Have you ever found yourself looking to start lifting weights, but not knowing where to start? It can be intimidating trying to figure out which muscle groups to target, and which exercises can help you grow the muscle group. However, you have many tools and resources in front of you to make a simple workout plan. Let’s start by targeting the triceps!


The triceps are located in the upper arm, on the backside. Don’t get them confused with the bicep, which is located on the front of the upper arm. Triceps can be a difficult area to work because they require very particular exercises, such as push-ups, bench dips, or a press machine. Before you get to lifting, follow these 5 tips to ensure success with your triceps.


Tip 1: Properly Warm Up

To help protect your body and muscles from injury, a warm up is necessary. A warm up is meant to gradually increase your breathing and heart rate, increase the energy-releasing reactions in the muscles, and increase blood flow to muscles. If you jump right into exercising without a light warm up, your body is ill-prepared for the workout which can result in quick fatigue and injury. For a triceps workout, a good warm up includes arm circles, arm swings, overhead shoulder stretches, and more.


Tip 2: Use Correct Form

Using correct form when lifting or exercising any muscle group is essential to avoid injury. Practice alignment when you are alone and work on keeping your posture upright and strong. Stand in front of a mirror when you are exercising to check for accuracy in your form.


The key to every triceps exercise is keeping your elbows still. Think of elbow joints as hinges that can bend only one way or in a direct line. Keep your shoulders locked, your elbows and wrists still, and move only your forearms for the optimal triceps exercise.


Tip 3: Build Up Muscles Using Sets

A repetition is how many times you do the exercise, and a set is how many repetitions you do at once. An effective way to train triceps is through pyramid weight training, which is a stepped approach to sets and repetitions. A pyramid training session means you start with many repetitions and a lower weight, and build up by using heavier weight and less repetitions. This creates metabolic stress in muscle tissues that grows over time.



Tip 4: Switch Up the Workouts

There are a variety of triceps exercises, so it is important to switch up the workouts. Switch up weights, switch up how long you work out for, switch up which exercises you do. Altering things will keep you interested and builds muscle. You can’t expect dramatic changes from doing the same routine every time!


Tip 5: Track Your Progress

Keep a training log and write down everything about your workout. This way, you can write down what went well, what progress was made, and what worked versus what didn’t. You can keep a workout journal, or keep track in the notes section of your smartphone. Write down the amount you lifted, check your body composition and weight, take a picture, or use a tape measure to physically track your body changes.


At the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, we want you to achieve your goals with us! We offer group fitness, personal training, and healthy living programs so you can change up your routine. If you are ready to start your workouts and exercises, come to the Y. Contact us for more information!

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati