They might feel good when you’re repping them out, but crushing curl after curl after curl just isn’t enough if you’re serious about building sleeve-busting arms. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you want to develop super-sized arms then you’re going to need tricep exercises and tricep workouts.
Think about it. They might be tucked away around the back (where you can’t see them), but your triceps make up more than two-thirds of your upper-arm mass. That’s a lot of muscle to neglect. Building thick, developed triceps means building thick, developed arms.
But if you were thinking that you could build serious arm size by just tacking on some tricep exercises to the end of your workout then think again. A study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that if you want to increase the size of small muscle groups like your shoulders, biceps, and triceps then you should be working them at the beginning of your session before you move on to bigger muscles like your chest and back.
Below, we’ve collected the 6 best tricep exercises and some of the best tricep workouts. Start your training sessions with these and you’ll be the proud owner of a pair of well-rounded guns in no time.
It is no surprise most men are obsessed with the size of their arms. For most of these men, the obsession fades away after training their biceps. A triceps workout shouldn’t be overlooked as they are half of your arms.
When you flex your triceps, it should look like a horse kicked you in the back of your arm. If you train your bis and tris on the same day and your triceps are lagging as compared to your biceps, you should consider training them at the beginning of your workouts.
1. Straight Bar Cable Pushdowns – 4 Sets 20 Reps
The straight bar cable pushdowns is an isolation exercise which will get the blood flowing in your triceps and will get you a good pump. The high volume will help you in pre-exhausting your triceps, so you don’t have to use super heavyweights.
In all the triceps exercises, keep the reps slow and controlled. Pin your elbows to your sides and complete a rep. Exhale, pause, and squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat without using any momentum.
2. Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extensions – 3 Sets 15 Reps
Your triceps consist of three heads; lateral, medial, and long. You need to train all of them equally to ensure an overall development. Overhead movements like the single-arm overhead dumbbell extension work the long head which is the most stubborn of the three triceps heads.
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and extend your right arm over your right shoulder. Stick your right bicep to your right ear and slowly lower the dumbbell towards your left shoulder. Return to the starting position and squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement.
3. Skull Crushers – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Skull crushers are one of the most effective exercises when it comes to building size and definition in your triceps. The skull crushers work your long triceps heads. If you’re trying this exercise for the first time or are attempting a PR, make sure you have a spotter.
Lie on a flat bench with your face towards the ceiling and arms extended over your shoulders. Your elbows should be in line with your shoulders and pinned at this position throughout the exercise. Slowly lower the bar so the barbell is an inch away from your forehead. Return to the starting position and flex your triceps.
4. Dumbbell Kickbacks – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Dumbbell kickbacks work the lateral and medial heads of your triceps. Most people make the mistake of going too heavy on this exercise. Use a weight which you can handle and can maintain a full range of motion.
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left foot in front of your right foot while maintaining a slight arch in your back. Pin your right elbow to your side and bring the dumbbell to your chest. Extend your elbow so your arm is fully extended and flex your triceps at the bottom of the movement.
5. Close Grip Bench Press – 3 Sets 10 Reps
The close grip bench press is a compound exercise which helps in building overall strength and size in your triceps. The close grip bench press is a variation of the normal grip bench press which works your chest.
While performing the close grip variation, grab the barbell just outside your chest. Keep your elbows and forearms parallel to each other throughout the exercise. Doing this will recruit your triceps in place of your chest.
6. Superset – Diamond Push-ups / Bodyweight Dips – 4 Sets 15 / 15 Reps
The diamond push-ups and dips superset is the last exercises in this triceps workout. This superset will smoke your triceps if they aren’t already. In the diamond push-ups, place your hands under your chest so that your index fingers and thumbs are touching to form a triangle.
After you have completed 15 reps on the diamond pushups, move onto the bodyweight dips without taking any rest in between. In the bodyweight dips, your chest should be in line with your hands at the bottom of the movement. In both the exercises, pause and squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement.
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