Technique

Triceps recipe

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A great tango embrace is made of just two actions:

  1. External rotation of the shoulders via the rotator cuff muscles. (Precisely: it’s external rotation of the humerus by teres minor and infraspinatus.) Stabilizing the shoulder in place allows the power the mark is producing with the abdominal muscles and legs to be transmitted cleanly through the embrace to the Revel’s lower body, without producing static, contradictory information, or excessive tension at the shoulder joint. 
  2. Contraction of the triceps muscles to keep the embrace taut, while keeping the arm joints ready to adjust as the embrace changes. 

The standard recommended exercise for triceps is pushups. But if you have weak triceps, the tendency is to shift the work to other muscles. It’s possible to do pushups against the wall, or even perpendicular to the wall with one arm, but I found something even better! : 

Make pizza! 

The bread I make doesn’t require kneading (!), but pizza dough needs to be kneaded for 5 minutes. And kneading bread is a perfect way to exercise your triceps. To push on the bread, sending it toward the table and away from you, you extend your elbow joints. This is the job of the triceps! 

Pizza dough

This is closer to a focaccia dough than a traditional pizza dough. it’s chewier and saltier! 

  1. dissolve 2+1/2 tsp yeast (dry or fresh, in which case it’s a 1/2 block)  in 1 cup warm (body temperature) water. Use the inside of your wrist to gauge the water. if the water feels neither hot nor cold on your wrist, it’s close to body temperature.
  2. add 1+1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sugar
  3. stir in 2 cups of flour. you can also use up to one cup of cornmeal. keep adding flour until you can’t stir any more.
  4. dump the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, keep adding flour to control stickiness. eventually it should not be sticky at all.
  5. * for pizza: put the dough in a bowl oiled with olive oil, turn over to coat. cover with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
  6. divide dough in half pat into ovals about 1/2″ thick.
  7. brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, add toppings. (Ideas from San Francisco’s fabulous Pizzetta211.)
  8. let rise 20 minutes.
  9. bake at 375 until golden brown on bottom and edges
  • If you want to make focaccia instead of pizza, at step 5 take a large baking sheet or oven tray and coat with plenty of olive oil. dump the dough in there and spread it as flat as you can.After 30-45 minutes come back for a visit. The dough will be more relaxed than before. Pour a lot of olive oil on it. Push straight down on it with all of your fingers and convince it to spread out onto the whole pan. Leave finger holes on it. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, salt, caramelized onions, olives… push them down roughly into the dough. Let it rise again as long as possible. Focaccia is “over-risen” dough, so the longer you leave it the fluffier it will be. You can let it rise for 3 hours.

Bake for 10-13 minutes until you see some golden brown.

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