Plyometric exercises require a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest amount of time. These types of exercises are commonly used by athletes to mimic movements used in a specific sport. Plyometrics are also suitable for the average person to improve strength, agility, speed and power. Plyometric exercises for the triceps can help improve your abilities in upper-body activities such as throwing, punching and lifting weights.
The standing medicine ball throw is a plyometric exercise that will effectively target your triceps. Stand 10 feet away from a workout partner and hold a medicine ball against your chest with your elbows bent and out to the sides. From this position, forcefully throw the ball to your partner who should be ready to receive it. Your partner will then immediately throw it back to you. Continue to throw it back and forth, gradually picking up speed until you're maintaining a comfortable pace. To increase the difficulty, stand farther away from your partner or use a heavier medicine ball.
Clapping pushups are a challenging exercise and can be quite intimidating, but if you work your way up to them, they can be very effective for developing power in the triceps. If you've never tried this plyometric exercise before, begin on your knees on an exercise mat. Get into the pushup position with your hands below your shoulders, abdominal muscles tight, back straight and hips stable. Lower your chest to the floor then immediately push yourself upward as hard and fast as possible. Clap your hands as soon as they leave the floor then immediately place them back on the floor to catch yourself. As your strength and coordination improve, gradually transition to a full pushup.
Plyometric Triceps Dips
This plyometric triceps exercise requires a significant amount of upper-body strength but it is worth the effort. Sit on a sturdy chair or exercise bench and place your hands on either side of your hips. Scoot your hips off the chair so your body weight is supported by your arms. Position your knees to 90 degrees. Lower your hips toward the floor until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Immediately push yourself upward as fast and hard as you can so your hands "jump" off the chair. Avoid using your legs to propel your body upward. Place your hands back on the chair and immediately lower into the next repetition.
Plyometric exercises are generally considered safe but, as with all forms of exercise, injury can still occur. It is crucial to perform an adequate warm-up before performing any plyometric triceps exercises. Proper technique is also very important due to the high-force movements these exercises create. Because of the eccentric muscle loading that occurs during many plyometric exercises, extreme muscle soreness can result. It's best to play it safe and begin with only a few repetitions at a time, like five to 10, to allow your muscles time to strengthen and recover.
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition; Thomas Baechle, et al
- ExRx.net: Medicine Ball Chest Throw (with partner)
- ExRx.net: Clap Push-up
- Netfit: Plyometric Dips
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.