Warming up before you lift can seem like a waste of time, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your body. Not only does it increase the blood flow to your muscles, it also raises the temperature of your muscles, making them more flexible and less prone to injury. If you’re setting out to challenge your triceps to a few sets of dips, warm them up properly with cardio and stretching to get the most out of your hard work.
Engage in a short cardiovascular workout. Whether you hit the treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike or the sidewalk, you will increase your blood flow and heart rate by starting your workout with cardio. As your muscles -- including your triceps -- receive more blood, they get warmer and more flexible, which allows you to lift more strenuously without risking a strain, pull or tear. Aim for five to 10 minutes of cardio at a moderate effort.
Get your triceps moving. With your body warming up, you can prepare your triceps by doing light movements that bring even more blood to this specific area. Swing your arms back and forth 20 times and pump your hands up and down at your sides for the same number. Do three sets of 10 wall pushups to finish.
Stretch your triceps. Raise one arm, elbow pointing to the ceiling, with your forearm as close to your upper arm as possible. Grasp your elbow with your opposite hand and pull it toward your head holding the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. When you’re finished, repeat with the other arm, holding for the same amount of time.
- When you’re warming up for triceps dips add extra arm movements into your cardio to help get even more blood flowing to the area.
- Don’t stretch your triceps too far; pull your arm until you feel moderate resistance and then hold that position. If you experience unusual pain, stop immediately to investigate the cause of the sensation. And, as always, check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.