Assymetrical biceps and triceps

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    Jun 15, 2009 10:25 PM GMT
    Ok, admittedly as a runner, I'm not that worried about looking like a perfectly sculpted machine, but it's bugging me that I don't have the definition in the back of my arm that I do in the front. I know the tris account for a lot of size in the arm, and they have 3 peaks which I hit whenever I work them. I don't want to overwork them as they get used in most pushing exercises presses and push ups.

    Any advice on how to get my biceps and triceps on a more even keel?
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    Jun 16, 2009 3:16 AM GMT
    There are a couple of tri-specific exercises that work really well. For me, tri kickbacks have been especially good at balancing tri's with bi's. I think there is a video of tri kickbacks somewhere on this site, but easy enough to find.

    Lots of variations on cable tri work as well. Doing a variety is good. My understanding of the kinesiology is that doing a cable extension with a U-shaped or V-shaped metal handle is good at working all three heads of the triceps, but people will tell you different stories about which handle to use. Some like the rope handle, with which you can do a little separation spread at the apex of your lift or pull, just for added effect.

    There is also the chair dip, which is a machine where you sit and push down on handles.

    And the reverse bench dip where you put your hands behind you on a bench and lower yourself.

    Regular front dips not to be overlooked, plus they work the lower pecs, which all of us pec lovers always want to build :-)

    But it really also depends on your unique body. Every body responds differently. Kickbacks work great for me, but may do zip for you.

    However, in general, the more free weight you can use, and more care you take on form, the more you will work the muscles you want to grow. Intensity counts for a lot as well.

    Oh, and I will stop and shut up soon here, but don't forget plyometrics with balls. All sorts of things you can do with throwing and bouncing and...

    Good luck!
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:27 AM GMT
    skullcrushers also work well for some guys
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    I find either standing or lying skull crushers work best for me - my triceps outmatch my biceps which is bit of annoyance for me.

    Some gyms may have the Kneeling Cable Triceps Extension machine which can also hit the spot that the other exercises don't hit.

    Also cable pushdowns will hit another area (mainly the inside tris) that the above 2 exercises will not hit.

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exercises.php?Real_New=
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:47 AM GMT
    Skullcrushers bind your joints. You'll likely end up with your elbows hurting doing them to much and to heavy (the voice of experience here).

    Resistance training and low body fat will straighten things up.

    It's normal for untrained folks to be asymmetrical.

    Dumbbells, through a full range of motion, with a stretch, after warm up, will make your strong and injury free for decades. There is NO NEED for anything esoteric.

    In general, machines should be your last choice, as they limit range of motion. Dumbells should always be your first choice, as you get a full stretch; a full range of motion, and involve stabilizers in the exercise, as well. It's just a common sense thing.
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    Jun 16, 2009 5:58 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidSkullcrushers bind your joints. You'll likely end up with your elbows hurting doing them to much and to heavy (the voice of experience here).


    Can't say I've ever had that problem and I usually press an Ezy bar over head at about 15kg each side standing.

    I would suggest cables only to supplement tricep exercises as opposed to focusing your effort with them. You can always opt for alternatives eg. instead of heavy pushdowns, do dips with a weight. Overhead cable extensions or skull crushers.

    Also the French Press can also ad a bit of bulk to your tris. Use a bench press and a narrow grip, lower the barbell keeping your elbows in and press up. You'll find the triceps supporting the movement with some workout to the chest. Alternatively you can also do diamond pushups/tricep pushups.
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    Jun 16, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    French presses, especially with an ez bar, bind your joins and eventually lead to injury (tendinitis). If you think it through, dumbbells (for non dumb bell folks) are clearly a much better choice for the obvious reasons I stated above, and that fitness "experts" state every day.

    EZ bar is one of those pieces that should be removed from the weight room.

    While barbells are o.k. for squats, and deadlifts, for almost anything else, you want to involved the stabilizers / assisters, through a full range of motion, which is usually not possible using a bar, of any kind, because of your hand position.

    Having a full range of motion is essential to both good development ( a fully extended / stretched muscle ends up about 30% larger ) and injury prevention.

    Almost no one in the know, these days, advises extensive use of barbells, Skullcrushers, or French presses, because of the way they limit your motion and bind your hands, and remove your stablizers. Dumbbells are MUCH better for effective training, injury prevention, stretching, and a full range of motion. As I said, it's just a common sense thing.

    Over the years, I've seen guy after guy with anterior shoulder impingement from doing shoulder presses to the front (dumb, because it causes your shoulder to roll forward and "impinge"), and there's no reason to over develop the anterior side of your shoulders, and I've seen countless folks injured with French presses and EZ Curls. It's bad advice to recommend doing them, and most degreed "experts" in the field will tell you so. If you do shoulder presses with a barbell to the front, you're asking for shoulder problems unless you do extensive posterior deltoid work, which most folks don't, so it's best not to train like a moron.

    It's like smoking: "I used to smoke 50 packs of cigarettes a day, until I lost my right lung, when I cut my smokin' in half."

    Don't be a fool.