Our triceps make up over two-thirds of our arms, but it’s easy to forget how important they are. Just because the biceps get to show off their hard work doesn’t mean we can ignore the tris. If the back of your arms feel neglected, give them some TLC – that’s Tender Loving Conditioning!
This exercise uses your own body weight for resistance. To adjust the difficulty of the exercise, simply change the position of your legs. Beginners should start with their legs together and bent at a 90-degree angle, as if sitting in a chair. More advanced exercisers can extend their legs straight with theirtoes pointing up.
Begin by sitting on the edge of the bench with your hands on each side of your thighs, gripping the edge of the bench. Roll your shoulders back and down so that your elbows are pointing behind you. Supporting the weight of your torso with your arms, slide your butt just off the bench. Gradually bend your elbows, lowering your butt towards the floor. (As you lower yourself, your back should stay close to the bench, as if you're trying to scrape your back with it.) Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor and then push yourself back up. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the motion, and keep your chest lifted throughout.
Tip: To make this exercise more challenging, once you can perform this exercise with your legs extended, try propping your feet up on a stability ball. Still too easy? Try it with a dumbbell on your lap.
Lying Triceps Extensions
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back on the bench. (You can bend your knees and rest your feet on the bench for support.) Tighten your abs. Extend your arms up straight over your shoulders. The heads of the weights should be pointing forward. Keeping your elbows pointing forward and fixed in space, bend your elbows, bringing the weights towards your ears. Slowly straighten your arms back up to start.
Band Triceps Extensions
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold one end of a stretchy band in your left hand. Bring your left hand behind your back and bend your elbow, resting the knuckles of your left hand against your spine. With your right hand, grab the free end of the band over your shoulder. Bend your right elbow and, keeping it near your head, angle it to face forward. The band should be taut between your hands. Slowly straighten your right arm, raising your hand towards the ceiling. Bend it and slowly return to the starting position resisting the tension on the band. Repeat all reps on the right side before switching arms.
Tip: To make this exercise more challenging, choke up on the band so there's more resistance, or use a stiffer band.