How to Use a Tricep Bar

Rip your triceps with the help of a tricep bar.

Rip your triceps with the help of a tricep bar.

When you decide not to lift your arm to wave while wearing a tank top for fear of "flabby arm" syndrome, it's time to get into a triceps-workout mode. A tricep bar can help you focus on those areas without hurting your wrists, which can be a problem with typical barbells. A tricep bar is shorter than a dumbbell, about 34 to 37 inches long, with an oval center section that contains two parallel handles that allow you to turn your hands perpendicular to a standard barbell hold.

Loading the Bar

Remove the spring-loaded clips, or twist off the end caps of tricep bar.

Lift one end of the tricep bar and slide a weight plate onto it. Replace the clip or end cap. Make sure the clip or end cap is completely secured so the weight plate can't move side to side.

Tip up the other end and slide on a weight plate, using the same weight as the first plate. Secure the clip or end cap.

Exercises

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to start an overhead triceps press. Place your hands on the inner handles with your palms facing inward. Lift the tricep bar behind your head, with your triceps beside your head. Lift and lower the bar behind your head without moving your upper arms; only your elbows should move.

Lie on a weight bench with your feet on the floor to get set up for a skull-crusher exercise. Lift the tricep bar over your chest so your arms are straight. Lower the bar toward your forehead, keeping your upper arm stationary; bend at the elbows to lower the weight. Stop about 2 inches above your forehead, then lift to straighten your arms.

Work your biceps by performing a hammer curl. Hold the bar with your palms facing inward with your arms straight down in front of you. Lift the weights toward your shoulders, squeezing the biceps along the front of your arms. Your triceps help stabilize the movement, but the biceps are doing most of the work.

Use the tricep bar to bench press. The different hand position gives your wrists a bit of a break, and it works the muscles slightly differently than a traditional barbell. Lie on a weight bench with your feet on the floor and hold the bar straight up above your chest. Lower the bar until it almost touches your chest, then lift straight up again.

Items you will need

  • Weight plates
  • Weight bench

Tips

  • Tricep bars carry weight of their own, often weighing between 15 and 17 pounds without weight plates. When you first start your triceps workout, perform the exercises with just the bar and work up to adding weight plates.
  • Perform one to two sets of eight repetitions of each exercise.

Warning

  • Use a spotter with these exercises, particularly with the skull crusher, to make sure you don't lose control of the tricep bar and weights.
 

Photo Credits

  • John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images