympians, Cover Models and those who want to look like them. Author or “Ultimate Abs” available in all good book stores.