What are the Best Isometric Exercises for Triceps?
Isometric tricep exercises are a great way to increase growth and muscle size in your arms. The tricep muscles are considerably larger than the biceps and so contribute significantly to arm size. If you want to grow big arms, isometric exercises can help build muscle and ‘shock’ your body into more growth.
Isometrics Provide a Different Type of Movement than Traditional Exercises
With traditional exercises, you move the weight from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and back while maintaining muscular tension throughout. This ‘pumping’ movement is what most people think of in relation to growing muscle.
However isometric exercises can really add to a traditional weights workout by increasing the amount of tension muscles are under. This creates more micro tears which stimulate protein synthesis and ultimately muscle growth.
Many isometric exercises require very little equipment and so can be done at home, in the office or at school. Here are the best isometric exercises for big triceps.
Diamond Push Up with Isometric Hold
Get into the traditional push up start position. Your body should be rigid, core tight. Your arms and shoulders are locked with your hands below your shoulders.
Now move your hands closer together so that your index fingers and thumbs meet, making a diamond shape.
Slowly lower your body down until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Keep your elbows tucked in to increase the stretch.
Keep your core tight and don’t raise your hips up – that’s cheating. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release. Repeat three to five times.
Parallel Bar Dips with Isometric Hold
This exercise can be incorporated easily into your chest/triceps workout. Perform your normal sets and reps for dips. However on the last set, perform isometric holds for a huge pump and muscle burnout.
Caution: Do this towards the end of your workout as this will really fatigue your triceps.
As you lower yourself down into the ‘hole’, hold your body with your elbows slightly straightened. Your upper arms should be above parallel with the floor. Flex your triceps and lean back slightly. This will shift the focus onto your arms, away from your chest.
Hold for five to ten seconds then complete the rep. Do this three to five times or until you reach muscular failure.
Bonus tip: You can also do this exercise using a chair or parallel bars in a playground.
Tricep Extension and Hold
The tricep extension and hold is one of the best exercises for triceps because you don’t need any gym equipment. All you need your body weight.
To Start: Seated or standing, raise your hands up overhead. Clasp them together.
The Movement: Contract your right tricep while simultaneously pulling down on your wrist with your left hand. This creates resistance. As you fight against this resistance, you will feel the contraction deepen in your triceps. This will lead to your muscles feeling tight and pumped. Hold for 15 seconds, release, and change arms. Do this three times.
Bonus Tips: You can increase the contraction in your triceps by moving your arms slightly behind your head with your upper arms touching your ears.
Skull Crusher Hold
This is a simple isometric hold that you can incorporate into your weights routine. To perform a skull crusher, lie on your back on a bench. Grab a dumbbell with both hands and hold above your upper chest/face with arms extended.
Bend your elbows, allowing the weight to travel under control behind your head. When your elbows are at 90 degrees, flex your triceps and push the weight back up towards the start positon. Try to pause before you lock out your arms, maintaining the contraction in your triceps.
Don’t let your elbows flare out. This makes the movement easier. If it’s too difficult, reduce the weight for the next set. Do three sets of five holds for a big tricep pump.
Double Tricep Flex and Hold
This is a really easy movement to use when you are training triceps in the gym, especially when doing burnout sets of cable push downs.
At the end of each set, stand upright with your hands clasped in front at your hips. Push your wrists down, flexing and contracting the triceps muscles. These will already be burning from your high volume cable set. Hold this for two 15 second bursts during your rest period.
Do this during the rest periods of all your cable push down sets for a bigger pump and greater muscle growth.
This technique is a key part of Hany Rambod’s FST-7. FST stands for Fascia Stretching Technique as completing the isometric hold along with high volume machine exercises increases blood flow and stretches the muscle fascia. This in turn leads to bigger muscles.
Use Isometric Tricep Exercises to Boost your Arm Growth
As you can see, isometrics can be easily added into your existing arm workout or even used as a separate routine. They can be done with very little or no equipment and will add an important new dimension to your weight training.