Want to spice up your training and work your muscles a different way? Then look no further than isometric training. Unlike most strength-training exercises, which involve a movement of some kind, isometric exercises require you to hold a certain position for as long as possible. Ouch. The benefits of this training method include increases in your strength and muscular endurance. To isometrically work your triceps muscles -- located at the back of your arms -- do exercises that involve partial elbow extension.
Seated Overhead Isometric Triceps Extension
Grasp a single dumbbell with both hands, placing each hand under one side of the dumbbell.
Sit on an upright weight bench and put your back up against the upright part of the bench. Place your feet on the floor.
Position the dumbbell over your head with your arms straight.
Bend your arms to a 90-degree angle.
Hold this position as long as possible.
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Isometric Extension
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lie face up on the flat weight bench and put your feet on the floor.
Position the dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight.
Flex your elbows 90 degrees.
Maintain this position for as long as possible.
- Do three sets per exercise and aim to hold the isometric positions for at least 30 to 45 seconds. If you cannot hold the positions for that long, decrease the resistance being used; use lighter dumbbells. You will feel a burning sensation in your triceps while you perform the exercises. This is normal and is due to the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles.
- To prevent the dumbbells from falling on you due to muscle fatigue, have a training partner spot you while you hold the isometric positions.
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.