Your triceps are the large muscles on the back of your upper arms. It is important to keep them strong because they are responsible for many of your elbow, shoulder, and forearm movements.
Technically speaking, a triceps muscle is any muscle with three heads (or points of origin). But generally, when we talk about the triceps, we mean the large extensor muscle along the back of our upper arms. This muscle originates just below the socket of the shoulder blade (scapula) and at two distinct areas of the bone in the upper arm (humerus).
The triceps extends downward and attaches to (or inserts into) the upper part of the forearm (ulna). The motion that we use it for the most is to extend our forearm at the elbow joint. When we contract the forearm (or bend our elbow) we are using the biceps. So, although the bicep gets most of the aesthetic attention, it is definitely important to keep both of these muscles strong.
Since the triceps have three different muscles, doing just one exercise is not going to tone the back of your arms maximally. Instead, you need to come at them from as many angles as possible, using a variety of exercises and hand positions. Which is why I propose this 4-Step Triceps Workout.
Here is a four-step triceps workout that you can do at home:
1. Narrow Grip Push-ups
2. Triceps Dips
3. Dumbbell Kickbacks
4. Skull Crushers
In the video, I go through the four-exercise circuit, doing five reps of each exercise. Then, once I complete five reps of all four exercises, I start from the beginning and do it all again, but this time with four reps of each exercise. If you like, you can then go through it all again with three reps each, then two, then one. And if you're really ambitious, you can do it again in the reverse (1, 2, 3, 4 5 reps).
Strengthening your triceps contributes to your overall upper body strength, which makes it an essential part of any upper body strength training routine. Keeping your triceps strong can help stabilize your shoulders and allow you to do many everyday activities and play many sports. In fact, if you did have triceps you wouldn't be able to lift yourself off the floor, close the trunk on a car, dribble a basketball, pat a dog on the head and so many other important things in life.