Triple Threat: Triceps

I like to work out in threes. Three sets of 15 reps, alternating 3 moves in each set, and combining upper, lower and core muscle (3) groups. Rookies and experts alike should benefit from the series of “Triple-Threat” moves I have developed in my fitness DVDs and NYC fitness classes at Crunch. Today’s blog shows 3 different triceps moves. You can do them alone or combine them with different leg and core moves for true multi-taskers.

Here’s your triceps triple-threat fix:

Skull Crushers – Lay on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, under your knees. Hold a body bar or free-weights in your hands and extend your elbows, weights as close to the sky as you can reach, and over the chest. Keeping the area from your shoulders to just below your elbows completely still, flex the elbows, dropping your hands and weights slowly next to your ears (with body bar, lower it just over your head towards the floor). Extend elbows again and lift weights back to the sky and directly over the chest. Repeat for 20 reps per set, and vary the weight as you progress.

Dips- Sit on a chair, bench or step with palms on the edge, fingertips pointing towards the floor and knuckles pointing to the sky. Support yourself with your arms and step feet forward slightly to lift your backside off the seat. Either keep legs bent at a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor, or for more of a challenge, straighten legs most of the way and balance on heels. Keep elbows behind you as you bend them and drop your backside towards the floor, almost touching/grazing your back and shirt to the seat behind you. Elbows should bend to 90 degrees and then use your arms to push you back to where the arms are straight, but you are still supported by only feet and hands. Repeat for 20-40 reps per set.

Triceps push-ups – And you thought regular push-ups were hard!? These target toners really hit the backs of the arms, and also include work by the pectorals, shoulders and abdominals. Start at the top of a push-up, legs straight and balancing on your toes (advanced). Beginners should start on their knees and walk your upper body forward so that your knees line up behind your hips. . Align hands under shoulders with the intention of keeping your elbows tight by your body, not flying out to the sides like a traditional push-up. Lower your body down and forward, so that your shoulders, abs and hips are in a straight line. You should feel your elbows in by your ribcage and hands under the shoulders, chest between the hands and about one inch from the floor. Keep your neck in a safe line with the spine and focal point a few inches in front of you on the floor. Push back up to the top of a push-up or plank.

Chose one of these moves a day repeated in 3 sets, or alternate all 3 in one workout. Don’t forget to work the opposing muscle, the biceps, which got a triple-threat treatment in last week’s blog, Not finished? Add triceps French presses and kickbacks for a firming-in-five routine.


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