What Do Strong Triceps Help With?
The triceps brachii, usually just called the triceps, is a three-headed muscle located at the back of the upper arm. These muscles primarily work to extend the elbow, and the long head helps the latissimus dorsi muscle, located on the back, to bring the arm toward the body. Strong triceps contribute to a powerful and toned upper body and can help you perform many daily functions and athletic activities with ease.
Throwing or passing a ball and shooting a basketball are movements that require the use of the triceps. When you have strong triceps, you can do these actions with greater power. When the triceps contract isometrically to maintain a specific angle of the elbow, they help you do fine motor movement activities such as writing. Strong triceps allow you to maintain a stable position for longer.
The triceps are vulnerable to tendinitis, especially when you use them repeatedly in movements such as throwing or hammering. You should see your doctor if you experience nagging pain in the back part of the upper arm near the point of your elbow. Strengthening your triceps can help reduce the chance that you will develop this overuse injury because the muscles, rather than the joint, will take much of the responsibility for the action.
Upper Body Development
The triceps assist in the bench press and the pushup – two moves intrinsic to training the chest. If you want to improve on these exercises, you need to strengthen the triceps. Being able to hoist more in the bench press can lead to greater development of the chest. Being able to do more pushups may help you excel at fitness tests, such as those administered by the military. A stronger chest and triceps complex also allows you to perform pushing movements with ease. These can range from steering a stroller, wielding a shopping cart or tackling an opponent in football or rugby.
Your triceps make up approximately two-thirds of your entire upper arm – neglect these muscles and you are cheating yourself of serious strength. Some strength trainers, particularly bodybuilders, seek more girth in the upper arm. Strong triceps combined with strong biceps create this desired size.
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.