Nobody did more for triceps than Linda Hamilton. When she rocked a black tank top in Terminator 2 in 1992, many women realized for the first time that what they wanted was Sarah Connor’s triceps.

At that point, few women lifted weights. A generation later, you can find as many women as men in many gyms and CrossFit boxes. They’re all pursuing big triceps, which make up roughly two-thirds of the mass of your upper arm.

But it’s a mistake to view the triceps as strictly beach muscles (though they do look nice in swimwear or tight T-shirts). The three-headed triceps brachii muscle plays a key role in sports and the movements of everyday life, working with the lats to bring the arm toward the body and playing a huge role in the extension of the elbow joint.

Try launching a basketball, signing your name or taking a swim stroke without the triceps. It can’t be done. Nor can you swing a bat, racquet, or golf club without your tris playing a prominent role.

So it’s worth spending some time on the triceps, even if you don’t need them to save the world like Sarah Connor.

In this workout, we have five pairs of triceps supersets. As is normally the case with supersets, don’t rest between the paired exercises (marked A and B in the same number). You may rest 60 seconds between superset pairs.

Pete Williams is a N.A.S.M.-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.

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