Triceps twitches are the little friends that stay with you forever. That might sound ominous, but they only mean you’re working your triceps muscle effectively. When muscle contracts and releases repeatedly, it is called a “twitch.” This contracting and releasing of muscles happens frequently when we work our muscles. Triceps twitches are common because the triceps makes up most of the upper half of your arms — specifically, your tricep, which is the primary target in most tricep exercises. Twitches signify that you’re burning fat and toning your arm muscles; however, they can be painful if you’re doing something wrong or overexerting yourself. Here are some answers to why your triceps are twitching and how to avoid pain when working for this important muscle group.
Why Is My Tricep Twitching?
Tricep Twitching Because it’s feeling attacked by the rest of your muscles. There’s a reason the triceps is called a tri-cep: it has three heads or branches. Each is attached to the humerus, or upper arm bone, and extends toward the elbow.
What Causes Triceps Twitching?
1. You’re Stretching Your Triceps
Let’s start with the most obvious of the possible reasons. You may be stretching your triceps and triggering a spasm in the process. This is something that happens a lot if you are a beginner. If you are not used to the pain and discomfort that comes with working out, then it can be easy to trigger a muscle spasm. The triceps is a very large muscle group and can take a bit of time to warm up. If you don’t wait for them to warm up, then you may be triggering a spasm in your triceps muscle. The best way to overcome this is to spend more time warming up your triceps before you start lifting weights.
2. You’re Overworking Your Triceps
This is a bit of a tricky one. On the one hand, your triceps being overworked could be triggering the twitching. But on the other hand, it could also be a sign that you’re not working your triceps hard enough. Where do you draw the line between too much and too little? It’s not an exact science and there are no hard and fast rules. You just need to keep an eye on how your body is feeling, how much weight you’re lifting, and how your triceps are responding. You might just need to work your triceps a little bit harder to really hit them where it hurts. Working them too hard, too quickly, could be triggering the twitching and cramping.
3. Your Body is Recovering From the Workout
Your body is an amazing machine and is constantly changing and adapting to your workout. As you get stronger, so does your body. This is a good thing. It means that your muscles are adapting to being worked. Your body is learning how to recover and adapt quickly and efficiently. But sometimes, this can lead to a bit of a twitch in the triceps, especially if you are lifting weights that are a little heavier than usual or new for you. Your body is still getting used to the workout and is trying to recover from it. This can lead to a bit of a twitch in the muscle as it recovers, especially if you are lifting heavy weights.
4. You May Be Constantly Tensing Up During Exercises
This is something that a lot of people do without realizing it. They grip the bar or the weights so hard that they are constantly tightening up their muscles. This is what is known as constant tensing. This can happen in your triceps, biceps, and in your forearms. The constant tensing can actually lead to triggering a spasm in the triceps. To avoid this, you need to focus on keeping the muscles nice and relaxed. Don’t grip the bar so hard that you are constantly tensing up.
5. You Are Combining Different Exercises Together
Ah, the old combination trick! We’ve all done it at some point. You finish up one exercise and you don’t want to wait to start another, so you throw two into one and get them done at once. And it might just be that your triceps are twitching because you are combining two different exercises together. This can cause a bit of cramping in the triceps as you are forcing the two muscles to work together when they may not normally do so. Combining various exercises together is something that you should be wary of. Not every exercise should be followed by another. You should work out a program and stick to it.
How To Know If Your Triceps Is Twitching Or You’re In Pain?
- When you’re starting a new triceps exercise routine, you may experience a lot of pain and twitching. The difference between pain and a twitch is that a twitch should subside quickly.
- If your triceps is twitching and you’re experiencing pain that doesn’t subside after a few minutes, you may be overworking the muscle and should stop the exercise.
- You should also stop if you feel a sharp pain when working your triceps or any other muscle group. Twitches can be a sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard, but they’re usually benign and subside when you back off the muscle.
- If your triceps are twitching and don’t subside after a few minutes, you may be experiencing a muscle cramp. This is more serious and should also subside quickly.
- Your triceps is twitching if you feel it in the muscle, not through the bone. If you feel pain while working your triceps, stop immediately and rest. If you continue to work the muscle, you’ll just be hurting yourself. You may be doing something wrong or overexerting yourself when working your triceps. A few common mistakes are: Using too heavy a weight for your exercise level. Using too many repetitions for your exercise level
How To Avoid Tricep Twitches And Pain?
- If you’re new to exercising or working out, start slowly. If you try to do too much at once, you may injure yourself or burn out quickly. Start with lighter weights and fewer reps until your body adjusts to exercise. Increase the weight and repetitions after a few weeks of regular workouts.
- If you’ve been exercising for a while and have a triceps twitching problem, think about your workout routine. Are you doing exercises that isolate the muscle? If so, try doing some that work the triceps along with other muscles. For example, try a triceps extension with a bicep curl or a lying triceps extension with an overhead press. You may also want to consider reducing the number of reps you do on your triceps exercises. That might be enough to get rid of your twitching.
- If you’re still getting twitches after these changes, you may want to consider a different exercise or stop working your triceps altogether.
- Bent-Over Rows (Bent-Over Barbell Row) – Weak back muscles cause many people to lean forward during bent-over rows. This causes back strain and can lead to lower back pain. Bent-over rows can also lead to shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears. To avoid these problems, keep your torso straight and avoid leaning forward during bent-over rows. If you do have a tendency to lean forward, use a barbell instead of a dumbbell. It will be harder for you to lean with a barbell than with dumbbells. Also, consider using less weight on the exercise until you’re able to keep your torso straight throughout the exercise.
- Pullups – Pullups are often performed improperly, causing shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears and biceps tendon tears. To avoid these injuries, keep your shoulders back and down and avoid swinging your torso during the exercise. Keep your arms straight and use a wide grip or a false grip to take some stress off the shoulders.
- Snatch – The snatch is an Olympic weightlifting exercise that requires explosive power in the legs, hips, and lower back. However, it can also lead to serious injuries including knee problems such as ACL tears and spinal disc herniations. To avoid these problems, start with a safer variation of the snatch such as the power snatch or snatch balance. Use less weight than you would on a full snatch until you’re able to perform it properly without pain.
- Clean Pulls – Clean pulls are another Olympic weightlifting exercise that requires explosive power in the legs, hips, and lowers back. However, they can also lead to serious injuries including knee problems such as ACL tears and spinal disc herniations. To avoid these problems, start with a safer variation
When Should I Feel Triceps Twitches?
- You should only feel triceps twitches during relatively low-intensity workouts, like during warm-up sets and the initial few reps of your heavier sets.
- If you’re doing high-intensity workouts like HIIT, CrossFit, or sprints, you should not be experiencing any twitching at all.
- If your triceps is twitching during these workouts, you’re likely not pushing yourself enough.
- Triceps twitches are expected and normal when you’re performing low-intensity exercises that target your triceps. However, if your triceps is still twitching at the end of your workout, you’re likely not pushing yourself hard enough and need to bump up the intensity.
The best way to avoid triceps pain and injury are to warm up with low-intensity exercises before working out your triceps. Try to keep your rest periods short and your workouts short and intense. When in doubt, take it down a notch and remember to always use proper form. You can also target your triceps with variations of push-ups, dips, and extensions with ankle weights. By strengthening your triceps, you can help prevent common injuries like tennis elbow and improve your posture, balance, and grip strength.