Put Your Triceps and Core to the Test With This Plank Finisher
If you think that lots of dramatic, swinging motions mean that you’re getting a good workout in, think again. When you’re performing basic dumbbell lifts like curls, raises, or kickbacks, efficient movement is the name of the game.
“The problem with the classic triceps kickback is people use way too much shoulder momentum to start the motion,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “We’re gonna put you in the single-arm forearm plank on these and use a resistance band to solve that problem.”
The benefits of the plank hold tricep finisher’s position are twofold: You’ll be forced to keep your shoulders stable while also subjecting your core to a major challenge.
“From a core perspective, there’s a ton of anti-rotation built in, both because of the single-arm plank position, and because of the resistance band,” says Samuel.
“You have to maintain full-body tension to hold the position, and that means you’ll naturally fall into flawless kickback starting position with your lats and rhomboid on the working arm engaged. Hold that elbow high, and you’ll get a nice squeeze on your tris on every rep.”
To perform the exercise, you’ll need an exercise band and a low anchor you can attach it to, like a squat rack. Samuel stresses that you should be using a light band, since a heavier option could throw off your position and turn your plank into “a massacre.” If you don’t have a band on hand, check out this option from WODFitters.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Attach the resistance band to an anchor point at about knee height.
- Get in a forearm plank position in front of the anchor, holding the end of the band in one hand, keeping your elbow high.
- Squeeze your abs and glutes to maintain the proper plank position (check out the video below for more guidance).
- Squeeze your tricep to pull the band back, forming a straight line with your arm. Control the band back to the starting position.
Trouble holding a plank? Watch this video to check your form.
The planks give you core engagement, shoulder stabilization, and one more positional check: You’ll keep your ribcage in place, too. “It’s really easy when doing kickbacks for your ribcage to flare open,” says Samuel. “That can’t happen here, because the plank position forces your abs to close your ribcage down. Again, you’re creating perfect position to do a better kickback and isolate and engage your triceps more cleanly.”
To add the plank hold tricep finisher, try 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps per arm. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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