How to use a triceps bar

Written by paul travers Google
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How to use a triceps bar
The triceps is the large muscle at the back of the upper arm. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The triceps is the large three-headed muscle at the back of the upper arm. Where the biceps is used for curling the arm, the triceps is used to extend it. Exercises such as bench presses can be used to train the triceps but a triceps bar can be useful in isolating the muscle. A triceps bar is an oval or rectangular frame with two parallel hand grips in the centre. As well as triceps exercises such as overhead extensions and French curls, the bar can be used to train the biceps with a hammer curl.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Triceps bar
  • Weights
  • Training bench

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Instructions

    Extensions

  1. 1

    Loosen and remove the clamps that secure the weights in place. Depending on the type, they may need to be unscrewed or they may have spring clips you squeeze to release. Slide the weights onto either end of the bar and secure the clamps.

  2. 2

    Bend from the knees and pick up the triceps bar by the central hand grips. Straighten from the knees and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

  3. 3

    Raise the bar above your head then bend your elbows until the bar is behind your head and your forearms are roughly parallel with the floor. Extend your arms from the elbows to raise the bar above your head. Stop just before your elbows lock. Try to keep the motion as smooth and controlled as possible. Bend your elbows back to the starting position. Complete as many repetitions as required.

    French curl

  1. 1

    Hold the triceps bar by the hand grips and lie on a training bench on your back. Extend your arms vertically so the bar is above the top of your chest.

  2. 2

    Bend your elbows so the bar comes down towards your head. Stop before it touches your head or face. The French curl is also sometimes known as the "skullcrusher" but you don't want to take that literally.

  3. 3

    Extend your arms from the elbows so the bar is once more held vertically above your head. Complete as many repetitions as required.

    Hammer curl

  1. 1

    Bend from the knees and pick up the triceps bar by the central hand grips. Straighten from the knees and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. 2

    Curl your arms and lift the bar towards your upper chest. Just before it touches your chest, stop the movement then return to the starting position in a smooth, controlled motion.

  3. 3

    Complete as many repetitions as required. The parallel grips will train your biceps from a different direction than regular biceps curls with a barbell or curl bar. They can also reduce stress on the wrists and elbows.

Tips and warnings

  • The best weights to use will depend on your fitness and goals. In general, lower repetitions with heavier weights are best for building muscle mass. Higher repetitions with lighter weights are best for toning and general fitness.
  • If you are new to weight training, start with very low weights.
  • If you feel a sharp pain in your elbow or anywhere else, stop the exercise immediately.

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