Just sit back and think about something…
By combining all the usual equipment in your gym, including benches, barbells, dumbbells, cables, exercise balls, frames and other machines. You can come up with a list of 84 different exercises that stimulate the triceps! Pretty amazing and even more amazing is that over 65 of them are actually isolation exercises. Meaning they work the triceps brachii as a primary!
It has the largest selection of exercises out of any other muscle group mainly because it's involved in all pushing movement of the torso and works in close partnership with the chest and deltoids during resistance training.
This fact alone makes for a lot of confusion among the weight training community. Like what is the difference between a lying single dumbbell skull crusher and a lying barbell skull crusher?
I could sit and go through every single exercise conflict there might be, but that would be pointless. I'd rather go into detail about the positives and negatives of using different types of equipment to train the triceps.
What equipment does what for triceps?
Overall, working with cables does provide impressive results. For more old school trainers, my only real issue with them is the amount of 'play' in the cable itself. Unlike fixed weight equipment like barbells, using a cable means you can change the angle of movement in any direction while in the middle of a repetition. A change in angle can have a huge impact on actually maintaining stimulation on a muscle, that's crucial for me. This is its only let down.
Naturally, the neuromuscular connection (mind to muscle) with your triceps is quite strong, this is because of the wide variety of contractions they go through everyday like simply pushing.
What this means is that actually stimulating the triceps within the weight room isn't going to be too difficult.
The major consideration when training the triceps is working all three heads evenly so a full and complete tricep can be constructed.
There is an absolute array of exercises for the triceps and many work practically the same way. But now that you know both the pros and cons of those different exercises, you should find it easier to get results.
Almost more than any other muscle group, the triceps will give you a very accurate indication as to what exercises are doing the job and what exercises are falling short.
Personally, my triceps got to where they are with dumbbell isolation exercises, using tempo and holding contractions.
After you perform movements like this, you really see how much weaker the triceps are compared to the larger muscles of the shoulders and chest.
In training you should always realise that once your triceps start to fail, you've done your first job and it's now up to you to maintain them at that point to ensure maximum muscular recruitment!
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