In working out, triceps may be targeted through the use of gym equipment and home exercises. Barbells, dumbbells, and household items may all be used when toning triceps. Some common exercises are close grip bench presses, reverse bench presses, dumbbell extensions and kickbacks, and bench dips.
The group of muscles known as the triceps comprises the back musculature of the upper arm. These account for 70% of the total muscles in the arm. The triceps can bend the arm at the elbow towards the body, or extend the arm away from the body.
A bench press performed with the hands held in a close grip fashion is a heavy-weight form of toning triceps. The hands should grip the barbell at a width no farther apart than the shoulders. Elbows must remain close to the body during the bench press to ensure the triceps are targeted. The barbell should be brought down to the lower portion of the sternum during the exercise.
A reverse bench press can also strengthen the triceps. Hold the bar with hands in a backward grip, fingers facing the upper body. Bring the barbell down, towards the lower chest, and raise it again to perform one repetition.
Use dumbbells to perform extensions and kickbacks when toning triceps. To do a dumbbell extension, hold one weight in both hands, fully extended above the head. The fingers should face towards the back and thumbs should be forward. Lower the weight towards the floor and bring it back up.
A kickback may be done in the standing position. Bend the knees slightly and bend forward at the waist, ensuring that the back is straight at all times. Start with the dumbbell held down at the side, with the elbow bent. Straighten the arm back towards the rear, so that it is in a straight line with the back, and then return to the starting position.
Bench dips can help in toning triceps without the use of gym equipment. These may be done using any elevated, hard surface, such as a bench or a chair. To execute a bench dip, sit on the edge of a chair, legs extended forward to rest on the heels, with arms held down at the sides. Hold the edge of the chair and slide forward so that the bottom is hovering even with the chair. Bend at the elbows to lower and raise the body, without touching the floor, to complete one repetition.
A gym or personal trainer can offer more exercises that focus on toning triceps. Additional equipment may include strength bands, dip machines, and cable machines. Trainers can also advise on the methods of using of such equipment, and ensure that proper weight loads are utilized.