. . . A Day Without Sunshine!*
My clients are disturbed by many pooches and bulges on their bodies, but what bothers them most is the triceps. The back of their arm that keeps waving when they have stopped. The more weight you carry the worse the jiggle, but you don’t have to be overweight to have flabby arms. That’s because the triceps are actually three muscles. Get it? TRIcepts (three-headed arm muscle).
Three “heads” all help to extend the arm at the elbow, but the long head involves shoulder movement also.
- Triceps Brachii or long head attaches at the scapula and at the ulna.
- Triceps Brachii Medial
- Triceps Brachii Lateral
So, now that we understand the movement of the muscles you must recognize the only way to efficiently work the long head of the triceps is to do exercises with overhead motions. French Press, Skull Crushers, Nose Breakers do the job. Without work the long head is the one that hangs down furthest. Additional exercises like kick backs help to polish off the workout by focusing on the other remaining heads.
I’ve found many people have issues with their necks and elbows. This is primarily due to weakness somewhere in the body. When the body sees weakness in an area it immediately compensates and twists and contorts the body to allow motion to continue. Remember the article last week about the kinetic chain? It is an automatic response based on the body’s need to survive. Just this week I had to get into my chiropractor to get my neck and shoulders realigned. It happens to everyone. Don’t ignore it.
In the gym I’ve overcome these issues by having clients keep their arms straight for some exercises. Rotating the hand so it either faces forward, toward the body or behind the body will change the emphasis on the triceps muscles. If you have issues with your neck and shoulders try to do the exercises from the supine position (lying down) as opposed to standing and pressing the weight above your head. However, leave a day of rest between a triceps workout to allow the muscle to recover.
Work your shoulders, chest, biceps and back to keep the upper body stable. While you are at it, work the legs and abs. Oh, don’t forget your heart — keep walking and . . .
*This is an insiders joke from members of my boot camps and sculpting classes. Seems they think I really like Triceps. Imagine that! But they do LOVE THEIR ARMS!