Looking for new incentives to boost arm growth? Try these unsurpassed movements to forge a three-headed horseshoe.
Extension on the upper block is a basic movement for the triceps. Over the years of training, you’ve most likely done over 70,000 reps, and this definitely affects the volume of your arms. But to keep growing, you need to constantly pour fresh blood into your training program or make adjustments to your favorite exercises. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength and Functional Training showed that changing exercises is more important than changing load patterns for increasing muscle strength.
To offer you as many options as possible, we contacted Florida-based coach Nick Tumminello, owner of the University of Fitness and author of Strength Training for Weight Loss, Muscle Growth, and Endurance. He is a great master at altering exercises in his own way, and you probably know this if you read his article on the website dailyfit.ru Isodynamic training: more benefits from dumbbells!
What solution did he suggest? Make minimal adjustments to offset the “point of maximum load” in known elbow extension movements and multi-joint exercises. “With each exercise, you can create maximum tension at different points in your range of motion,” explains Tumminello. “It’s very easy to do, you just need to redirect the thrust vectors in the exercises you do day in and day out.”
For comparison, Tumminello gave an example of the transition from curls for biceps on the Scott bench to curls in the standing position ; movement is carried out at different angles, the maximum load falls on different segments of the range of motion. And here are some examples of how to turn this magic on the back of your hands!
1. Extension with one hand over the head
Overhead extensions can be done with two arms or with one arm, but in this version, which recruits the long head of the triceps, you will be doing one-sided extensions on a bench with a positive incline.
“This is practically the same exercise as the standing extension, but with a lateral bend. By tilting, you change the point of maximum load, since the top of your arm is no longer perpendicular to the ground, says Tumminello. – It is tilted, which creates a peak load a little further along the contraction. Plus, you can stretch your muscles better with this exercise.
Key advice from a coach. Keep your shoulder in the tilt plane of the bench; if it is perpendicular to the floor, the point of maximum load will be the same as in the standing position, and the exercise will become meaningless.
2. French bench press with a negative incline
You’ve probably heard of this move, but have you tried it? Most probably not. “The French press with dumbbells or curved bar , performed in a head-down bend, is not the newest invention, but most people do not do this exercise,” says Tumminello. “Leaning over is just changing the angle and point of maximum load. And thus you get new growth incentives in a classic bodybuilding exercise. ”
Key advice from a coach. The shoulder should remain perpendicular to the torso, not the floor, as you need to adjust to the slope of the bench. You can use different degrees of incline, varying the peak point for each set. Of course, the same can be tried on a bench with a positive incline.
3. Bench press with a narrow grip on an incline bench
The narrow grip bench press is a proven and reliable way to add intensity to the initial phase of your arm workout. You can lift more weight in this exercise than in any other triceps movement, but you definitely should not limit yourself to a horizontal bench. As with the French press upside down, you can use a positive incline bench to generate new stimuli.
Key advice from a coach. Keep your shoulders perpendicular to your torso, not the ground. This will help you reap a rich harvest. Again, by lowering and raising the bench, you can incorporate many incline positions into your workout, each slightly different from the last.
4. French press in the cable machine
While most people are doing French free weight presses, switching to a cable machine will give a fresh boost to their workouts. Unlike constant gravity, the direction of pull in the cable trainer changes. Its vector is directed downwards and towards the side on which the lower block is located. You can even change the height of the block to adjust the load vector.
Key advice from a coach. Try this same movement on a bench with a positive and negative incline.
5. Leaving the hand back on the block
As with the French press example, using the cable changes the thrust vector and keeps the muscles tense from start to finish. Start by placing the block at its lowest position, and after a while, try different corners.
In addition, if you remove the iron handle and place the handle with a rubber ball wrapped around your thumb and forefinger, you can use the neutral hand position, in which the lateral head of the triceps gets maximum load. Twist your arm slightly outward, and you have a lower grip that shifts the focus to the medial head.
Key advice from a coach. If you lower your elbows during the downward movement of the block, the single-joint movement will turn into a multi-joint movement, which will reduce the load on the triceps. Keep your shoulders close to your torso throughout your range of motion.