Chest/Tricep Combo Workout!

Don’t neglect your pecs!

When you work chest, you are usually also engaging your triceps, which are a secondary muscle to your pectorals. The triceps are also the muscles that make your arms look swole – NOT your biceps. The bicep only has two heads – BIcep, two heads, get it? But the tricep has three heads – TRIcep – which means that it makes up the bulk of your arm muscle. Strong triceps are also essential for buiding chest strength and for overall fitness. Let’s get to it!

Exercise #1: Push-ups

pushups

Sounds pretty scary, I know. Lots of women (and lots of men) go their entire lives without being able to do a single good-quality push-up. They are a difficult exercise to master, but they engage so much of your upper body and core that they really are important to integrate into your routine.

For a good push-up, position your hands directly under you. (Sometimes wrist wraps can be helpful here for extra support.) Bend your arms out the the sides. It is NOT necessary to tuck in your elbows – this is called a military push-up, and they can be very bad for your elbows. Low down, keeping your body perfectly flat – no butt-dipping or back-arching! Then push back up until your arms are straight again.

Your sets are really going to vary by your level of skill, so if you can do fifty push-ups, I would say do fifty. If you can only do one – do one! Then, for your next set, try to do two. After that, go for three. It’s the only way to progress. Ultimately, try to do five sets. This is your main exercise for the day.

Exercise #2: Kickbacks

Tricep_Dumbbell_Kickback1

Grab a dumbbell and stand with one foot on the floor and one knee resting on a bench or surface. Bend slightly from the waist, but keep your carriage straight. Begin with bent arms, with your upper arms against your body. Straighten your arms so that your triceps are fighting the force of gravity with the weight. Then return to starting position and repeat.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Exercise #3: Skull Crushers

skullcrushers

This exercise sound a lot more foreboding than it is. Lay back with a barbell in your hands. (You can also use two dumbbells if you’d like.) Hold it up in the air straight over your face with a pronated grip. Keeping your upper arms slightly angled backward, bend your arms so the weight comes toward your forehead (but ideally, stays behind your head – we don’t want any actually crushed skulls). Then straighten your arms again. DON’T pull your upper arms forward, or the tension will be taken off the muscle.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Exercise #4: Overhead Extensions

dumbbelltriceps_ex4

Sit on a bench and grab a fairly heavy dumbbell. You’re going to need to hoist it up over your head with your hands underneath the top of the dumbbell, so I like to first hoist it atop my shoulder and then position my hands. Bend your arms, keeping your upper arms straight up in the air, then return to starting position.

Set 1: Pick a weight where you can do 12-15 reps.

Set 2: Increase the weight, do 10-12 reps

Set 3: Increase the weight, do 8-10 reps.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: