Inside Fitness is pleased to welcome you to an all-new training blog series.  With an initial emphasis on home workouts to launch the series, eventually mixed in with gym facility and outdoors workouts, we hope you’ll find this useful training information creative, challenging and rewarding.

TRICEPS TRAINING
Of all the muscle groups you can perform at home, training your triceps is one of the easiest.  Using gravity, they can be trained quite feasibly using a slate of both compound and isolation moves.

Push-Up
Set yourself into a low position facing the floor, supported by your hands and your toes.  Elongate your body to its full extent and make sure your hands are positioned in the same plane as your lower pecs – not your shoulders, an all-too-common mistake.  Separate your feet slightly, no wider than your shoulders.  Lower yourself by flexing through your elbows until you’re hovering just above the floor.  Pause here for one second, then forcefully press into the floor by extending your arms to raise back to the start.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  8-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:30 mins.

45-Degree Push-Up
For those of you who may find it difficult to perform a standard push-up, you can alternatively perform an easier variation by employing your staircase.  Simply identify which step will cause you to create a 45-degree angle from parallel with your body, upon placing your hands on the step.  Set into position in a similar way to the standard push-up, with the exception being your body will assume the same 45-degree angle from parallel as your stairwell.  Perform reps as you would with the standard push-up, with the only exception being the new angle.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-15     Rest Between Sets:  1:30 mins.

Decline Push-Up
Those of you among the advanced fold may find standard push-ups a bit of a bore, but you can easily add to the resistance of gravity with the decline push-up variation.  Find a ledge (like four steps above the bottom, or the surface of a drawer) and position your feet on it facing down.  Continue to set yourself into position similarly to the standard push-up.  You’ll immediately feel the additional force on your arms thanks to gravity.  Take a little bit more time to become accustomed to this position for you’ll need additional balance.  Once you’re in position, perform reps as you would with the standard push-up, except for the more difficult angle here.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  8-10     Rest Between Sets:  1:30 mins.

Bench Dip
Here’s an excellent movement for isolating your triceps that requires a little bit of co-ordination, since you can’t actually see your arms as they train.  Find a ledge or surface that’s about one-third of your height from the floor.  Step toward it, then turn around and face away from it.  Place your hands on the edge of the ledge with palms down.  Spread your hands to about your shoulder width and support your entire body on your hands and feet.  Allow gravity to cause your arms to flex to about a 90-degree bend, pause for half a second, then forcefully press into the surface by extending your arms.  Done correctly, with the rest of your body fixed in position, you should really feel the work performed by your triceps.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  8-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

Close-Grip Push-Up
Although all variations of the push-up involve great participation from your triceps, they also incorporate your pectorals and shoulder muscles as well.  In order to isolate your triceps better, you can use a closer, more-vertical hand position where your hands are at the width of your shoulders (in the standard push-up, they should be about 1.5 times this distance).  Set into position in the same way as the standard push-up, with the exception being your hands are closer.  You’ll observe that this also allows for a greater range of motion.  Use control, especially on the eccentric (i.e. the “lowering”) portion to avoid strain on your elbow ligaments.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

Overhead Extension
Another great isolation move for your triceps requires something small in the way of equipment.  Find an object weighing somewhere between 10 to 30 pounds which you can grasp with both hands using a backhand grip.  Sit tall in a chair to create more isolation on your arms than if you were standing.  Supporting the object, extend your arms overhead.  Keeping your upper arms fixed, lower your lower arms behind your head until you’ve created a 90-degree elbow bend.  Pause at the bottom for a half second, then extend your arms to raise the object back to the top.

Sets:  3-4     Reps:  10-12     Rest Between Sets:  1:00 min.

HOME TRICEPS WORKOUT SUMMARY

Exercise                               Sets     Reps   Rest
* PUSH-UP                            3-4      8-12    1:30 mins.
* 45-DEGREE PUSH-UP          3-4      10-15  1:30 mins.
* DECLINE PUSH-UP              3-4      8-10    1:30 mins.
BENCH DIP                           3-4      8-12    1:00 min.
CLOSE-GRIP PUSH-UP           3-4      10-12  1:00 min.
OVERHEAD EXTENSION         3-4      10-12  1:00 min.

* Perform only one of the first three exercises, then move on to the bench dip and continue the workout as prescribed.