Build Up Those Triceps

By Ryan Unverzagt

Build Up Those Triceps

June marks the official start of summer. You’ve had five months to whip yourself into shape for swimsuit season. This month’s exercise is popular among bodybuilders and is a great way to add definition to your arms before you hit the beach. The overhead dumbbell triceps extension is a lift in which only a single dumbbell is used, but both arms are doing the work.  Therefore, it’s appropriate to use a heavier weight.

Figure 1 is both the start and finish position. Hold the dumbbell with arms straight above and slightly behind the head. Make a triangle with your hands flat so that the dumbbell rests on the inner palms between each index finger and thumb. Lower the weight under control until the elbows reach ninety degrees or the dumbbell disappears behind your head (figure 2). Without pausing at the bottom, extend the elbows to push the weight up toward the ceiling. It’s important that you don’t let your elbows flare out to the side to help isolate the triceps.

This exercise can be performed seated or standing. Include the overhead DB triceps extension in a “push” routine for the upper body such as the bench, dips, or shoulder press. The triceps brachii muscle can fatigue and “give out” more often than any other muscle, so it’s a good idea to have a spotter for any exercise in which the weight is lifted over the head and face. Try at least two sets of twelve to fifteen reps with a minute rest in between.

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