The 15 Best Triceps Exercises for More Mass and a Bigger Bench Press

The biceps get an excessive amount of credit score. Don’t get us flawed; coaching your biceps is a should for larger and stronger arms. However your triceps — you already know, that three-headed horseshoe-shaped muscle that sits on the again of your arm — deserve extra consideration. You’ll be stronger for it, too. 

Your triceps make up two-thirds of your higher arm mass and canopy the whole thing of the again of your arm. That’s a bit of prime actual property. It’s not all present and no go, both. Everytime you’re bench-pressing, performing an overhead press, or doing dips, it’s your triceps serving to transfer that weight.

Man doing cable kickback
Credit score: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

When powerlifters can’t lock out a heavy bench press, they shift their consideration to the triceps. We define a dozen of the most effective triceps workouts and supply data on the way to prepare the muscle that can assist you enhance your bench press energy and construct a meatier pair of arms.

Finest Triceps Workouts

Shut-Grip Barbell Bench Press

This bench press variation has you carry a bar together with your arms set shoulder-width aside. This hand placement shifts the load extra to your triceps. You received’t be capable to carry as a lot weight with the close-grip bench press, however you’ll strengthen your triceps. 

The arms-in kind you should goal your triceps will take the onus off of your shoulder joint. Extra muscle mass on the again of your arms will immediately carry over to the lockout, or high portion, of your standard bench press

How you can Do the Shut-Grip Barbell Bench Press

  1. Set your self up just like a flat bench press, together with your arms set inside shoulder-width and your elbows tucked into the physique. 
  2. Pull the bar out of the rack and stabilize it over your chest. 
  3. Pull the elbows inwards because the bar descends to the chest. 
  4. Upon getting touched the chest, press via the palms, really feel the triceps interact, and carry the load again up.

Coach’s Tip: The barbell will make contact together with your chest decrease down than in case you used a typical extensive grip.

Advantages of the Shut-Grip Barbell Bench Press

  • The transfer is extra comfortable for your shoulders.
  • It immediately targets your triceps for extra development and energy.
  • You’ll develop extra urgent energy on the high of the train. 

Parallel Bar Dip

Performing regular dips on a set of parallel bars as an alternative of angled bars or rings will recruit your triceps extra as arms will probably be tucked in, not flared out. Your shoulders ought to really feel higher, too, since they’re in a extra impartial place all through the train. 

You’ll even be extra secure because the bars are nearer collectively than angled dipping bars or rings. Lastly, we like dips since they are often completed successfully with simply your body weight. 

How you can Do the Parallel Bar Dip

  1. Seize the parallel bars together with your torso upright (with a slight lean ahead) as you might be suspended. 
  2. Have your elbows virtually absolutely prolonged to assist this place. 
  3. With the chest up and shoulder blades squeezed collectively, bend on the elbows as you decrease your self downward till the elbows attain 90 levels. 
  4. Press your self upwards till you absolutely prolong the elbows and repeat.

Coach’s Tip: Preserve your shoulders depressed and away out of your ears all the time.

Advantages of the Parallel Bar Dip

  • You may load your triceps with just your bodyweight.
  • Having your arms nearer collectively will higher activate your triceps. 

Triceps Pushdown

You may actually isolate your triceps with the pushdown. To carry out the pushdown, you both grab a resistance band or cable pulley, step again, so the band or cable is taut, after which push it downward by flexing your triceps. Since simply your triceps are shifting the load, you’ll be able to higher hone in on them. 

It is a popular bodybuilding movement because the isolation lets the lifter actually really feel the muscle contract, which results in nice pumps and extra activation.

How you can Do the Triceps Pushdown

  1. Set the cables or band at a excessive anchor level. Along with your physique going through the band, place your toes collectively and elbows to your sides (by your ribs). 
  2. The chest must be up, and the again flat, with the hips angled barely ahead. 
  3. Seize the handles or band and absolutely prolong the elbows to push the handles or band down, ensuring to maintain the elbows barely in entrance of the shoulders.

Coach’s Tip: Press the band each down and into your thighs as nicely.

Advantages of the Triceps Pushdown

  • You’ll be capable to isolate the triceps utterly.
  • The flexibility to really feel the muscle contract and get a pleasant pump. 

Cranium Crusher

This triceps train variation has you decrease (or dumbbells or cable pulley or kettlebells) to your brow to stretch the triceps muscle. 

You’ll be capable to isolate the triceps with the skull crusher, however ready that additionally means that you can transfer heavier weight than you could possibly with a pushdown. Consequently, this can be a nice transfer to strengthen the triceps with free weights.

How you can Do the Cranium Crusher

  1. Begin by mendacity again down on a bench, with the arms supporting a weight (a barbell, dumbbells, or varied cable attachments) on the high of the bench urgent place. The again and hips must be arrange similar to a bench press. 
  2. Pull the elbows again barely in order that they’re pointing behind you (relatively than immediately vertical) as you bend the elbow joint, reducing the bar deal with or masses in direction of your head.
  3. The bar ought to almost make contact with the brow. Really feel the stretch on the triceps and partially on the lats. Push the bar again up.

Coach’s Tip: Preserve the insides of your higher arms pointing inwards at your head.

Advantages of the Cranium Crusher

  • It is a versatile triceps train as you should use a barbell, kettlebells, or dumbbells, to call a couple of instruments.
  • You’re stronger on this place in comparison with most different triceps workouts, and so that you’ll gain triceps strength

Body weight Cranium Crusher

This transfer is technically a cranium crusher, however it hits in another way. Your physique has to stabilize itself large time as you decrease your physique, utilizing your triceps primarily, in direction of a stationary barbell. This lack of steadiness makes the transfer very arduous however grants you more core strength in case you’re in a position to do it.

Word that this isn’t a newbie’s calisthenics exercise. Chances are you’ll discover the bodyweight skull crusher too tough in case you aren’t used to superior bodyweight-only coaching. Begin gradual and work your approach up. 

How you can Do the Body weight Cranium Crusher

  1. Begin together with your arms on a barbell that’s set at hip peak. 
  2. With an overhand grip at shoulder width, enable the elbows to bend as you let your torso fall ahead in direction of the bar, feeling the stretch on the triceps. 
  3. The elbows ought to stay pulled near the perimeters of the top. 
  4. As soon as your head is beneath the bar, and your elbows are absolutely flexed, prolong your elbows, pushing your physique again into the unique place. 

Coach’s Tip: As an alternative of performing further reps, you can also make the train tougher by slowing your tempo.

Advantages of the Body weight Cranium Crusher  

  • This superior cranium crusher variation provides an additional diploma of problem. 
  • Your physique must stabilize itself, bolstering your core energy. 

Ground Press

It is a in style bench press variation amongst powerlifters who have to strengthen the highest portion of the carry. By pressing a barbell from the floor, you’re limiting your arms’ vary of movement.

This implies you’ll be able to sometimes press extra weight, which equates to a stronger bench press and stronger triceps. The ground press can also be an acceptable workaround in case you can’t bench with a full vary of movement as a consequence of an harm or, even, as a result of all of the benches are taken in a busy fitness center. 

How you can Do the Ground Press

  1. Lay down in entrance of an influence rack and prolong your arms. Pay attention to the place they finish and modify the hooks in order that the barbell sits the place your arms attain. 
  2. Get again beneath the now-loaded barbell and plant your toes firmly on the ground. 
  3. Seize the bar together with your typical bench press grip. Carry the bar out of the rack, and decrease the barbell to your sternum. Preserve your elbows tucked in at 45 levels. Press again up.

Coach’s Tip: Take into consideration gently brushing your elbows towards the ground.

Advantages of the Ground Press

  • The decreased vary of movement means that you can carry extra weight.
  • You may overload your triceps for extra energy and a heavier bench press. 

Decline Bench Cable Extension

This isn’t essentially the most sensible triceps train — since you should use a bench and a cable machine — however it actually isolates the triceps. The cable pulley, in comparison with a barbell or dumbbell, creates extra rigidity on the muscle. 

Additionally, by angling your physique at a decline, you’re growing the train’s vary of movement. Your arms should journey additional to finish the train, and this may create a better stretch on the muscle.

How you can Do the Decline Bench Cable Extension

  1. Set a decline exercise bench a couple of foot in entrance of a cable pulley machine. 
  2. Set the cable pulley to low and connect a straight or EZ-bar deal with. 
  3. Lay again on the bench and seize the deal with with each arms. (It might be simpler to have somebody hand you the bar.) Now, carry out a typical cranium crusher.

Coach’s Tip: This train additionally works nicely on a flat bench in case you don’t have entry to a decline bench station.

Advantages of the Decline Bench Cable Extension

  • The cable creates constant rigidity on the muscle.
  • The decline angle will improve the stretch of the triceps muscle. 

JM Press

When legendary lifter JM Blakey skilled at Westside Barbell and was crushing bench press data, his coaching companions observed he was doing this uncommon carry as a part of his accessory routine. The JM press is a component close-grip bench press, half cranium crusher. 

Because the chest comes into play, you’ll be able to load up extra weight than in a typical triceps isolation motion. The elbow position makes the JM press an actual triceps killer. 

How you can Do the JM Press

  1. Arrange precisely as you’ll for a close-grip bench press, however make certain the bar is fixated above your higher chest.
  2. Decrease the barbell downwards whereas slowly flaring the elbows out to a 45-degree angle. 
  3. As you decrease, enable the bar to float again in direction of your face. 
  4. On the backside of the repetition, your forearms must be considerably parallel to the ground. 
  5. As soon as your elbows are pointed forwards (as an alternative of downwards), revere the movement and press again up. 

Coach’s Tip: This one serves as an awesome follow-up train after bench urgent.

Advantages of the JM Press

  • The JM Press improves lockout energy on the bench and overhead press.
  • The shorter vary of movement means that you can load extra weight.

Overhead Triceps Extension

Triceps extensions are carried out with a wide range of instruments and in a wide range of postures. When performing overhead extensions with a resistance band, the additional stretch on the band supplies ample rigidity from the get-go and solely will get tougher as you prolong the elbows. 

This motion is nice for each muscular hypertrophy and lockout strength. It’s additionally one of many solely methods to emphasise the lengthy head of your triceps. 

How you can Do the Overhead Triceps Extension

  1. With the band beneath the center of each toes, step ahead with one foot and produce the handles of the band up behind your ears. 
  2. Standing tall and conserving your elbows tucked in, prolong the elbows till lockout, and pause for a second. 
  3. Slowly decrease all the way down to the beginning place after which repeat.

Coach’s Tip: Attempt to get your higher arms precisely perpendicular to the ground for max triceps engagement.

Advantages of the Overhead Triceps Extension

  • Elevated rigidity all through a bigger vary of movement.
  • Helps enhance overhead lockout energy which is essential for overhead urgent.

Standing Landmine Press

If you happen to can’t train your triceps pain-free, the standing landmine press can are available clutch. The character of the implement used will increase scapular stability and management. 

The grip and higher arm place may even possible let you prepare round elbow or shoulder discomfort and nonetheless get a superb session in.

How you can Do the Standing Landmine Press

  1. Stand together with your toes hip-width aside and maintain the top of the barbell simply in entrance of your shoulder. Brace your core and lats and grip the barbell tight. 
  2. Then, press to lockout by extending the elbow and reaching ahead on the finish of the motion. Slowly decrease again down and repeat.

Coach’s Tip: Resist any twisting on the torso when you carry out your reps.

Advantages of the Standing Landmine Press

  • The impartial grip and the arc of the press prepare the triceps whereas serving to to restrict shoulder or elbow discomfort.
  • Elevated scapular stability and management due to the urgent angle and loading of the barbell.

Diamond Push-Up

Just like the close-grip bench press, the hand placement of the diamond push-up shifts extra of the emphasis on the triceps. Because of the narrower base of assist, you’ll get increased core stability whereas coaching the chest, shoulders, and triceps. 

Due to this, you might not be capable to do as many reps as in your normal push-up, however your triceps will like it.

How you can Do the Diamond Push-Up

  1. Making an ideal diamond together with your arms isn’t needed, however the concept is to maintain your arms near give attention to the triceps. Alter your hand place to see what works for you. 
  2. Carry out a push-up with management whereas conserving your core and glutes tight to maintain your backbone impartial. 
  3. Preserve your elbows tucked alongside your ribcage, with out flaring, throughout all the motion.

Coach’s Tip: If this motion is hard in your wrists, think about a pair of wrist wraps.

Advantages of the Diamond Push-Up

  • It focuses extra on the triceps whereas nonetheless coaching your shoulders and chest.
  • The narrower base of assist improves your core strength.

Unilateral Dumbbell Ground Press

Using dumbbells as an alternative of the barbell means that you can change your urgent angle, which is nice in case you have shoulder points when urgent with the barbell. The barbell locks your wrists and shoulders into one place, which some lifters might discover limiting.

The lowered vary of movement, mixed with urgent one side at a time, will iron out imbalances whereas specializing in the triceps. Plus, the dumbbells are tougher to stabilize, which slows the carry down and thus supplies more time under tension.

How you can Do the Unilateral Dumbbell Ground Press

  1. Roll to at least one aspect and seize a dumbbell with each arms. Press it as much as extension, after which place your free hand on the ground out to the aspect. 
  2. Bend your knees or depart your legs flat on the ground. Slowly decrease the load till your higher arm grazes the bottom, after which press again as much as lockout. 

Coach’s Tip: You may maintain one other dumbbell at arm’s size for some further isometric rigidity in your non-working triceps.

Advantages of the Unilateral Dumbbell Ground Press

  • Strengthens imbalances between sides.
  • The lowered vary of movement and the impartial grip are straightforward on the wrists and shoulders.
  • Helps enhance lockout energy for bench and overhead urgent.

Push Press

With sufficient weight on the barbell, nearly any urgent motion might be thought-about a triceps train as nicely. Overhead pressing is unbelievable for total upper-body strength, however your efficiency might not be restricted by your triceps particularly.

Through the use of some leg drive to make the primary half of the carry — the place your shoulders do essentially the most work — inconsequential, the push press helps you apply tons of mechanical rigidity to your triceps. Units of 5 reps have by no means felt so arduous.

How you can Do the Push Press

  1. Unrack a barbell from a squat rack and maintain it within the entrance rack place with a free grip and your toes planted beneath your hips or barely wider.
  2. Dip right into a high partial squat; sink down till your knees come according to your toes, however not a lot deeper.
  3. Aggressively reverse the movement and push into the ground arduous as in case you have been going to leap.
  4. Your total decrease physique ought to prolong, at which level tilt your head again and permit the bar to fly off your shoulders.
  5. Because the bar passes your head, press with your arms to lock it out firmly overhead.

Coach’s Tip: Keep away from urgent together with your arms early. Enable your legs to do the work of getting the bar previous eye degree earlier than you employ your arms.

Advantages of the Push Press

  • Gives an unparalleled stimulus to your triceps through heavy weights.
  • Teaches you the athletic movement of a dip-and-drive.
  • You solely want a bar and a squat rack to perform the push press.

Cross-Physique Cable Extension

On the subject of triceps training, cables are your greatest buddy. Whereas free weights are under no circumstances inherently harmful, loads of of us discover it simpler and extra comfy on the elbows to carry out high-intensity arm work with workouts just like the cable cross-body extension.

Bodybuilders specifically adore this motion for its hypertrophic potential; few workouts will let you apply a lot stress to your triceps with such little weight. You additionally get the advantages of working every triceps individually throughout a simultaneous double-armed set. This protects time whereas not permitting one arm to select up the slack of the opposite. 

How you can Do the Cross-Physique Cable Extension

  1. Stand between two cable bushes with every shoulder-height attachment in your reverse hand; your proper hand ought to maintain the left attachment, and vice versa.
  2. Take a step or two backward to drag the plate stack up and apply some rigidity to the cable. Your forearms must be crossed in entrance of your physique forming an “X” form.
  3. From right here, prolong your elbows whereas conserving your higher arms tucked to your sides or barely behind your physique.

Coach’s Tip: You may mess around with torso angle or arm place to search out the posture that does essentially the most injury to your triceps.

Advantages of the Cross-Physique Cable Extension

  • Gives a excessive quantity of rigidity to your triceps.
  • Helps you to work each arm individually with out having to take action one arm at a time.
  • Simply customizable to fit your physique.

Cable Kickback

The dumbbell triceps kick is a less-than-ideal triceps train. Its largest hindrance is the inconsistent resistance curve; your reps are very straightforward initially and inordinately tough on the finish of the range of motion.

Working with cables as an alternative of a dumbbell resolves this situation and transforms an in any other case mediocre motion right into a killer triceps train. Use this one to cap off your subsequent arm exercise and see for your self. 

How you can Do the Dumbbell Kickback

  1. Set a cable fixture at round waist peak and seize the attachment in your palm. Use your non-working arm to brace your self towards the cable tree itself.
  2. Tip over so your torso is roughly parallel to the ground and stagger your toes. 
  3. Tuck your higher arm again and towards your torso.
  4. Use your triceps to increase your elbow.

Advantages of the Dumbbell Kickback

Triceps Coaching Ideas

There isn’t a lot mysticism to arm coaching, however that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to sleep your approach via your triceps exercises, both. If you wish to maximize your outcomes, make the most of these coaching suggestions. 

Select Your Quantity Fastidiously

It’s straightforward to overdo it in the weight room, particularly in the case of coaching smaller muscle groups like your triceps. The correct quantity of quantity — that’s, what number of tough units you carry out on a session-by-session, or week-to-week foundation — could make or break your positive factors.

Most evidence-based suggestions concerning optimal training volume fall between 10 and 20 “working” units per muscle, per week. (1) If you happen to’re used to hitting it arduous within the fitness center, this may increasingly look like a light-weight load.

Woman doing weighted dips
Credit score: Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock

Nonetheless, the excellent news is which you can in all probability get the identical, or higher, arm positive factors with out committing to multi-hour exercises. Thoughts additionally that compound lifts do issue into this benchmark; in case you carry out loads of heavy bench or overhead presses twice a week, you in all probability don’t want 15 units of triceps extensions on high of all of it. 

Discover the Proper Angle

It pays to be versatile in your pursuit of eye-popping, shirt-busting triceps. Sure, you want good mobility in your elbows and shoulders for some arm workouts, however you must actually open your self as much as a wide selection of workouts and angles during your workouts if you wish to maximize your positive factors.

As a three-headed muscle, sure sections of your triceps will work tougher than others on sure exercises based on your posture and leverages at any given second. (2) For instance, the lengthy head of the muscle will get essentially the most love when your arm is prolonged behind your head. Look past commonplace free-weight extensions just like the cranium crusher and diversify your motion choice. 

Go Overhead, Usually

The lengthy head of your triceps is definitely the most important of the muscle’s three compartments; emphasizing it offers you essentially the most bang to your buck, appearance-wise. Nonetheless, it is usually tougher to isolate than the opposite two heads.

Some compelling analysis has proven that overhead extensions, when your arm is raised up behind your head, might be more practical at each lengthy head emphasis and overall triceps growth — much more than conventional pressdowns. (3)

Combine in a minimum of one overhead-based triceps train each time you train your arms and the outcomes will possible converse for themselves. 

Anatomy of the Triceps

The triceps are made up of three muscle groups (therefore the title, tri-ceps): The lateral head, the lengthy head, and the medial head. All three of those muscle groups connect to your elbow and are liable for extending your arm

The triceps are concerned within the again half of most urgent workouts. Take into consideration how you bench press. Your pecs work arduous at first to get the barbell off of your chest, however as soon as your arms break 90 levels, your triceps flex to increase your forearms and absolutely prolong your arms. The identical is true for an overhead press.

Triceps Muscle
Credit score: I T A L O/ Shutterstock

Notably and as a consequence of the way it attaches to your scapula, the lengthy head of your triceps additionally assists with shoulder extension; the motion of bringing your arm down and according to your torso. This is the reason you should do overhead triceps extensions for full muscular growth, or why you would possibly really feel your triceps engaged on workouts just like the straight-arm pulldown.

Advantages of Triceps Coaching

Greater, stronger triceps make you, nicely, larger and stronger. You aren’t going to win and bodybuilding reveals in case your weapons are solely loaded within the entrance. Your triceps might also be the limiting issue the following time you attempt to test your 1-rep max on the bench press. There are many good causes to prioritize your triceps within the fitness center. 

Higher Urgent Energy

Your triceps combat half the battle on all urgent actions, whether or not you’re on the barbell bench press or working with dumbbells. In case your elbow extensors are underdeveloped or weak, don’t anticipate to lock out any of your max-effort reps. Some further triceps work is an effective way to safeguard your self towards lacking a max try.

Balanced Physique Improvement

Well-developed arms might not win bodybuilding reveals on their very own, but when your triceps are missing on the physique stage, it could possibly carry down your total physique. Even in case you don’t have aggressive aspirations, doing nothing however biceps curls and neglecting your tris is not any approach to build an impressive physique.

Your triceps make up the vast majority of total muscle in your higher arm, and that’s earlier than coaching. Meaning loads of untapped hypertrophic potential. If you wish to look symmetrical and proportional, carving out these horseshoes is an absolute should. 

Extra Triceps Coaching Ideas

Listed below are some extra articles that may assist you to add dimension and energy to your triceps and enhance your urgent energy.


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance coaching quantity and will increase in muscle mass: A scientific evaluation and meta-analysis. Journal of sports activities sciences, 35(11), 1073–1082. 
  2. Kholinne, E., Zulkarnain, R. F., Solar, Y. C., Lim, S., Chun, J. M., & Jeon, I. H. (2018). The totally different function of every head of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension. Acta orthopaedica et traumatologica turcica, 52(3), 201–205. 
  3. Maeo, S., Wu, Y., Huang, M., Sakurai, H., Kusagawa, Y., Sugiyama, T., Kanehisa, H., & Isaka, T. (2022). Triceps brachii hypertrophy is considerably better after elbow extension coaching carried out within the overhead versus impartial arm place. European journal of sport science, 1–11. Advance on-line publication. 

Featured Picture: Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock

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