8 Best Triceps Exercises

The triceps are right behind the biceps, but sadly, they get close to the same love as the pythons. Unlike what many people think, building solid horseshoe triceps requires more than doing a few cable extensions.

Your triceps consist of three heads – outer, inner and medial. While the overhead tricep exercises work the inner (longer) head, the push/pressdowns train the outer (shorter) and medial heads. You need to maintain a balance between the exercises to ensure the overall development of your triceps.

The Best Exercises For Building Triceps

Barbell Skullcrushers

Barbell skullcrushers are one of the most effective and underutilized tricep exercises. If you’re a beginner, you should perform the exercise with a spotter. Lie down on a flat bench and grab a barbell with both your hands at shoulder-width.

Extend your arms so they are perpendicular to the floor. While keeping your elbows and upper arms locked in position, lower the bar by flexing at your elbows so the barbell is a couple of inches away from your head. Return to the starting position and repeat for the recommended reps.

Dumbbell Kickbacks

While performing the dumbbell kickbacks your upper body should be at a 60-degree angle with the floor. Grab a pair of dumbbells and get into position by lifting your shoulder slightly and pulling back your elbows.

While keeping your elbow locked in place, bring the dumbbells close to your chest. When the dumbbells are a few inches away from your pecs, push back the dumbbell until your arms are fully extended.

Rope Overhead Cable Extensions

The rope overhead cable extensions work the inner tricep head which can be a stubborn muscle for most people. Place the pully machine at waist height and maintain a full range of motion while performing the exercise.

V-Bar Cable Extensions

Performing the V-bar cable extensions instead of the straight bar can put more emphasis on your outer and medial deltoids. Many people make the mistake of leaning onto the bar while performing the lift. Doing so can recruit secondary muscles and take off tension from your triceps.

Dips

Depending on your stage, you could perform bench or parallel bar dips to bring up the volume in your triceps. You could take your gains to the next level by using additional resistance.

Single-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

The single-arm overhead dumbbell extensions can take some time to master. While performing the lift, make sure the dumbbell is close to the back of your head at the bottom of the movement and you squeeze the life out of your tris at the top of the ROM.

Close-Grip Smith Machine Bench Press

While many people do perform the close-grip barbell bench press in their tricep training, they leave a lot of gains on the table as they aren’t able to target the tris optimally. The Smith machine close-grip bench press turns the compound movement into isolation lift and keeps your pecs from coming into action.

Reverse Grip Cable Extensions

The reverse grip cable extensions excel at helping you “push-back” your triceps while you’re contracting the muscles at the bottom of the movement. Make the reverse extensions a part of your exercise arsenal if you want your tris to pop.

Header image courtesy of Envato Elements


Which is your favorite tricep exercise?

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