The Advanced Guide to the 5 Best Triceps Exercises
An arm which pops up at the front but remains flat at the back isn’t a great view to watch. Check out this advanced guide which talks about the 5 best triceps exercises which will help you to build the triceps muscles mass and the size.
Curl and curl may build the biceps of your dreams but won’t make your arms look bigger if you don’t bat an eye on the triceps muscle.
Sorry if you felt bad! But it is true.
Your dream of having a supersize big arms is only possible if you invest your time in training your triceps more than biceps. Many gym-goers start their muscle building journey with a dream of having a sleeve bursting arm. Many of them know how to build a biceps that stands out. But not every one of them gets interested when it comes to training the back side of their arms that is the triceps.
When it comes to the triceps exercises, all they know is the push-down exercises. And some will even do all the triceps exercises they know at once. This kind of approach towards the triceps muscle does nothing but risky injuries and lackluster growth.
Importance of Triceps Exercises
As you already know and as I already mentioned earlier, your triceps covers two-thirds of your arms total muscle mass. So there is no space of doubt that building a thick and developed triceps muscle will make your arms look more muscular both from the front and the back.
While talking about the triceps, the horseshoe triceps are considered as the best shape of triceps. But the horseshoe triceps also plays some important roles in your triceps training day. Horseshoe triceps are very important when performing the exercises like Press-Up and the Bench Press.
Your triceps strength is the main factor while determines the pressing exercise movements. like, if you are lacking triceps strength, your performance in the pressing movements will also be limited and you will lack the required intensity.
Simply saying, your bench press and other presses like shoulder press will only be effective as far as your triceps can make it effective.
To make your triceps stronger, you have to train them. Training the triceps will not only make it stronger but will also make it bigger in size by adding the muscle mass to it. So leave those dumbbells on the rack and start training your triceps with these 5 best triceps exercises.
But before starting the journey, let me be perfectly clear. This guide consists of exercises which are better than other exercises when it comes to building the best triceps muscles. This guide is made to prevent you from making poor exercise choices.
If you want to build massive triceps which covers up to two-thirds of the total mass of your arm, then this guide about the 5 best triceps exercises is just for you.
5 Best Triceps Exercises For Maximum Muscle Gains
1. Close-Grip Bench Press
Like I said earlier, compound exercises are the best muscle building exercises. I have mentioned it earlier too. Compound exercises like bench press for chest and deadlift for the back are the best muscle building exercises that you can do.
As you know, the bench press is usually a chest exercise, but you can also train the smaller supporting muscles like shoulders and triceps. Bench Press is a very effective exercise in building the upper body strength.
You know you are working your arms while you are doing the heavy sets of barbell press. I will tell you how.
When you extend your elbows while doing any kind of barbell press exercise, you are targetting the muscles of your arms. Take the example of any powerlifter. You will see that their arms are massive in size. It is just because they do these heavy barbell pressing exercises a lot. There are a lot of studies that say that a bench press with a close grip activates the long head of the triceps muscles better than any other pressing exercises with a barbell.
So we can say that close-grip bench press is the best muscle building compound exercises that you can do for building triceps muscle.
To add muscle mass and size to the back of your arms, try doing a close grip bench press. But try to take a grip which is 5-8 inches apart.
Remember that taking a much closer grip won’t train your triceps more effectively. Instead, it will put more strain on your wrist. To perform it in a good form, you have to tuck your elbows inside. This will reduce the amount of stress your pecs will feel. It will also increase the stress in your triceps muscle.
The position of this Workout
As this workout is a compound exercise, you can do this exercise as the first exercise of your triceps workout routine. Compound exercise should always be done at the beginning of the workout session. It is because compound exercise plays a great role in triceps muscle activation.
You can perform 3 sets of 5-8 reps for this exercise.
2. Triceps Dips
Triceps Dips is a compound exercise. There are many variations of this exercise like the Weighted Parallel Bar Dip, Weighted Bench Dip, and the Triceps Machine Dip.
I personally prefer doing the Triceps Machine Dip.
Because in the dip machine, you can easily find a weight for your goal. If you want to train for increasing strength, you can pin for the heavier weight and if you want to train for hypertrophy, you can pin for lighter weight.
Triceps Dips in a dip machine makes it easier to perform a drop set and you can also perform some forced reps. It totally depends on the intensity of the training.
The position of this Workout
This exercise should be done at the beginning of your triceps workout session. As the triceps dips is a compound exercise and it requires a lot of energy to perform. Performing a compound exercise at the beginning of the workout is always a good idea as the energy level always remains high at the beginning of the workout.
Talking about the sets and the reps, you can do 3 sets of 6-8 reps if you are training for strength. And if you are training for hypertrophy, you can perform 3-4 sets of 10-16 reps.
You can also perform this exercise as a finisher workout but the best recommendation would be doing it at the beginning of the workout.
Going for a full range of motion is the best way to train with this exercise but most people fail in here.
3. Skullcrusher or Lying Triceps Extension
Skullcrushers is also known as a French Press and Lying Triceps Extension. This is a good triceps activation exercise you can do to activate the muscle fibers in the triceps and make it ready for the rest of the work.
There are many variations of this movement. But all the variations have one thing in common, i.e. elbow extension. During this exercise, the upper arms are locked in a position which makes the longer head and the lateral head work while doing the extension.
The angle of the bench you are lying plays a decisive role in training the longer head and the lateral head. If you are lying in an inclined bench, you will train the longer head of your triceps muscle. And if you are lying in a declined bench, you will train the lateral head of your triceps.
As the skullcrushers activate a maximum of the muscle fibers, this exercise becomes one of the most important triceps exercises that you should do the target the triceps more effectively.
This exercise can be done with an EZ-bar or a small barbell. But you will be surprised to know that the skullcrushers can also be performed by a pair of dumbbell too.
The position of this Workout
You can perform this exercise for as many sets as you want but the recommended sets will be 3 sets of 8-12 reps. This is because when you perform this exercise, you have to make it as the first exercise you perform on your triceps day. Or else you can make it second exercise right next to the close-grip bench press.
While performing this exercise, you have to lock your elbows in a position where your elbows won’t get much support. So it will be a good idea if you get yourself a spotter who will help you to get the weight in the correct working position. The spotter will also allow you to perform the movement safely when you are lowering the bar to your face, the reason why this exercise is called Skullcrushers.
4. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension is the best dumbbell triceps exercise you can do to train your long head of the triceps.
the position of the exercise results in targetting the long head of the triceps. Whenever your arms go overhead it targets the long head of the triceps. So including an overhead exercise in your triceps routine is always a good idea.
There are 3 heads of your triceps muscle. The lateral head, the medial head, and the long head. When you are training your triceps, the lateral head and the medial head get trained very frequently, but the long head doesn’t get the required attention it deserves.
The seated dumbbell extension trains the long head of the triceps. This the reason why this exercise is one of the most important triceps exercises.
The dumbbell overhead extension is one of the easiest exercises because it is in the seated position. And it is much easier if you are with a spotter or a training partner. A spotter will also help you in doing some assisted repetition.
The position of this Workout
When is the perfect time to do the seated dumbbell triceps extension?
The best position of this workout is right after the multi-joint exercises. Warming Up with the multi-joint exercises will only make you ready for this exercise.
The sets and the rep range of this workout should be 3 set of 10-12 reps.
The main reason behind doing the seated dumbbell extension is to make the muscle work during the eccentric part of the lift. For a good stretch of the long head of the triceps muscle, the Seated Dumbbell Extension is done. With good stretch, I mean going all the way past the 90-degree angle when you lower the weight.
5. Cable Push Down
Surely you are not surprised by seeing the Cable Push Down Exercise on this list. Most commonly performed exercise on the triceps day is the Cable Push Down.
When performed with a good form, it is one of the best workouts to activate the lateral head. In fact, the cable push down activates the lateral head of the triceps better than other exercises. It is better than the exercises like the skullcrushers, dumbbell kickback etc.
The Cable Push Down is the best single joint movement which activates the lateral head of the triceps muscle. It is only effective if you are doing it with a good form.
When I say good form, I mean not moving your elbows while doing the movement. Your elbows must be in a stationary position on your sides. Don’t let your arms move from your sides. Keep your elbow stable in this workout. If you are not a beginner, it’s okay to drift your elbows to have a maximum stretch on lateral head.
The position of this Workout
This is an isolation exercise. So the best time to do this exercise is towards the end of your workout.
You can go for 3 sets of 10-12 reps for this workout. You can also choose to perform a drop set on this exercise.
Howdy friends, I am Rituraj Mazumdar, a graduate student by profession, a fitness enthusiast by heart and a fitness blogger by passion. Here in my blog, I will discuss all my knowledge and experience I gained in my journey of fitness.