Summary: Total Gym is a versatile home gym equipment that can offer various training possibilities. Triceps exercises are essential for building upper body strength and a well-defined look. Here are some of the best tricep exercises you can do with your Total Gym.
1. Tricep Pushdowns
Tricep pushdowns are an excellent exercise for the backs of the arms, and the Total Gym offers several variations of the exercise. Start by setting the Total Gym at a low level, with the pulley attached to the bottom of the machine. Stand facing the machine and grasp the handles with an overhand grip. Extend your arms straight down in front of you, then bend your elbows to pull the handles down towards your thighs. Keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides and be sure to use control on the way back up.
To make the exercise more challenging, try doing it one arm at a time. Hold one handle and keep your opposite arm extended out to the side. Bend your elbow to bring the handle towards your thigh, then back up again. Switch sides and repeat.
The tricep pushdown can also be done with different types of handles to target the muscles from different angles. Using a rope handle, for example, can increase overhead range of motion and work the triceps in a slightly different way.
2. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are another effective exercise for targeting the triceps. To perform them on the Total Gym, set the machine at a high level and adjust the wing attachment to a comfortable height. Sit on the floor in front of the machine and place your hands on the wing attachment behind you. Extend your legs out in front of you with your heels on the ground. Straighten your arms to lift your body off the floor, then lower yourself slowly by bending your elbows. Try to keep your hips close to the machine throughout the exercise to minimize strain on your shoulders.
To make tricep dips more challenging, try lifting one leg off the ground and doing the exercise one-legged. This will increase the load on your triceps and require greater core stability.
Another variation is to include a knee tuck at the bottom of each dip. As you lower yourself down, bring your knees up towards your chest, then extend them back out as you push back up again.
3. Tricep Extensions
Tricep extensions are a classic exercise for isolating the triceps, and the Total Gym offers several ways to perform them. Grab the handles or cables with an overhand grip and step back until there’s moderate tension on the cables or bands. With your arms extended above your head, slowly bend your elbows to lower the handles behind your head. Take care not to flare your elbows out too wide, as this can cause strain on your shoulders. Return to the starting position with control, squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.
For a single arm variation, try holding one handle and keeping your opposite arm extended out to the side. Bend your elbow to lower the handle behind your head, then back up again. Make sure to switch sides and work both arms evenly.
You can also try doing tricep extensions while kneeling on the Total Gym bench. Kneel with your back facing the machine and place your hands on the seat, behind your hips. Extend your legs out in front of you and grab the handles or cables with an overhand grip. With your arms extended above your head, slowly lower the handles behind you until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Return to the starting position with control.
4. One-Arm Tricep Kickbacks
One-arm tricep kickbacks are a unilateral exercise that can help even out any imbalances in your triceps. Start by attaching a cable or band to the bottom of the Total Gym. Hold onto the handle with one hand and step back until you feel tension in the cable. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat. With your elbow tucked into your side, extend your arm behind you until it’s straight. Be sure to squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement, then lower the handle back down with control.
Repeat on both sides to keep your triceps balanced. You can also try doing the exercise with both hands together, gripping a single handle or dumbbell between them.
To make the exercise even more challenging, try holding a static lunge position and alternating kickbacks from side to side. This will also incorporate your legs and core.
5. Close-Grip Push-Ups
While not strictly a Total Gym exercise, close-grip push-ups can be done on the Total Gym using the glideboard. Place your hands on the board with your fingers pointing towards each other, and your elbows tucked into your sides. Lower yourself towards the board, keeping your body in a straight line. Push yourself back up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.
Close-grip push-ups target not only the triceps but also the chest, shoulders, and core. They’re a great way to work multiple muscle groups at once and improve upper body strength and stability.
To make the exercise harder or easier, adjust the incline of the glideboard. A steeper incline will be more challenging, while a lower incline will be easier.
Performing tricep exercises on the Total Gym is an excellent way to build upper body strength and definition. Experiment with different variations of tricep pushdowns, dips, extensions, kickbacks, and close-grip push-ups to work your triceps from different angles and intensities. Remember to use control and proper form throughout each exercise, and always warm up beforehand to prevent injury. With consistent training and dedication, you can achieve strong, toned triceps and improve your overall fitness level.