If you’re looking to increase the size, strength, and shape of your triceps, we’ve got a treat for you in this article: Complete Workout For Triceps.
The benefits that surround having strong triceps transfer to not only looking good in a tight t-shirt, or having a symmetrical physique. If you have well formed triceps, they can help you in your everyday activities, more so than most people think.
Triceps are used constantly, from carrying fully loaded rotary machine guns, pushing open heavy armed doors, or holding back a falling airplane like a Superhero. Well, that was a slightly over the top, but you get our point. Strong triceps will help your entire upper body to remain strong and balanced.
These exercises we’ve listed below are by far some of the most effective movements that will help you get awesome looking triceps. Not only that, inside this article you’ll also learn some cool tips on good form. On top of that you’ll also learn about the ideal rep ranges to use, which all determine how your muscles will respond.
We’ll guide you through each exercise in detail. Without delay, let’s dive right in!
Overhead Tricep Extension
This movement will help you stretch the tricep as much as possible, as you’ll be forced to lower the weight to its full eccentric phase of the movement. By doing this, you’ll have no choice but to work your tricep to its full capabilities.
Start by grabbing one light/moderate dumbbell. Then, place the dumbbell over your head vertically. To support your body, you can place you ‘free’ hand across your chest to help maintain a tight core and reduce movement in the torso and upper body, that’s if you are doing single handed version.
If you’re using one dumbbell with both hands placed under the weight, then try to keep your torso tight, this will also help to create more stability.
Once the dumbbell is in the starting position, lower the dumbbell down behind you until it reaches its full decent, stretching your tricep through its full range of motion in the eccentric phase.
Then, while keeping your elbow fixed in position, raise the dumbbell back into start position. It’s important during this part of the movement to keep your elbow locked into position. If you have to overcompensate by lowering your elbow forward at any part of the movement, the weighed might be too heavy. Go for a lighter weight to make sure you can easily focus on your tricep as the main muscle being used during the whole movement.
Tricep kickbacks are an obvious choice. They allow you to work with a comfortable weight, without overloading, which is great is you really want to focus on the muscle you’re working, in this case your triceps.
By keeping your elbow in a locked position throughout this entire movement, you’ll be able to focus entirely on your tricep muscle in the concentric, and eccentric phase of the movement.
To perform this exercise, it’s best to use a lighter weight. Try to avoid gripping the weight too tightly with your hands, as this might take some of the focus away from the muscle you’re actually trying to build.
Instead, use a lighter grip, more of a ‘hook‘ or lightly supporting grip while you do this exercise. If you do, you’ll see what we mean, your triceps will be screaming for you to stop – a great one for feeling the burn of lactic acid building up.
The tricep push down is a great exercise for building thick triceps. Unlike the overhead tricep extension, you can add more weight to this exercise which will help you build extra ‘mass’ onto your triceps.
Again, just like with the overhead tricep extension you need to keep strict form throughout. However, the benefit of this movement is – you’ll be pushing down which is much easier than pushing up against gravity.
Start by testing the appropriate weight on the cable machine. Use either a straight bar or rope when using this movement. The benefit of using a straight bar is you’ll be able to use more weight as you’ll be pushing straight down onto the bar. Just like with the overhead tricep extension, keep your elbows locked into position at all times throughout movement and aim to use a full range of motion throughout.
For the rope, this is great if you want to isolate the outer tricep as you’ll be able to squeeze the muscle at the concentric part of the movement, forcing your hands outwards which in turn will activate the outer area of the tricep. However, with the rope, you won’t be able to use a heavyweight when compared to the straight bar. It all depends of if you’re going for definition or volume.
Tricep dips not only work your triceps, they also work your entire upper body, especially your chest. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do this exercise to make sure you’re not isolation the chest, but rather focusing on the tricep instead.
If you’re a newbie you might want to use an assisted machine to take the weight off your body for a few weeks. This will help you get used to the exercise and build up your muscles.
When it comes to doing tricep dips, you want to keep your upper body slightly upright. If you lean forward too much you are mainly working your chest, which is perfect for your chest, but not so much for your triceps. Another reason to make sure you do this exercise correctly is not to cause injury, as it places a lot of tension on your shoulder joints.
We said you don’t want to lean forward too much and that’s true, but you do want to lean forward slightly. This will help to avoid injury in your shoulder. You’ll know when you get it right as you’ll feel your muscles working in the right areas without injury.
Close Grip Chest Press
If you want to add more volume to your triceps this is one exercise you’ll want to include into your workout. It not only works your triceps, but also your chest, forearms and biceps, making it an all rounder.
Just like with the tricep push-down, you’ll be able to add more weight onto the bar in this movement. But don’t get carried away, this isn’t a bench press. Your hands will be closer together, which will weaken your ability to push the bar away from your chest. However, as this is closely related to the bench press, where it uses the same muscles, you’ll find you’ll be able to shift more weight during this exercise.
Perform this exercise just like you would a normal bench press, but this time you’ll want to bring your hands closer together into the middle of the bar, about shoulder width apart. However, when you perform a bench press your elbows are facing outwards, this time, you’ll want to do the opposite with this exercise – keep your elbows parallel with your body – closer towards the center of your torso.
If you’ve never done this exercise before, make sure you’ve got a spotter, even if you’re only using an empty bar, as you’ll soon realize how weak your triceps might actually be – be warned!
Workout For Triceps
If you’re a newbie, you’ll want to take it slow. Start with one set per exercise for a while, then build up your working sets to three possibly four when you feel comfortable.
Keep in mind this might take a few months to achieve, but if you stick with it you’ll get there.
The ideal rep range all depend on what your goals are. You can see examples of the best rep ranges here in the awesome shoulder splitting workout. As a general rule, you’ll want to use a rep range of roughly 10-12 for strength and muscle growth.
- Overhead Tricep Extension
- Tricep Kickback
- Tricep Pushdown
- Tricep Dips
- Close Grip Chest Press
There you have it, a complete guide on how to smash your triceps to grow bigger and stronger. Like with all workouts, you need to keep strict form to see the best results. Don’t be that person in the gym swinging weights around, you only make yourself look bad. Keep your form tight, and the gym god’s will repay you.
Looking for more info on working sets and reps? head over to this article where we explain in detail what the best seats are for size and strength.
Thanks for reading, we hope you get the results you’re looking for. Don’t forget, if you have any specific questions on how to build awesome looking triceps, hit the comments section below!