Tri Harder

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Looking for the best bang-for-your-buck triceps workout? We may have just found it. Earlier this year, the American Council on Exercise announced the results of a study performed at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse that evaluated the muscle activity of eight popular triceps exercises. The moves that stimulated the three-headed muscle the most, according to EMG data, were triangle (aka “diamond”) push-ups, kickbacks and dips. (Other exercises analyzed were lying triceps extensions, overhead triceps extensions, bar and rope pressdowns, and close-grip bench presses.) So next time you hit triceps, give this workout a try:

Triceps Training Tips

Triangle Push-Up
Place your hands as close together as possible on the floor — ideally with the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touching each other — and execute a push-up. Keep your elbows tucked in tight to your sides throughout instead of letting them flare out.

Bodyweight Dip
Keep your body as upright as possible during the movement to emphasize the triceps (leaning forward hits the pecs more). Like triangle push-ups, keep your elbows tucked in.

Dumbbell Kickback
The key to kickbacks is keeping the working elbow high and in tight to the body. Don’t let the upper arm drop down as you fatigue — it should stay parallel with the floor, if not slightly higher. Extend the elbow completely and squeeze the contraction hard on each rep.