Skull-Crushers to Build Razor-Sharp Triceps

You work your triceps when doing bench, incline and overhead presses. For maximum arm development you have to isolate your triceps. Few exercises get the job done better than bench triceps extensions. This exercise not only builds your arms, but also enlists your chest and back muscles as stabilizers. The technique: Lie on your back on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Using a narrow grip (hands 6 inches apart), start with the bar over your chest with your arms fully extended. Keep your elbows fixed and lower the bar until it touches your forehead, then push the bar to the starting position. You can easily break your nose or lose a few teeth if you lose control of the weight during the exercise, so use a spotter. For best results, superset skull-crushers with close-grip bench presses. Set the EZ bar over your chest and pump out close-grip presses, keeping elbows tightly at your side. You can also do this exercise with dumbbells.

How to Speed Recovery. Muscles grow after the workout is over. Your activities between training sessions are critical for promoting maximum growth and preparing you for the next workout. If you don’t recover adequately between workouts, you cannot expect to train vigorously during your next exercise session. David Donatucci, in a National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal (24: 55-56) article, discussed common techniques for promoting recovery and enhancing muscle regeneration. Sleep is the most important recovery technique. People who train consistently with weights should sleep seven to nine hours a night. Include relaxing activities, such as listening to music, reading or meditating. Active rest activities may also enhance recovery. These include light stretching, cardio activities and games. Nutrition is critical. Drink a high-protein/carb drink immediately after your workout. Drink plenty of water during the day. Hot and cold showers, ice bags and massage may also speed recovery. Scientists have little proof that any of these techniques actually work, but anecdotal evidence says they do. Experiment to see which ones work for you. (NSCA Exercise Methods Notebook)

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