By: Allen Martin
They make up the biggest trio in bodybuilding.
No, not Arnold, Franco, and Lou.
These three components combine to make up a vital element of your upper-body development. They’re known as the brachialis, the brachii, and the pronator teres, but in more simple, direct terms, we know them as your triceps.
For men, they seem to be one of the more difficult to develop muscles in your upper torso. To women, they’re lost somewhere underneath that drooping bag that sags under your arms.
Nonetheless, these three muscles are a part of your anatomy. It just takes the proper training and dedication to lure them out.
Here are a few triceps exercises that will help you in your quest:
CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESSES: These are just like they sound. They are bench presses except with a much narrower grip than what you’re used to with standard bench presses. The closer your hands are together during this exercise, the more of the emphasis is placed on the triceps.
Grip the bar so your index fingers are about six inches apart from one another. After lifting the barbell off the rack, slowly lower the weight to the mid-chest section. Just before the bar touches your pectorals, reverse the motion and begin to push the weight upward. As you approach the starting position, you should feel the tension in your triceps muscles as opposed to in your chest. Do not lock your elbows out, but be sure to squeeze your triceps during the contraction.
Try doing three sets of between 10 and 12 repetitions.
PARALLEL BAR DIPS: Like the close-grip bench presses, dips will place some stress on your pectoral muscles and your deltoids. However, the main target with be the triceps, especially if you maintain an erect posture during the exercise.
Come off of your feet as your grab onto the bars and cross your ankles underneath you. Slowly bend your arms as you lower your torso toward the floor. When your elbows are completely bent and you cannot go any lower, raise your body back to the starting position, where you’ll squeeze for a moment.
Depending on how advanced you are, you can hang weights from belt around your waist for extra resistance. For now, try 3 sets of 10-15 reps of your own body weight.
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
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