The Best Triceps Workouts for Muscle, Strength, and More

The Best Triceps Workouts for Muscle, Strength, and More

Ask 10 lifters to name the soul part they’re training on any random day, and you’ll probably hear some familiar answers — chest, back, arms, biceps, maybe plane legs. But very few will say they’re working triceps. There’s generic “arm day,” which includes the triceps. But they rarely get a spotlight, and that’s a mistake.

bodybuilder in gym performing rope pressdown triceps exercise
Credit: Nikolas_jkd / Shutterstock

The tris are a powerhouse muscle, responsible for moving heavy loads during the increasingly popular bench press and overhead press. They moreover imbricate increasingly surface zone on the upper arm, making them increasingly responsible for increasing arm size than the increasingly popular biceps. It’s time to put the triceps centerstage and requite them the sustentation they deserve.

Best Triceps Workouts

Best Triceps Workout With Dumbbells

Training with dumbbells is an constructive way to reduce joint stress considering the stovepipe are worldly-wise to move freely without stuff locked into a strict range of motion. Considering many triceps exercises can worsen the elbow joint due to leverage, using dumbbells is one worldwide alternative.

The Dumbbell-Only Triceps Workout

This all-dumbbell plan builds size and strength in the triceps without the need for a fully equipped gym, versatile subscription stations, or a wide variety of equipment.

Man lying lanugo performing triceps exercise with dumbbells
Credit: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

With a good set of dumbbells and a bench, you can work all three heads of the triceps with minimal joint strain.

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Seat Press

  • How to Do it: As you lie on a unappetizing bench, “kick” a pair of dumbbells into a locked out position whilom your chest. Squatter your palms toward each other and plant your feet unappetizing on the floor. Alimony your throne and tailbone on the seat as you lower the weights to your chest. Point your elbows toward your feet and let them slide past your ribs as you lower the weight. The dumbbells should end up touching the outside of your chest with your elbows near the marrow of the bench. Reverse direction to printing the weights up.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: Two minutes between sets

Dumbbell Skull Crusher

  • How to Do it: Lie on a unappetizing seat with a pair of dumbbells locked out overhead with your palms facing each other. Alimony your throne and glutes on the bench. Wrench only at the elbows and lower the weights to the seat overdue your head. In the marrow position, your elbows should point to the ceiling and your hands should be facing your ears.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12
  • Rest time: One minute between sets.

Single-Arm Overhead Extension

  • How to Do it: Sit upright on a seat with a dumbbell locked overhead in one hand. Use your self-ruling hand to touch the triceps of the working arm. This maintains its position and reinforces muscle recruitment. (1) Wrench your elbow to lower the weight in an arc without moving your upper arm. In the marrow position, the weight should be overdue your opposite shoulder. Raise the weight while keeping your elbow pointed to the ceiling. Perform all reps with one arm surpassing switching sides.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-15
  • Rest time: No rest between arms. 30 seconds between sets.

Best Bodyweight Triceps Workout 

Bodyweight exercises typically target larger muscle groups like the chest, back, and legs considering the majority of bodyweight movements involve multi-joint exercises primarily emphasizing those larger soul parts.

However, unrepealable exercise variations or specific exercises can emphasize the triceps while associated muscles, like the chest and shoulders, work in a supportive role.

Triceps Size and Strength Without Weights

This bodyweight-only triceps workout uses push-up variations to retread the body’s leverage, which makes the triceps the primary muscle recruited.

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Choose any one of these exercises to plug into a increasingly well-constructed upper soul or full-body workout, or perform the unshortened workout as part of a triceps-focused training day.

Tiger Wrench Push-Up

  • How to Do it: Uncork in a kneeling position with your forearms, elbows, knees, and shins on the ground. Set your elbows directly under your shoulders, your knees under your hips, and your palms down. Printing through your hands until your stovepipe are locked straight. Don’t indulge your when to sag or round. To make the exercise increasingly challenging, move your feet and knees farther back. Performing the exercise with straight legs and only your toes on the ground is the most difficult progression.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 4-6
  • Rest time: Two minutes between sets.

Dip with One-and-a-Half Reps

  • How to Do it: Uncork at a dip station or set up between two sturdy chairs or upper benches. Jump to the top position with locked arms. Alimony your torso upright and your throne when as you lower your soul by limp your elbows. As you descend, alimony your elbows pointed straight back, not flared to the sides. Pause without several inches and printing when to lockout. Lower yourself then as far as your shoulder mobility allows surpassing pressing up to full lockout. That’s one well-constructed rep.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between sets.

Close-Grip Push-Up

  • How to Do it: Uncork with your hands on the ground slightly closer than shoulder-width and your feet on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder-width. Maintain a straight line from your neck to your feet. Lower your unshortened soul until your chest nearly touches the ground. Alimony your elbows aimed towards your feet, not flared to the walls.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 12-15
  • Rest time: 30 seconds between sets.

Best Triceps Workout for Muscle Mass

Big stovepipe are a popular goal for many, if not most, lifters in the gym. However, over-focusing on towers the biceps is an inefficient and ineffective plan for arm size.

Muscular person lying on seat performing barbell triceps exercise
Credit: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

One worldwide anecdote shared in gym locker rooms is, “triceps worth for 66% of your arm size.” This well-meaning statistic is as wrong-headed as it is widespread. However, the moral overdue it is solid. The triceps muscle does have the potential for a greater impact on overall arm size compared to the biceps considering it’s anatomically larger, plane surpassing weight training’s muscle-building stimulus.

More Size for Your Tris

For maximum muscle growth, the triceps need to be worked with the upper arm in a variety of positions relative to the torso. (2) Due to the varied zipper points of the three heads of the triceps muscle, well-constructed minutiae is achieved by working with the upper arm slantingly the torso (pointed down), perpendicular to the torso (pointed forward), and whilom the torso (pointed up).

Rope Pressdown

  • How to Do it: Nail a rope handle to a high-cable pulley. Take the rope with both hands and pull your elbows to your sides with your hands roughly chest-level. Alimony your knees slightly wilting and your torso upright. Printing your hands toward the ground for a well-constructed contraction. Pause for one second in the marrow position. Don’t indulge your elbows to move forward when lowering the weight.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-12
  • Rest time: 30 seconds between sets.

Dumbbell Overhead Extension

  • How to Do it: Sit upright on a seat holding one dumbbell with both hands whilom your head. Alimony your cadre tight while lowering the weight overdue your throne toward the bench. Your elbows should point forward, not flare out to the sides. In the marrow position, your triceps should be stretched and your hands should be near the when of your neck. Raise the weight slowly, maintaining a forward-elbow position.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between sets.

EZ-Bar Skull Crusher

  • How to Do it: Hold an EZ-curl bar with a moderate-width (neither tropical nor wide) overhand grip. Sit on a unappetizing bench. As you lie back, “kick” the weight into a locked out position whilom your face. Lower the weight towards the seat overdue your throne and indulge your elbows to move slightly as you wrench your arms. Rest the weight transiently in the marrow position surpassing returning to the starting position.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-12
  • Rest time: No rest surpassing moving to the next exercise.

EZ-Bar Close-Grip Seat Press

  • How to Do it: Remain lying on the seat while holding the same weight in the same hand position as the previous exercise. Uncork with your stovepipe locked straight whilom your chest. Lower the weight until it touches your lower chest. Alimony your elbows tropical to your sides, not pointed yonder from your body.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x AMRAP (As many repetitions as possible until muscular failure.)
  • Rest time: 90 seconds rest surpassing returning to the previous exercise.

Best Triceps Workout For Strength

Triceps strength is essential for all pressing exercises, as well as providing stability during pulling exercises. Towers stronger triceps will siphon over to total-body strength, so time spent focused on stronger tris is time spent focused on a stronger body.

Triceps-Focused Strength Workout

While some lifters tideway triceps training as assistance exercises performed with lighter weights and higher reps, training the tris specifically for strength using increasingly traditional strength and power-focused sets, reps, and loads can yield increasingly uncontrived improvements in overall strength.

Person in gym performing weighted exercise on dip bars
Credit: Bojan Milinkov / Shutterstock

It is important to note that training priorities should unchangingly be respected. Recovery and progress may be compromised if you try to focus on seat and/or overhead strength as well as triceps-specific strength simultaneously. Taking several weeks to prioritize the triceps surpassing re-prioritizing chest or shoulder pressing is a increasingly efficient long-term plan. 

Close-Grip Seat Press

  • How to Do it: Lie lanugo at a unappetizing seat printing station. Take an overhand grip on the barbell with your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width for increased triceps stress and decreased chest recruitment. (3) Alimony your feet unappetizing on the ground as you unrack the bar and lower it to touch your chest. Your elbows should point towards your feet. Printing when to full lockout and pause at the top surpassing whence the next rep.
  • Sets and Reps: 5 x 3-5
  • Rest time: Three minutes between sets.

Weighted Dip

  • How to Do it: At a dip station, jump into the top position with locked arms. Alimony your throne up and your torso upright. Lower yourself under tenancy as far as your shoulder mobility allows. To emphasize triceps recruitment, alimony your elbows pointed backwards, not flared to the sides. Use a dip whup or weighted vest for widow resistance.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: Three minutes between sets.

Partial Overhead Press

  • How to Do it: In a power rack, uncork in a shoulder printing position holding a barbell with an overhand grip at roughly collarbone-height. Alimony your knees slightly wilting and your cadre tense as you printing the weight overhead to full lockout. Lower the weight to eye-level surpassing pressing to full lockout again. On each repetition, bring the weight no lower than your vision to increase triceps recruitment and subtract shoulder activation. 
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-10
  • Rest time: Two minutes between sets.

The Triceps Muscles

The triceps muscles may not be one of the most popular soul parts, but they play an zippy role in myriad upper soul exercises and a increasingly supportive role in many lower soul exercises.

Here’s a increasingly in-depth squint at how the triceps function and how they can be most powerfully trained.

Triceps Brachii

The triceps brachii, or triceps, are well-balanced of three separate muscle heads working in unison to proffer the elbow, or straighten the arm. The long head, medial head, and lateral throne all nail just unelevated the elbow.

muscular person in gym flexing triceps
Credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

The medial throne and lateral heads originate on the upper arm, while the long throne connects to the scapula (shoulder blade). (4) Considering the long throne crosses the shoulder joint, it serves an widow function in helping to tenancy movement of the arm at the shoulder.

This shoulder function allows the long throne to be increasingly highly zingy when the arm is brought overhead during triceps exercises, as in overhead extensions.

Triceps Warm-Up

A thorough warm-up is essential for optimizing performance and minimizing joint strain. A triceps warm-up should involve the surrounding musculature (chest, back, shoulders, and biceps) as well as the triceps directly. 

person outdoors exercising with resistance band
Credit: Miljan Zivkovic / Shutterstock

Here’s a simple and constructive resistance wreath warm-up to uncork any triceps workout.

Triceps Wreath Warm-up

  • Band Pull-Apart: Take a palms-down grip on a resistance band. Uncork with your stovepipe extended in front of your chest. Alimony your stovepipe nearly locked while pulling your hands in line with your shoulders. The wreath should touch your chest surpassing returning to the starting position. Perform 15 reps surpassing moving to the next exercise.
  • Band Chest Press: Secure the wreath to a stable point roughly chest-height. Squatter yonder from the anchorpoint. Take one end of the wreath in each hand. Printing straight superiority until your stovepipe are locked out in front of your shoulders. Perform 15 reps surpassing moving to the next exercise.
  • Band Curl: With the wreath still welded at chest-height, turn virtually and grab one end of the wreath in each hand. Step when and proffer your stovepipe straight. Curl your hands towards your squatter with a thumbs-up grip while keeping your elbows at shoulder-height. Perform 15 reps surpassing moving to the next exercise.
  • Band Pressdown: Alimony one end of the wreath in each hand and step forward. Pin your elbows to your ribs. Straighten your stovepipe to full lockout with your hands near your waist. Return your hands to chest-level. Perform 15 reps surpassing returning to the first exercise. Do a total of two sets of the well-constructed circuit.

Tri to Focus

Don’t let your triceps be overshadowed, figuratively, by other soul parts. They’re overlooked, quietly working slantingly their increasingly attention-grabbing counterpart, the biceps.

The tris only step into the spotlight when it matters most, whether it’s helping you lock out a seat printing PR or fill out your shirtsleeves. It’s time to bring them front and center, segregate a targeted training plan, and spend time giving them the sustentation they’ve been missing.

References

  1. Oshita, Kazushige. (2021). Effect of internal focus of sustentation with touching cue on the agonist muscle worriedness during exercise. 10.14198/jhse.2021.16.Proc2.04.
  2. Kholinne E, Zulkarnain RF, Sun YC, Lim S, Chun JM, Jeon IH. The variegated role of each throne of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2018;52(3):201-205. doi:10.1016/j.aott.2018.02.005
  3. Lehman G. J. (2005). The influence of grip width and forearm pronation/supination on upper-body myoelectric worriedness during the unappetizing seat press. Journal of strength and workout research, 19(3), 587–591. https://doi.org/10.1519/R-15024.1
  4. Tiwana MS, Sinkler MA, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. [Updated 2021 Aug 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536996/

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