The Importance of Chest and Triceps for Your Upper Body
To get a well-developed upper body it's important to train your chest and triceps muscles. Usually, people struggle to get these muscle groups to grow. This is because they aren't training with enough volume. They're not using the right exercises and their workouts lack intensity. IFBB Pro Sadik Hadzovic and Dr. Mike Camp showed us exercises they use to maximize chest and triceps growth.
Chest and Triceps Workout Benefits
- Improved upper body strength: Chest and triceps exercises can help strengthen the muscles in the upper body. This can lead to improved upper body strength in major compound lifts like the bench press, overhead press and dips.
- Increased muscle mass: With increased volume from additional chest and triceps exercises, you can help stimulate muscle growth, leading to increased muscle mass. If these muscle groups are lagging, use chest and triceps workouts to help develop them.
- Improved posture: Strengthening the muscles in the chest and triceps can help you improve your posture. If these are muscle groups you commonly overlook, chest and triceps workouts will help balance out your physique.
- Reduced risk of injury: Building your chest and triceps muscles can help support your shoulders during activities and potentially help reduce your risk of injury by strengthening your upper body.
- Improved athletic performance: Increasing upper body strength can help improve performance in physical activities that rely on strong chest and triceps.
This workout was Sadik and Dr. Mike’s secondary chest workout of the week, with an emphasis on the triceps. They focus on their chest and back movements, so those muscles get trained twice a week. For the second chest workout of the week, the goal isn't to crush the chest hard. The goal is to do a couple of exercises to get some stimulation and then focus on the triceps.
Missed Part One of Sadik's chest supersets? Check out part one: Chest Supersets for Your Next Workout.
Dr. Mike and Sadik approach their training program design with a lot of communication. Their training splits focus on body parts Sadik wants to improve upon.
The Best Chest and Tricep Exercises & Workout Plan
People talk about certain exercises isolating more parts of the pec. It’s all about the muscle contraction. A big motion for the pecs is the horizontal adduction (moving the arms towards the center of the body). Some positions of the chest fly will place a little more stress on the inner fibers. But in general, this movement is about isolating the entire pecs. We use incline dumbbell fly’s to warm up, get a good contraction, and maintain the contraction. We aim for 8-10 reps on this movement.
Dr. Mike and Sadik love exercises that emphasize the "lockout" like floor presses and board presses. These exercises add more stress onto the muscle and a little more size. When you do this exercise, think of your set up like you’re driving a racecar. You want to rev your engine by getting your body strong and tight before pushing the weight upwards. Focus on driving the weight up, be explosive.
Now our workout starts focusing more on the triceps by doing an isolation movement. We do dumbbell skull crushers for 8-10 reps and focus on contracting during the movement.
Go slow on the bottom of this exercise, keep your elbows tight and focus on feeling the stretch of your muscles. The first set is more of a warm-up set to get your body ready and then you increase the intensity for your working sets.
We’re going to continue tying in the tricep exercises to chest exercises. This exercise is an isolation with our elbows on the pad for 10-15 reps. Focus on feeling the stretch during the extension part of this exercise.
For this exercise keep the bar at chest level. Keep your arms slightly closer than shoulder width apart. And keep your elbows tucked in tight. It’s important to brace your core and maintain a good posture during this exercise. You want to be moving the weight with your upper body muscles and not because of momentum.
You want to maintain a good posture on this exercise with your shoulders back and core braced. Control the weight on this exercise. You want to feel the stretch on your muscles throughout the movement. Aim for 12 reps on this exercise.
Last week, we did this movement from low to high, now we’re going to do it from high to low. Always try to change the variable. Make sure to keep an upright posture on this exercise. Brace your core and move the cable in a controlled fashion.
Even with our ab movement, we try to tie in everything. For this exercise our shoulders are back on the pads maintaining a good posture. We isometrically hold our elbows and we push down using our triceps for stabilization.
Be sure not to round your shoulders on this exercise. You don't want to use too much momentum either. You should feel this exercise in your abs, not your lower back. Also remember to breathe as you perform this exercise. You want to contract your muscles hard to feel this exercise in your abs.
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