Archive for the tag - triceps

Replace Triceps Dips With This Bodyweight Exercise…

Picture-24Bodyweight exercises have many great advantages. Most notably, they’re convenient; you don’t need any equipment and you can perform them pretty much anywhere. Especially for beginners, bodyweight exercises can produce awesome results.

But not all bodyweight exercises are created equal.

A great example of this are triceps dips. Many people perform the dips with crappy form and thus increase the risk for shoulder injury. Here’s an alternative worth trying.

It’s called a plank-to-triceps extension. And here’s how you do it:

  1. Start in a push-up or plank position.
  2. Bend your elbows and come down onto your forearms in one fluid movement.
  3. Keeping your body in a straight line, contract your triceps and press your palms into the floor. Lift your elbows off of the floor.
  4. You should now be back in the starting push-up or plank position.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

If it’s too challenging, try doing the exercise standing with your forearms against the wall. This will decrease the amount of resistance and make the exercise much easier.

Though triceps dips can still be part of your workout (I sometimes use them in mine!), the plank-to-triceps extension is a great alternative that I find more effective. Give it a try!

For more equipment-free workouts, give my Davey Wavey Bootcamp Workout a try!

Exercises for Bigger Arms: Davey Wavey and Phil Fusco.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed male model Phil Fusco about his workout routine. Today, I’m excited to share a video that we made together while visiting New York City. In it, Phil and I share some of our favorite arm exercises.

And trust me, it was almost more hotness than I was able to handle. I think I’m still sweating. Take a look!

How to Get Bigger Arms.

Are bigger arms one of your fitness goals?

When most people aim to increase the size of their arms, they often focus on the bicep. And while the bicep muscle is important, it’s not the biggest muscle in the arm.

If you really want to develop bigger, fuller arms, then watch this video from the Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel.

Wide Grip Vs. Narrow Grip Bench Press.

Mr. McMuscles demonstrates the narrow bench press grip.

The bench press is one of the most common strength training exercises around; it’s tried, true and extremely effective. Though the bench press primarily works the pectoral muscles in your chest, by changing the width of your grip, you can change the focus of the muscles being worked.

Standard Grip

Though many Olympic barbells come with etched guides for your hands, a standard grip is different from person to person. Generally, a standard grip results in a perfect 90 degree elbow angle in the starting position of the exercise. In addition to your pectoral muscles, the standard grip will also result in some activation of the deltoids and triceps.

Narrow Grip

To use a narrow grip, exercisers must start with their hands shoulder-width apart (as depicted in the accompanying photo). This is several inches closer together than in the standard grip. With this grip, and by keeping your elbows in towards your hips as you lower the bar, you shift the focus of the exercise more into the triceps.

Wide Grip

To use a wide grip, extend your hands a few inches beyond the standard grip. While widening your grip will reduce the range of motion in each repetition, the focus of the exercise will primarily be on the outer portions of your pectorals. Since this exercise puts considerable stress on shoulder joints, it’s not for everyone. In addition, it’s generally recommended that exercisers only lower the bar 3 – 4 inches from the chest – and not all the way down.

By changing your grip, you can change the focus of the muscles being exercised. But for most of us, a standard grip is safest and sufficient. Still, it’s always good to occasionally mix things up and to keep your workout fresh.

Best Triceps Exercise for Muscle Growth.

Dear Davey,

I want to get bigger triceps. What exercise would you recommend that I try at the gym?

From,
Michael

Dear Michael,

The tricep (short for triceps brachii muscle) is the large muscle at the back of your upper arm. It’s responsible for extending your elbow joint and straightening your arm.

My current favorite exercise is performing drop sets of tricep rope pulldowns (sometimes called the tricep rope extensions). Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Locate a cable machine at your gym and adjust the pulley so that it’s as high as possible. Use a rope attachment as pictured in the animation below.
  2. Select an amount of weight that will fatigue your triceps after 8 – 10 repetitions.
  3. Grip both ends of the rope with thumbs facing up.
  4. Keep your arms locked in at your sides, and pull the rope down.
  5. Fully extend your arms and pull the ends of the rope 6 – 12 inches apart at the bottom (for an extra contraction).
  6. Slowly return to the starting position and complete the remaining repetitions until muscle failure.
  7. Immediately reduce the weight by one level on the cable machine and complete another set until failure.
  8. Then, immediately reduce the weight again by one level. Continue until weight amount becomes insignificant.

Once you’re done, take a break and try doing the whole drop set all over again.

While the tricep rope pulldown is a great exercise in and of itself, combining it with the drop set technique will leave your triceps screaming. It’s absolutely great for muscle growth – and I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Love,
Davey

6 Exercises: Show Your Arms Some Love!

Arms. They are good for so many wonderful things. Like hugging your boyfriend – or even better, yourself. We use our arms when we reach for things – like the stars or our dreams. And we use them for practical purposes, like swinging them when we walk and carrying things around.

As it turns out, our arms are very important! And so, today, I invite you to strengthen your arms and express your appreciation for all that they do by trying some of these exercises.

They all involve free weights – barbells or dumbbells. So, unless you have weights at home, you’ll probably need to hit the gym to take ’em for a spin.

Bicep barbell curl

Barbell curls (My absolute favorite for biceps):

  1. Select a barbell and load it with the appropriate amount of weight.
  2. Stand tall and grasp the barbell with an underhand grip. The barbell should be resting at about hip-level.
  3. Slowly curl the barbell upward by contracting your biceps.
  4. Pause.
  5. Slowly lower the barbell back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.

Dumbell curls

Dumbbell curls (Another great bicep exercise):

  1. Stand in an upright position with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Grasp the dumbbells with an underhand grip, palms facing up. Fully extend your arms, keeping them tight against your sides.
  3. Lift the weights slowly until your hands reach your shoulders. Your arms should be the only muscles working during the exercise. At the top of the motion, contract your bicep muscles.
  4. Lower the dumbbells back to your starting position, arms extended and elbows loose. Repeat the exercise

21s (These are great for definition):

  1. Stand in an upright position with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Grasp the dumbbells with an underhand grip, palms facing up. Fully extend your arms, keeping them tight against your sides.
  3. Lift the weights slowly until your forearms are parallel to the floor—about half of dumbbell curl. Pause. Return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 7 times.
  5. Then, start with your forearms parallel to the floor. Curl all the way until your hands reach your shoulders. Pause. Lower the dumbbells until your forearms are parallel to the ground.
  6. Repeat 7 times.
  7. Then, perform 7 complete dumbbell curls—starting at your sides and curling all the way to your shoulders.
  8. Repeat 7 times.
  9. Once you have done 21 curls in total (7+7+7), you’ve completed a set of 21s.

Hammer curls (if you get bored with regular curls):

  1. Stand so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Grasp the dumbbells with an underhand grip. Let your arms hang down by your side with your elbows loose, not locked. For hammer curls, turn your palms inward so they face each other.
  3. Lift the dumbbells, slowing until the weights reach your shoulders and keeping your wrists locked in position. Your arms and elbows must stay tight against your sides throughout the exercise.
  4. Lower the dumbbells slowly and fully extend your arms back to the starting position. Maintain a straight back
  5. Repeat.

Barbell triceps extension

Barbell triceps extension (triceps exercise):

  1. Pick up the barbell and lay down comfortably on a bench. Keep your upper and lower legs at a 90-degree angle to each other. Alternatively, you can sit (as pictured).
  2. Point your elbows up, holding the barbell behind you. Your upper and lower arms should line up with one another for proper form.
  3. Lift the barbell slowly, fully extending your arms overhead and keeping your elbows as stationary as possible. The barbell should be help up straight over your eyes.
  4. Lower the barbell slowly to your starting position to complete the barbell triceps extension.
  5. Repeat.

Reverse barbell curls

Reverse barbell curls (love for your forearms):

  1. Place your hands approximately shoulder-width apart on the bar and lift the barbell with an overhand grip. Grip firmly, with your thumbs over the bar.
  2. Stand straight and relax your shoulders. Keep your arms alongside your body, and maintain your elbow and upper arm position.
  3. Curl the barbell up towards your chest in a steady, controlled motion. Make sure your elbows and upper arms don’t move from their original position. Focus on keeping your wrists steady.
  4. Pause, then lower the barbell slowly to its starting position to complete one rep.
  5. Repeat.

Any other favorites? Holler at us in the comments below.

Wave Goodbye to Wobbly Underarms: Triceps Exercises.

And this is what we call... a tricep muscle.

When you wave goodbye, do your underarms wave back? Though more common in older adults, wobbly underarms do not discriminate. And sadly, they often cause people to avoid sleeveless shirts, tank tops and the like because of the embarrassment.

Flabby underarms are often caused by muscle loss, weight gain, genetics and natural aging. While we can’t do much about the last two, there exercises that you can do on the muscle side of equation to tighten things up. And it all has to do with your triceps.

Your triceps muscle is at the back of the upper arm (see picture at right). Its purpose is to raise and lower the forearm. The triceps has three points of attachment to bone at its origin, and often makes a horseshoe shape when flexed.

Try the following routine at home or at the gym to strengthen those often ignored triceps muscles, and reduce underarm wobbliness:

3 sets of 15 triceps chair dips

  1. Stand backwards in front of a chair.
  2. Squat down and grasp each side of the chair’s seat with your hands.
  3. Walk your legs out a few feet.
  4. Keeping your elbows back, bend your arms to lower your body.
  5. Once you can’t go any lower, hold and pause for five seconds.
  6. Straighten your arms to lift your body and to return to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for 3 sets of 15.

If this isn’t much of a challenge, and you are at the gym, you can try this in between two benches. Rest your feet on one bench and use the other bench in place of the chair. Place a weight plate (45lbs) on your lap.

3 sets of 6 – 12 overhead triceps extensions

  1. If you’re at home, find a symmetrical, heavy object – like a cooper cooking pan. If you’re at the gym, grab a weight plate (I use a 45lb one).
  2. Stand tall with good posture and an engaged core.
  3. Grasp the object or weight plate with two hands and hold up toward the ceiling, fully extended directly over your head.
  4. Bending at the the elbows, lower the object backward behind your head until it touches your upper back or your forearms become parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold here, then extend back up.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets of 6 – 12.

This is the proper starting position for a close grip push-up.

3 sets of 10 close grip push-ups

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Assume the “plank” position, just as you would to start a normal push-up.
  3. Bring your hands in closer, so that the palms of your hands are only about 6 – 8 inches apart. Your thumbs should just about be able to touch. (See picture.)
  4. Slowly lower your body so that you almost touch the floor. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 push-ups.

If the close grip push-up is too easy, then wear a backpack with a few books in it. The extra weight will help take this exercise to the next level.

Try these exercises and wave goodbye to wobbly underarms – and say hello to to tight and toned triceps.

Revealed: Davey Wavey’s Workout Routine.

Curious to know how I hit the gym? I don’t mind sharing my secrets 😛

First, keep in mind that our goals probably aren’t the same (I focus heavily on arms) – and neither are our bodies. Having said that, I divide my routine into four days. Each workout takes about 90 minutes – maybe a tad more. I exercise six days a week.

Day 1:

  • 3.75 miles on the treadmill @ 9.5 miles per hour. Takes about 30 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (I switch between lower abs, obliques (side abs) and general core). Watch a 5-minute version of my ab workout.
  • 25 minutes of chest exercises: 4 sets on bench press; 4 sets on incline bench press; 4 sets on decline bench press; 4 sets on pec fly machine; 4 sets of pec fly with dumbbells; push-ups, if time.
  • 15 minutes of shoulder exercises: 4 sets each of 3 different shoulder cable exercises; 4 sets of shoulder press with dumbbells; 4 sets of shoulder rotation exercise.
  • 5 minutes on elliptical or stairmaster.

Day 2:

  • 15 minutes of sprinting on treadmill. I do 90 seconds at 7.7 miles per hour and then 60 seconds at 11.3 miles per hour. I repeat this cycle until my 15 minutes is complete. Takes about 20 – 25 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 35 minutes of back exercises: 4 sets on lat pull down machine, 4 sets of dead lifts (occasionally), 4 sets on hyperextension machine with weights; 4 sets of barbell rows; 4 sets of t-bar rows (occasionally); 4 sets of reverse flies; 4 sets on back extension machine. I really tend to switch my back workouts up, by these are some of the main exercises that I use.
  • 10 minutes of forearm exercises: 4 sets each of various forearm cable exercises; 4 sets of dumbbell forearm curls.
  • 1-mile run (6.5 minutes) at 9.5 miles per hour.

Day 3:

  • 3.75 miles on the treadmill @ 9.5 miles per hour. Takes about 30 minutes with warm-up and cool-down.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 25 minutes of leg exercises: 4 sets of squats; 4 sets of squat variations; 4 sets of calf raises; 4 sets each of various leg machines.
  • 15 minutes of triceps exercises: 4 sets of overhead triceps extensions; 4 sets of triceps dips; 4 sets of triceps pull-down on cable machine.
  • 5 minutes on elliptical or stairmaster.

Day 4:

  • 15 minutes of sprinting on treadmill. I do 90 seconds at 7.7 miles per hour and then 60 seconds at 11.3 miles per hour. I repeat this cycle until my 15 minutes is complete.
  • 20 minutes of abs (either lower abs, obliques (side abs) or general core).
  • 40 minutes of bicep exercises: 12 sets of various bicep curls and variations; 4 sets of bicep curls on cable machine; 4 sets of pull-ups; 4 sets of bicep curls with barbell.
  • 1-mile run (6.5 minutes) at 9.5 miles per hour.

The weight and number of reps in each exercise varies depending on my goals for that muscle group. I don’t want my tits to get any larger, so I focus on lower weights and higher repetitions. I am building my back muscles, on the other hand, so I do fewer reps with heavier weights.

Keep in mind that I’ve been working out for more than a decade. I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying my routine if you’re just starting out. Work up to it. Moreover, it may not be realistic for you. I’m a personal trainer – this is what I do. Fitness is a huge part of my life.

Let me know what you think in the comments below – I’m always happy to field your questions.