5 Common Tricep Training Mistakes

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To get the best results from your workout, it's important to focus carefully on each muscle group. Without the right exercises, you're unlikely to get the size or definition you want, and you may even cause a serious injury. Like any other muscle group, your triceps need a dedicated exercise routine that focuses your efforts where you really need them. Make sure you have envy-inducing triceps, and avoid the five following mistakes that many of your gym buddies are likely to make.

All contraction and no stretch

To develop strong, pronounced triceps, you need to put the muscle through two types of exercise. Contraction exercises load the muscle with weight, forcing the triceps to contract. Conversely, as the name suggests, stretch exercises force the muscle to stretch.

Contraction exercises are often more popular with gym-goers. The immediate pump is pretty appealing, so a lot of people focus on their bench presses, press downs and dips. Unfortunately, if you overlook the stretch exercises, you're less likely to get long-term results. Make sure you incorporate stretch exercises like the EZ-Bar Skullcrusher and the standing dumbbell triceps extension to fully work your muscles.


Your triceps aren't as vulnerable to overtraining as other muscle groups, but you can still easily overdo it. If you push your triceps too far, too often, you can easily end up with delayed onset muscle soreness – or DOMS. To avoid DOMS, develop an exercise program that means you don't train your triceps more than twice a week, and don't include more than four exercises that work this muscle group.

Too many isolation exercises

As the name suggests, an isolation exercise targets a single muscle group, which can help emphasize tone and definition. If you're looking to develop size and strength in your triceps, isolation exercises are often an effective addition to your program, but you need a good balance of isolation and compound exercises that work several muscle groups.

Isolation exercises don't tend to quickly build size and bulk because the movements don't affect as many muscle fibers. Compound exercises are also less time-consuming, which is good news if you can't spend all day in the gym.

Not enough variety

While one exercise can often deliver noticeable results, your muscles will quickly adapt to the strain you place them under. As such, while certain movements are effective to start with, if you do the same things all the time, you'll fail to see long-term results.

Make sure you mix up your exercises. For example, a superset involves 2 exercises back-to-back without rest, while a drop set involves the same exercise with different weights. Combining these types of exercise can add variety to your program.

Bad technique

All exercises rely on good technique to deliver results. Bad technique will often erode the benefits of the program and can lead to a serious injury. It's often a good idea to work with a personal trainer to start with, so he or she can help you develop the right habits. Nonetheless, you may also need to adapt the technique to suit your body.

For example, some believe think you MUST lock your elbows to stress your triceps, but some people find this movement hard to cope with. As such, you might need to flare the elbows slightly, but you will also need to increase the weight to get the same result. Understanding these changes can help you develop the right technique.

Large, well-developed triceps can help you create a visually impressive physique, but you need to work this muscle group the right way, or you won't see the results you want. Develop the right technique, and focus on a program that has all the right exercises you need to build eye-popping triceps. You can also try steroid supplements for bodybuilding.