When you initially started lifting weights to build up your arm muscles, the first thing you probably did to see how far you’d come was a typical biceps flex. Whether a scrawny kid or a late bloomer to the gym world, everyone transforms into Arnold in front of the mirror following their first arm-centric training day. Focusing solely on your biceps is a prescription for failure if you want to sculpt a set of 3D arms and create real-world strength. Training your triceps is critical for both beauty and function.
Because of the architecture of your arms, the triceps may not get as much attention as the biceps. The biceps is anteriorly positioned, which means they are in front of your arm. Meanwhile, the triceps are placed on the back of your arm, called the posterior. While you can’t see them in the mirror, the triceps can account for up to two-thirds of the muscular mass in your upper arm, making them significantly larger than the biceps.
The triceps account for nearly two-thirds of your upper arm; developing your tris is essential if you want bigger arms. The issue is that each lifter takes a different strategy. Some people merely do push-ups, while others spend an hour parked at the dumbbell rack. Which is superior? It all depends on the motion you’re attempting.
8 best triceps exercises to build bulkier arms…
This motion, also called a lying triceps extension, targets two of the triceps three heads: the long and lateral. The most common variant is done on a flat bench with the elbows locked above the head (thus the name), but it also works well on a decline or incline bench. It can also be used with several resistance equipments, such as an EZ-bar, dumbbells, cables, or even the Smith machine.
The article “Your Complete Guide to Skullcrushers” provides a plethora of possibilities. As the first or second exercise in your routine, perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps after warming up your elbows. Don’t be a champion by putting your head in danger! If you hit your reps, you’ll be able to construct tris to match your bis.
2. Close grip bench press
They’re the best for muscular building and progressive loading. Even though the bench press is typically a chest workout, studies have shown that a close-grip press hits the triceps harder than a wider grip, especially when performed for heavier sets. Use a close grip but keep your hands 8-10 inches apart to really torch the back of your arms. Tuck your arms in to put less strain on your pecs and shoulders while putting more strain on your triceps.
Dips are a tried-and-true mass-builder on their own. Their only issue is that many people cannot complete enough reps to fall inside the recommended muscle-building rep range of 8-12 reps. Either that or they can accomplish far too many things at once. Use an assisted dip/pull-up machine or a band in the first situation. In the latter, use a dip belt or a light dumbbell between your knees or feet to add weight.
Dips work both the chest and the triceps but maintain your body as vertical as possible to favor the tris. Don’t slouch forward, and keep your elbows tucked down at your sides.
4. Triceps Overhead
When you raise your arms overhead, the long head of the triceps is prioritized. This head is difficult to target otherwise, which is why including some type of overhead exercise in your triceps workout is always a smart idea.
Fortunately, you have options! You can go with one or two arms, seated or standing, and if you have a partner, you can go heavy and do some forced reps.
After harder movements, extensions should be done in the second half of your session for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. As you lower the weight, focus on getting a good stretch during the eccentric portion of the lift.
5. Cable Overhead Extension With Rope
Cable overhead presses, like dumbbell overhead presses, target the typically undeveloped long head. If you have to choose between the two, the consistent tension produced by the cable may make this a better option than dumbbells.
If you complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps, this is a terrific second or third activity in place of push-ups.
6. Triceps kickback
According to the study, the triceps kickback is the second most effective triceps exercise, trailing only diamond push-ups by roughly 88 percent of muscle activation.
Bending forward forces you to work against gravity to lift the weight up and down. The key to this maneuver is to stabilize your upper arm with your shoulder while allowing your forearm to extend behind you. If you notice your elbow dropping, use a lesser weight to preserve proper form.
7. Rope pushdown
The rope pushdown, typically performed on a cable machine with a rope attachment, ranks fifth, evoking approximately 74% muscular activation. 1 The goal is to spread the rope at the bottom of the exercise to properly activate the triceps muscle.
If you don’t have access to a cable machine, a resistance band will suffice. Tie a loose knot in the band about halfway down and attach it to the top of a doorway.
8. Diamond push-up
The diamond push-up is most likely the most difficult triceps workout on this list. Because it involves much upper body strength, you may need to start on your knees and gradually work your way up to your toes.
Diamond push-up is a very basic exercise to train triceps muscle. This exercise targets all three heads of the triceps tendon and is the most effective for doing so. You can also do it starting, or you can add it as a part of other exercises.