The Simple Gym Tweak That Will Help Tone Your Triceps

POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock
POPSUGAR Photography | Kathryna Hancock

There are many different exercises you can do to build stronger, toned arms. You may not believe it, however, if we told you that one of the most popular triceps exercises can be adjusted in a small way to make a much bigger difference in targeting the muscle. Interested? We thought so! The exercise we're talking about is the triceps pressdown.

Triceps Are the Key to Toned Arms

The triceps are the large muscles on the back side of the upper arm, and when those muscles are in shape, it shows. Many women boast that tight triceps can boost your confidence, especially when you're wearing tank tops or sleeveless dresses. But it's not just about looks. Not only do the triceps look good when you train them, but they give you much added strength in your arms that will allow you to complete everyday tasks at home and on the job.

Adding muscle to your body also benefits your metabolism in a positive way. The more muscle a person has, the more calories you will burn, even while at rest. That's because it takes more energy (calories) to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat.

The Easy Hack

According to certified personal trainer Heather Neff, "With the triceps pressdown exercise, you will be targeting the triceps directly, of course, but with one simple movement of the wrists, you'll be able to feel an even deeper burn in the muscle." She told us that the best way to accomplish this is to simply turn the wrist outward during each of your reps to feel more engagement in the triceps.

Here's how to do the triceps pressdown:

  • Step 1: Step up to the cable machine and grab the rope dangling above your head (make sure you've set the weight that suits you and will allow you to perform about 10-12 reps per set).
  • Step 2: Stand with your feet at about hip-width apart and keep the back straight, chest out, and head facing forward.
  • Step 3: Your grip should be palms facing each other and your arms should be at about shoulder's width with your elbows tucked in.
  • Step 4: Engage the triceps and the core, and pull the rope down until your arms are fully extended. During this movement, turn the wrists slightly out till you feel more engagement in the triceps and hold for a second. At this point, your fingers should be parallel to the ground, not facing each other.

By moving your grip this way, you'll be rounding out each rep so you can feel movement even more, making it the best angle for targeting the triceps.