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You want bigger and stronger triceps but only have 10 minutes and a kettlebell available? Here’s a workout you can do in ten minutes that trains all the muscles in the triceps and will make them bigger and stronger.
A 10 minute triceps kettlebell workout is enough for beginners and intermediate exercisers to make their biceps bigger/stronger. As long as the exercise is kept challenging with enough resistance, sets and repetitions, you can use it for growth for a long time.
Below you can find an example workout that targets all the muscles in the triceps and can be done in 10 minutes.
Here is an example for a triceps workout that takes 10 minutes. It’s good for beginners or a quick touch up workout for a little more advanced exercisers.
|Rest||30s If doing two arms at a time. None if switching arms||60|
You might notice the word ‘superset’ in the chart above. This means you do one set of each of the different exercises in the superset (two sets in total) before resting. For clarity, you do one set of overhead extension and then a set of Tate presses without resting in between. Then rest after finishing both sets. After resting, repeat two more times.
3×10 means 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Repetitions are the amount of times you do the movement. Sets are an amount of repetitions you do without rest in between.
If a time is quoted, either rest for that amount of time or do as many repetitions of that exercise you can do in that amount of time. Rest time includes prep time for the next set. When the rest period ends, you should be ready and in position to start the first rep of the next set.
You can see four different exercises in the workout above;
You can find the explanations of how to perform the three triceps exercises in this post (click). They target the different parts of the triceps for complete development. They are pretty easy to do and learn and if you have a little bit of exercise experience, you probably already know them. The Tate press might be new but it’s basically a modified skull crusher with the elbows flared out. That puts a little less stress on the elbows which can sometimes be an issue with standard skull crusher.
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Push-ups are not a kettlebell exercise but it’s a great compound exercise that warms you up and also uses a lot of other muscles to do. It warms you up and hits the triceps pretty hard already. That means the triceps are already activated and a little tired. That allows you to then really feel the burn with the exercises that come after that.
Not everyone can do a full pushup. If you can’t doing them on the knees or standing up and pushing against the wall are two option that are much easier but are largely the same movement.
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How often should you do this and how can you progress? Progression is very important, it allows you to continuously overload your muscles the right amount so you keep getting bigger and stronger.
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Especially when starting out, getting the right weight is important. You should use a weight that is just heavy enough so you can finish all the reps and sets in the workout. Yes, that will take a bit to figure out how heavy that is exactly. The first time, use a weight you think is two steps lighter than you can do. If that is easy, next workout, take the next step up. Do this until you run into a weight that is challenging.
Don’t worry about starting a bit lighter. Especially when working out for the first time, starting light is not a bad thing. Just get used to the movements and working out and build a solid base. Starting too heavy means you probably won’t do the exercise the right way and you learn it the wrong way from the beginning. You’ll likely also get very sore and skip the next workout. Starting slow is going to lead to more consistency down the line and consistency is they key. Big muscles aren’t grown from one workout session.
A big part of getting bigger and stronger is slightly increasing the load over time. Just enough so it stays a challenge for your body but you can still properly finish the workout. If you’ve successfully finished the workout twice with the same weight, see if you can move up one weight the next workout.
Kettlebells usually go up in at least 1 kg increments which is quite a big increase for the triceps but in the beginning stages of training the biceps, this should be possible.
However, if increasing the weight isn’t so easy anymore, there are other buttons you can turn. Those buttons are amount of reps and sets and the rest periods in between. However, all these things will lengthen your workout so if the 10 minutes is a hard limit for you, this gets difficult. However, if a 2-3 minutes more, this is a good option.
First, lengthen your rest periods by 30 seconds each. That allows your muscles more time for recovery and thus more force production. This does skew the workout a bit more towards strength instead of size but it’ll be a very minor change.
When increasing the rest periods is not enough, don’t keep increasing it. Go back to the shorter rest periods AND the lower weight. But, increase the amount of repetitions per set up to 15. Adding an extra set is also an option or both.
More total repetitions at a lighter weight tends to be better for muscle growth but not as good for strength increases and vice versa. However, switching up training methods towards one side can help you break a plateau on the other side as well. Strength and muscle size aren’t completely correlated but bigger muscles don’t hurt when you want to be stronger.
Let’s say you do this workout two or three times a week, how quickly can you start seeing results? It depends on if you’ve already been training triceps or not. Complete beginners will see good results within a few (3-4) weeks.
If you’ve already been training the triceps, it depends. In case you’ve been training them consistently and recently, you’ll have a similar progression as before, maybe a bit faster if the workout above is better than what you’re doing now. Still in 4-6 weeks you should see some results.
People that have trained their triceps a while ago and had bigger arms but not at the moment will see pretty good results quite quickly. Muscle memory is an interesting thing that allows you to get back to strength and size that you had before much quicker than someone that never had it before.
Of course all these are just guesstimates and they can differ depend on your specific situation, current training level, your diet, recovery and genetics. Getting the resistance, sets and reps right is also very important.