Here's an extract from the 'Exercise of Month' feature in the September 2013 issue of Living magazine:
Hammering horseshoes and banishing bingo wings: here’s our Exercise of the Month: Triceps Pressdowns.
The Triceps, a three-headed muscle situated at the back of the upper arm, are responsible for straightening the elbow. When well-developed (and presented on a lean physique), they form an aesthetically pleasing horseshoe like appearance. For those suffering what is colloquially know as bingo wings, fat and/or extra skin that hangs from the underside of the upper arms (i.e. over the triceps), triceps exercises are often promoted to banish this dilemma. This is not untrue, but a little misleading – I’ll explain how exercising the triceps can be of benefit. You cannot spot-reduce fat accumulation in an area by exercising muscles within the vicinity (remember this with sit-ups people); however, exercising is key to help bring about an energy deficit and subsequently burn off excess body fat. If advancing years is partially responsible – muscle atrophy and decreased skin elasticity – developing larger muscle bellies through regular and progressive exercise can greatly enhance the appearance.
Here’s how we perform Triceps Pressdowns:
- Set the cable handle at a suitable height. To improve exercise comfort, you may choose from a variety of cable handles and grip-styles (Globe Gripz are recommended!)*.
- Grab the cable handle to assume the load. Stand upright with your back straight and your elbows bent by your sides. Start-Position. Note: Your lower back and abs should stabilise your torso and your shoulders keep your upper arms fixed in position.
- Inhale. Then, keeping your elbows by your sides, exhale and straighten your elbows in a controlled manner until your hands are by your thighs and squeeze your triceps. Mid-Position.
- Inhale whilst controlling the negative to return to the Start-Position and repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Further note: Do not lean forward to aid the press – stay upright throughout!
A cable machine is preferred for this exercise in order to provide continued resistance throughout the movement. It can also be performed successfully using resistance bands. A similar exercise variation - Kickbacks - can be performed at home using dumbbells, cans, or bottled water.
*Slip Globe Gripz onto a cable handle (as shown below) to easily change your grip-style to improve comfort or simply add variety. Using Globe Gripz, here’s a good tri-set gym workout for your Triceps...
21's for Triceps
If you like performing 21's and tri-sets, check out more advanced training ideas here: Advanced Training Methods
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