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Working the tricep

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:36 pm
by Bikerbill98
As I understand it, the tricep extends the forearm at the elbow with the work being done by the lateral and medial heads. The long head aids in adduction and extension of the arm at the shoulder. The position of the hand (pronated et al) has no affect on the extension of the forearm. Doing the motion with a supinated hand seems inherently dangerous. I see trainors suggesting this exercise. What are the advantages and disadvntages? It appears to me it should be avoided.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:15 pm
by Matt Z
I don't see any real advantage to performing extensions in this manner. It's possible the trainers in question are just trying to give their clients something different, so they won't get bored.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:02 pm
by Ironman
I would avoid it just because it is not a natural motion. With dumbbell I think the hammer grip is best, supinated is not dangerous but it is not natural either. I wouldn't do it. Barbell is best done pronated. In this case I think a supinated grip could be dangerous as you could drop the bar on your face. At any rate it is still not a natural grip. Of course the triceps are worked the same regardless.

The problem is trainers are mostly really stupid. They always have to put some different twist on things. They like to have people do dumbbell press supinated, which I think is retarded. Then of course everything has to be done on a swiss bill, where you can't lift enough weight to do anything for you and the abdominal contractions aren't any better then unweighted flat crunches. Then they have to do stuff standing on that stupid thing that looks like a pogo ball so they can risk falling down and injuring themselves and the poor guy next to them. Maybe that's why they're so dumb, they fall off that thing and knocked their brains loose. I'm not kidding, there is *ONE* guy there right now that is really good and knows what he is doing (out of around 20). Another that is decent and third that isn't very good but he's not totally stupid. The rest of them are just drooling idiots. Even the fitness boss. She's a very nice lady, but she doesn't know squat about her profession. It is sad to see these "pros" that wouldn't know what ACSM guidelines were if they got smacked across the face with them, which by the way is what I feel like doing sometimes. Sometimes I laugh, but sometimes it is just sad. That poor sap doesn't know he's wasting time and money.

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:48 pm
by Masterintraining
I agree with the guys. When you do something different as a trainer you do it to impress the clients. The "more you know" the better you seem. Same goes for yoga, spinning etc. A trainer who wants clients to master the basics and spends time on is not concidered cool enough anymore.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:01 am
by Matt Z
It seems like many trainers try to give their clients something new and different every session. The problem is it's practically impossible to make gains when your learning new exercises every workout.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:46 am
by Stephen Johnson
The late bodybuilder Paul "Quadzilla" DeMayo not only had huge legs, but exceptional arms as well. I recall reading once that he used one-arm reverse grip cable pushdowns in his triceps routines to get the horseshoe look. ... hdown.html

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:59 am
by Ironman
I think size is the only thing you get from the exercise. Shape is from genetics. So he might have thought that, but they would probably have that shape no matter what. It can even vary by limb. I have a very nice horseshoe on one side, but no so great on the other despite the fact that they are both the same size and trained exactly the same. Look at Arnolds biceps, 1 has more of peak. Mine are like that too, they are the same size but one has more of a peak then the other.

That guy was really huge. Too bad he started shooting smack.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:24 pm
by Matt Z
I've read that in addition to extending the elbow, triceps also assist in pronating the wrist. Therefore, it's supposedly important to include at least one exercise for triceps where the wrist is pronated against resistance (as the elbow is being extended). I don't know how true this is, but I have noticed that my triceps seem to contract much harder when I do this on Dumbbell Kickbacks and Cable Pressdowns (using a rope handle). Likewise, I like to include at least one biceps exercise where the wrist is supinated against resistance (as the elbow is being flexed).

Of course, in both cases this only applys to exercises where the wrist is free to rotate, not locked into a fixed position, as it would be using a barbell or steel cable handle.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 4:46 pm
by Bikerbill98
The general feedback I'm getting seems to support my contention. With respect to the tricep assisting pronation, my original post addresses exactly what the tricep does. The reason I think it's a poor or inherently dangerous exercise is the elbow and wrists are not adequately supported when loading up a supinated hand. Envision someone using cables with a supinated grip while extending the forearm. The elbows are away from the body (forward) and the hand is flexed as the bar is pushed down. Neither of these joints are supported during the movement. If you've ever played tennis and hit backhand with a leading elbow and unsupported wrist, you end up with tendonitis. This is the vertical version of the same movement. Where I think people sense the tricep is contacting harder, as MattZ indicated, is as follows: To supinate the hand you have to contact the bicep. The palms are up and the elbows naturally move medially thus rubbing up against your sides (this is with a cable). When you extend the arm, you have both the bicep and tricep contracted giving a fuller feeling in the arm. Pull your elbows away from your body and that sensation changes. Bottom line, decreasing the angle of a joint without proper support results in injury.

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:27 am
by Keith Rowland
IRONMAN: I share your disgust towards the personal trainers who clutter the gym with so many rubber and foam appliances, that it looks like an adult toy store. Wielding their weekend workshop certifications, these personal pimps disguise their incompetence with this array of props, much like the magician creats an illusion. The owner/trainer at our gym is a long-time body builder, and he has elderly women and men doing light barbell exercises as well as lat pull-downs and traditional dumbell movements. Many younger adults, however, view his advocacy of free weights as unsafe, dirty, and belonging to some sadistic subculture. They whine about everything and eventually join the YMCA on the other side of town, leaving us to our self-inflicted pain and pleasures. ON THE SUBJECT OF TRICEPS: Nothing works better for size than good ol' close-grip benches and the dip bars, right?

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:56 am
by Ironman
Ain't that the truth. "Watch me pull a vibrating swiss ball out of my hat!"

Yea for triceps those 2 plus extensions done with barbell or dumbbell are the only triceps exercises I ever do.