Sunday, April 25, 2010

Muscle Spotlight: Triceps

I am going to start a new feature on my blog, and highlight a different muscle each month. I recently got re-certified with The National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. They put a lot of emphasis on postural assessments and anatomy, and particularly muscles. This reminded me how few of the muscles in the human body most people are even aware of. Most know large muscle groups like pecs, deltoids, biceps, hamstrings, lats, etc. but few people know or appreciate all the others. Today I'd like feature the triceps muscle.

The triceps brachii muscle is located on the back side of the upper arm.When a person makes the traditional flex pose with their arm, it is the lower portion you see. It is called the triceps because there are 3 separate heads. The long, lateral, and medial head all work together and join at the elbow. It is the muscle that causes elbow extension and is the opposing muscle to the biceps.

Many guys want to develop muscular arms and they frequently do bicep exercises like curls to accomplish this. The triceps actually make up the majority of the upper arm mass, so neglecting them is a big mistake. Also women frequently complain of "bat wings" or :lunch lady arms". Having strong triceps muscles can give a toned appearance, but you can't neglect proper nutrition either if you expect to have lean looking arms.

Some exercises that work this muscle are French curls, cable press downs, close gripped presses, bench dips, kick backs, and skull crushers. Skull crushers are my favorite exercise, but since the bone spur on my elbow has gotten worse, I haven't been able to do that exercise for months. The woman in the picture below is performing a bench dip.

No comments: