Back and Tricep Workout
Training your back and triceps together offers a host of benefits compared to training the two muscle groups separately. Although this is a combination of two muscle groups, it’s still a form of split training (exercising individual muscle groups separately). In a 2015 study, researchers found that split training was potentially more beneficial than total-body workouts (1). The researchers attributed this to the higher frequency of workouts in split training. To experience the potential benefits, you just need to get clued up about the best back and tricep workout and risk-free ways of performing them.
Can You Train Back and Triceps Together?
Training your back and triceps together is a common superset workout (strength training workout where you move from one exercise to another without a break).
Supersets are also referred to as “paired sets”.
You can perform a superset on:
- opposing muscle groups: for example, back and triceps workouts
- the same muscle group: two different workouts on one muscle group.
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology compared the effectiveness of supersets with traditional workouts and tri-sets (workouts on three muscle groups) (4). The findings revealed that supersets and tri-sets could reduce training time and enhance training efficiency.
However, when using superset and tri-set workouts, you need more recovery time after training to avoid muscle overexertion and an overall fatigue.
Is a Back and Tricep Workout Good?
One benefit of combining your back and triceps workout is reducing the time you need to exercise. This may be particularly important to you if you’re always strapped for time and can’t manage to squeeze in a workout into your jam-packed schedule. In fact, in a Gympass study, nearly half of the Americans polled (48 percent) pointed out they had no time to exercise because they were snowed under work (3).
Training two body parts during a workout may also keep you from plateauing. The combined exercise adds that extra bit of shock to your muscles to keep you on track to achieve your fitness goals.
How to Workout Tricep and Back Muscles
When working out your back and triceps, remember to keep the same rep scheme for both the triceps and back exercises. That means, if you do five sets of back exercises, follow it up with five sets of tricep exercises.
Also, try to get the most out of the workout which targets these specific muscle groups. This means adopting the right posture and getting a good grip on the weights. If need be, use wraps when exercising your back, so you don’t have to worry about your grip instead of focusing on your back.
Most importantly, don’t rest when switching from the back exercise to the triceps exercise.
Perform the back and tricep exercises back to back and rest after that.
To reap even more benefits from this workout, schedule your forearms workout on a separate day. This way, you can fully concentrate on getting the most out of each day’s workout.
Now that you’re ready, here are some of the best workouts that you can try out to blow up your back muscles and add serious size to upper arms.
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What is the Best Workout for Triceps and Back?
Here are three of the best workouts for triceps and back muscles you can rep out to fast-track the results.
Front Lat Pulldowns and Rope Pushdowns
In this workout, the lat pulldowns exercise your back, and the rope pushdowns target your triceps. It’s a particularly good back and tricep workout for mass.
Proper form is essential in reaping the benefits and avoiding injury.
Here’s how to do the lat pulldowns.
Follow these steps when doing lat pulldowns:
- Select the right amount of weight on the machine with which you can perform 8 to 12 reps with proper form.
- Keep your bottom on the seat, and start by using the inside handle grips of the machine.
- Pull the lever down toward your chest while engaging your lats (the muscle stretching from your middle to lower back).
- Exhale while pulling down and inhale while going back up.
- Keep your elbows pointed down and maintain control both when lifting and lowering the weight.
After doing the lat pulldowns, jump right on to the rope pushdowns.
For the rope pushdowns, you can use a pushdown machine (cable machine) in the gym. At home, if you don’t have such gym equipment, simply use a resistance band.
Triceps/rope pushdowns work on all three heads of your triceps.
- long head
- lateral head
- medial head
Follow these steps when performing the triceps pushdown:
- Grasp the machine’s horizontal cable bar or rope attachment with an overhand grip.
- Adjust the rope or bar attachment to about chest level.
- Using the pin-and-place adjustment, set a weight with which you can perform similar reps as you did in the lat pulldowns.
- To begin, position your feet slightly apart and brace your abdominals.
- Tuck your elbows in at your sides.
- Inhale and push down to fully extend your elbows, but don’t lock them straight.
- Keep your elbows close to your body when pushing down.
- Don’t bend forward when pushing down, and try to keep your back as straight as possible.
- Exhale as you return to the starting point in a controlled movement.
Beginners can aim to complete four supersets of 8 reps each, with about 2 minutes rest time between each superset.
If you’re more experienced, you can go up to 20 reps for each superset, and perform more than four supersets.
Dumbbell Bent over Row and Tricep Extension with EZ Bar
Here, the dumbbell bent-over row exercises your back, and the EZ bar workout targets your triceps. This can be a simple back and tricep dumbbell workout if you use dumbbells instead of the EZ bar.
- the trapezius
- latissimus dorsi
- teres minor
- teres major
- posterior deltoid
Follow these steps for the dumbbell bent-over row:
- Rest your right knee and hand on a flat bench.
- Place the dumbbell on the left side of the bench.
- Using your left hand, grab the weight and lift straight up while keeping your chest parallel to the ground and exhaling.
- At the highest point, your arm should be parallel with your shoulders or slightly lower.
- Keep your wrists stationary while lifting, and don’t move your legs.
- Make sure you’re exerting your back muscles while lifting.
- Inhale as you lower the weight in a controlled manner.
- Now, switch sides and repeat.
After the dumbbell bent-over row, go straight to the tricep extension with the EZ bar.
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Follow these steps to do it right:
- Lie on your back on a bench with your arms straight, upholding an EZ-bar above your chest.
- In a controlled motion, bend your forearm down to or behind your head. If it’s too heavy, have a spotter nearby or reduce the weight.
- In this motion, don’t move your upper arms.
- In a controlled motion, move the bar back over your chest until your arms are pointing straight up.
- Keep your elbows tucked in, and don’t move your upper arms.
- Repeat the process for a similar number of reps as you did with the back exercises.
Pull-Ups and Close-Grip Bench Press
Pull-ups offer a relatively simple way to exercise your back; whereas, a close-grip variation of the common bench press can effectively target your triceps.
You don’t need special weights for pull-ups, and you can do close-grip push-ups instead of close-grip bench presses. This way, you can comfortably do this back and tricep workout at home.
Here’s how to do pull-ups the right way:
- You’ll need a sturdy horizontal bar to hang from.
- Get a wide grip on the bar for maximum back shredding and pull yourself up.
- Your chin should reach the bar or go slightly over it.
Once you complete 8-12 reps on the pull-up bar, turn to the close-grip bench press.
Follow these steps to perform the close-grip bench press properly:
- Lie down on your back on a bench.
- Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip and hold it with your arms completely straight above your chest.
- Hold the barbell with your hands close together so your triceps can work harder.
- Lower the bar straight down by bending your arms.
- Push the bar back up.
How to Workout Chest Tricep and Back
One benefit of superset workouts is the wide range of muscle groups exerted beyond the two main muscle groups targeted. Triceps and back workouts also tend to exert chest muscles.
For instance, the dumbbell bent-over row targeting the back also exerts the pectoralis major muscle of the chest. Similarly, the close-grip bench press targeting the triceps also exerts your chest muscles.
By applying these back and tricep workout routines continuously, you’ll also develop other muscle groups like your shoulders, forearms, and chest. This way, you’ll be achieving more from the little time you have to work out.
Thus, you may find this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home very useful for you.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- latissimus dorsi muscle (UBERON:0001112) (n.d., rgd.mcw.edu)
- Most Americans believe exercising regularly makes them happier (2019, nypost.com)
- The effects of traditional, superset, and tri-set resistance training structures on the perceived intensity and physiological responses (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Topographical Anatomy of the Back (n.d., duke.edu)
- Triceps Brachii (n.d., rad.washington.edu)