The Advantage Of Using A Tricep Machine
There are a couple of reasons for using a tricep machine to build up and strengthen these very important muscles. One reason is, a tricep machine puts constraints on the freedom and range of motion of the muscle when it's being exercised, thus lessening the chance of injury. A tricep machine is a better chose for the beginner than free weights for this reason. The second reason is that a tricep machine when used properly will tend to ensure that bad technique is not being used when working the muscles. Bad technique can lead to injury or soreness, but most often simply makes the effort to strengthen or build up the triceps either less efficient or in some cases useless.
Those who work with free weights are usually well trained in their use, or at least should be, so can do triceps exercises correctly without the aid of a machine. Whether to use a tricep machine or free weights is really one's own choice, and it depends upon where you are in your conditioning program and what you're trying to accomplish.
Various Ways To Exercise The Triceps - The triceps are sometimes neglected when it comes to strength conditioning, although some of the exercises done to build up the chest and upper back muscles also exercise the triceps, so these upper arm muscles usually aren't neglected completely. One reason for this apparent neglect is that the triceps are not the easiest muscles to build and condition. Another reason might be the bodybuilding ads often focus on the size of the biceps, although in truth, it is the triceps which contribute the most to upper arm size.
One can exercise the triceps using a tricep machine, of which there are several, or by doing those much-loved pushups, by pushing up a barbell or dumbbells, or by using a training tube, a flexible tube that provides resistance when pulled (biceps) or pushed (triceps). A flexible tube workout restricts the range of motion somewhat, and thereby promotes proper technique, but not quite as much as a tricep machine will do.
Tricep Machine Types - There are several types of tricep machines. One is the Machine Bench Press, called the vertical press, although the arms are pushed out horizontally. In this exercise you sit on a bench which has a back support, and push the handles, which are under tension, away from your chest. Tension can be adjusted either by adjusting weights (plates) or hydraulically, depending upon the type of the machine. The Smith Machine is an incline bench, where the bar is above the chest and is pushed upwards. Either a weight and pulley system or hydraulics controls the tension on the bar. When Using a Machine French Press, one sits on a bench with a back support, as in the case of the Bench Press, but instead of pushing the weight out and away from the chest, the weight is pushed vertically, up and away from the chest.
There is also a machine where one does a curl from a seated position. In most gyms there are two of these machines, one for curling the arms in to exercise the biceps, and one for curling the arms out under tension, to exercise the triceps.
On interesting variation in triceps exercises, whether using the tricep machine apparatus or free weights, is to do the triceps exercise while seated on an exercise ball, keeping the feet slightly apart for stability. Besides giving the triceps a workout, the abdominal or core muscles also get a good workout due to the work done in trying to keep the body stable while seated on the ball.
It probably should be added, that one of the secrets to building great triceps, whether using a tricep machine or not, is to eat a proper diet, get plenty of rest, and be careful not to overwork the triceps by doing the same exercises two days in a row.