fbpx
Spread the love

You don’t need a gazillion different tricep exercises to build big and strong arms. 

In fact, out of all the exercises for the triceps you could do, only a small handful are actually efficient and effective at adding size.

Best Tricep Exercises - Lose Fat Build Muscle

What’s more, this is true for both men and women. 

Yes, there are big physiological differences between males and females, but the mechanisms that command muscle growth are pretty much the same for both genders, and that means that the same exercises work well for both genders. 

Without further ado, let’s look at the best triceps exercises for bigger and stronger arms.

1. Horizontal Close-Grip Bench Press

This is by far my favorite triceps movements and is widely considered one of the best tricep exercises.

If I had to pick only one tricep exercise to do for the rest of my life, this would be it. 

Besides working your triceps, it also works your shoulder and chest. 

The reason it’s so effective is because it’s one of the exercises that allows you to carry the most load. 

In this study, scientists compared twelve elite benchers muscle activations across different bench press variations. For the horizontal close-grip bench press, triceps activation was significantly higher than with its incline variation (~ 60% higher).

And in this study, researchers used six men and compared muscle activation with different bench press variations and found that the close-grip variation of the bench press triceps activation was around 25% higher than when using a wide-grip variation. 

Here’s a video of how to do it:

And here’s a checklist:

  1. Lie on the bench with the bar at eye level. Arch your upper back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  2. Grab the bar with a full grip (thumbs around it) and with close-grip width.
  3. Unrack the bar.
  4. Lower the bar to your mid-chest.
  5. Press the bar back up until your arms are straight.

2. Dip

The dip is a great upper body developer, in general, but is an awesome tricep exercise as well.

The narrower the grip, the more emphasis you’ll place on the triceps as opposed to the chest and shoulders. 

The dip is simple to overload; you can just use a belt or hold a dumbbell in between your legs. 

When you can perform at least 10 dips with perfect form, then you can start adding weight— start with 5-pound increments. 

Here’s a video that shows the dip:

And here’s a checklist:

  1. Grab the parallel bars and suspend yourself, with straight arms. 
  2. Lower your body by bending at the elbows while you lean forward. 
  3. Descend until your shoulders are below your elbows. 
  4. Push down against the parallel bars and straighten your body. 
  5. Lock your elbows at the top.
  6. Repeat for as many reps as prescribed. 

If you’re unable to perform bodyweight dips, you can also perform assisted dips: 

3. Barbell Skull Crushers

The skull crusher has become a staple tricep exercise in bodybuilding for decades because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

The skull crushers is included in almost every strength-training routine because of the impact it can have on triceps hypertrophy, strength, and its transferability to the bench press.

Here’s a video that shows how to do it:

And here’s a form checklist for the skull crusher:

  1. Using a medium to close grip, lift the barbell and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on the bench. 
  2. Your arms should be perpendicular to the ground at the starting position.
  3. Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower the bar towards your forehead by flexing at the elbows. 
  4. Pause right before the bar touches your forehead and extend the elbows. 
  5. Repeat
  6. Don’t let your elbows flare out; this takes away some of the emphasis on your triceps. 

You can also perform skull crushers with EZ bars, dumbbells, and cables. 

4. Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension

I love this exercise, and if your gym doesn’t have much fancy equipment, it’s one of the most effective tricep exercises requiring only basic equipment. 

It lets you target the long head of the tricep, and you use heavier weights, safely. 

Here’s a video that shows how to do it:

And here’s a checklist: 

  1. Sit on a bench. 
  2. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, and bend the elbows behind your head so that the weight is behind your neck.
  3. Straighten your arms and lift the dumbbell over your head. 
  4. Bend the arms slowly. 
  5. Repeat for as many reps as prescribed. 

5. Cable Triceps Overhead Extension

This tricep exercise is very similar to the dumbbell overhead tricep extension, but the main difference is that you’ll use a cable machine instead of dumbbells.

The cool thing about this variation is that the cables place constant tension on your triceps throughout the whole range of motion. 

Some people also find working with cables more comfortable. 

For this tricep exercise, you can use a variety of attachments: rope, straight bar, EZ bar, v-bar, etc. 

Just make sure you ALWAYS use full range of motion.

Here’s a video that shows you how to do it:

Here’s the checklist:

  1. Attach the rope to the bottom of the cable machine. 
  2. Grab the rope with both hands and turn around. Your back should be facing the pulley. 
  3. At this point, your hands will be at around neck-level height. 
  4. Keeping your elbows close to your head, extend your arms until your hands are directly above your head. 
  5. Slowly lower the rope back until your hands are at the neck level one more time. 
  6. Repeat as many times as prescribed. 

6. Cable Triceps Pushdown

One of the most common tricep exercises people do. 

The main reason I really like this exercise is that it is very comfortable and very easy to progress on. 

I usually include it at the end of my workouts once I’ve done my fair share of heavy compound work.

Personally, I like the straight-bar attachment, but you can do it with a rope or a v-bar. 

Here’s a video that shows how to do it:

And here’s a checklist:

  1. Attach a straight bar or v-bar to a high cable machine and grab it with an overhand grip, palms facing down, at around shoulder width. 
  2. With a slight incline on your torso and while holding your upper arms next to your body, push down on the bar using nothing but your triceps until your arms are fully extended. 
  3. Then bring your forearm up until your arms are completely flexed. 
  4. Repeat for the prescribed reps. 

7. Close-Grip Pushup

A lot of people think that pushups are just a chest exercise, but that’s just wrong. 

Remember, every pushing movement uses the triceps to some extent, and if you bring your hands closer together, you’ll be using more of the triceps, similarly to the close-grip bench press. 

The close-grip pushup is one of the best tricep exercises for beginners, and is a great warmup for your triceps.

The only “bad” thing about pushups is that they’re really difficult to load once you become proficient at them. 

So if you can easily do 20 narrow-grip pushups, then it might be a good idea to focus on exercises that you can overload.

Here’s a video that shows the close-grip pushup:

And here’s a checklist:

  1. Lay face down on the ground and place the palm of your hands next to your lower pec. 
  2. Lift your stomach off the ground, tighten your abs and your glutes. 
  3. Maintaining a neutral spine, push away from the ground until your arms are fully extended. 
  4. Your torso should be like a brick at this point—no arching. 
  5. Flex your elbows and come back down until your chest touches the ground. 
  6. Repeat for the prescribed number of reps. 

8. Normal grip Bench Press

The almighty bench press. 

A staple of strength in every gym in the world. 

I’m sure you’ve heard the infamous words: “How much ya bench, bro?”

Well, I have some good news. The bench press is an amazing upper body exercise. It builds your shoulders, pecs, and your triceps.

Yes, it’s also one of the best tricep exercises, and that’s why it’s a really good idea to include bench presses if you want bigger and stronger arms. 

The bottom line? The bench press is one of the best upper body exercises you can do. 

Here’s a video that shows you how to do it:

And here’s a checklist:

  1. Lie on the bench with the bar at eye level. Arch your upper back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  2. With a medium grip and with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width, grab the bar with a full grip (fingers and thumb around the bar).
  3. Unrack the bar.
  4. Lower the bar to your mid-chest.
  5. Press the bar back up until your arms are straight.

What Makes a Good Tricep Exercise Program?

My criteria for a great triceps workout is kinda simple, and it’s two-fold: 

1- It stimulates the triceps from at least two different angles. 

If you want to get maximal triceps growth, then you need to hit your triceps from different angles. This is because different angles slightly target different parts of the muscle. 

The two angles we’ll include in our program are horizontal and vertical. 

2- It emphasizes heavy compound work and progressive overload.

As a natural lifter, your main goal should be to get stronger because the stronger you get, the bigger you’ll be. 

There are different ways to stimulate your muscles to grow, but progressive overload is the most important one. 

Get this:

Building bigger and stronger triceps—and a more muscular body, in general—should be a long-term commitment for you. 

And that’s when progressive overload comes into play. It means that your training should be getting tougher and tougher over time. 

If a year ago you benched 135×10, and now you can bench 185×10, then that means you’ve put on muscle on your triceps, chest, and shoulders. 

Building bigger and stronger triceps is just like developing a skill. It takes time, patience and hard work. 

If you want to become an economist, you’d start by learning basic economic theory, and little by little you’d start making the problems you study harder to solve. Training and progressive overload work in the same way. 

Progressive overload means that slowly, over time, your workouts should be getting harder and harder. It means that one year ago, you couldn’t perform the workouts you do today. 

The trick behind progressive overload is to make things tougher, but in very small increments. 

Want a Tricep Exercises That Will Make Your Arms Bust Out Of Your T-Shirt?

Best Tricep Exercises - Lose Fat Build Muscle

Now that we got most of the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to give you the tricep exercises program. 

DISCLAIMER: Perform this program at your own risk. It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before starting any training or diet regimen. 

Now, let’s break down the training program:

3 Days Per Week

Best Tricep Exercises Workout

The emphasize of this program will be a tricep/push focus.  Most of the exercises will focus on pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps with an emphasize on tricep development! Have fun! 

Week One

DAY  ONE: (HORIZONTAL CHEST/TRIS) 

Horizontal Close Grip Bench Press: 2 X 7-10
Dumbbell Overhead Press: 2 X 7-10
Skull Crushers: 2 X 8-12
Bench Dips: 2 X 15 

Day Two: (Vertical Chest/Tris)

Smith Machine Overhead Press: 2 X 7-10
Overhead Tricep Extension: 2 X 7-10
Dips: 2 X 8-12
Tricep Push Down: 2 X 8-12

Day Three: Tricep Isolation

SUPERSET 3 X 12
Skull Crusher  
Push Down 

SUPERSET 3 X 12
Close Grip Push Up
Overhead Dumbbell triceps extension

 

Week Two

DAY ONE: (HORIZONTAL CHEST/TRIS) 

Horizontal Close Grip Bench Press: 3 X 7-10
Dumbbell Overhead Press: 2 X 7-10
Skull Crushers: 3 X 8-12
Bench Dips: 2 X 15 

Day Two: (Vertical Chest/Tris)

Smith Machine Overhead Press: 3 X 7-10

Overhead Tricep Extension: 2 X 7-10

Dips: 3 X 8-12

Tricep Push Down: 2 X 8-12

Day Three: Tricep Isolation

SUPERSET 3 X 12

Skull Crusher  

Push Down 

SUPERSET 3 X 12

Close Grip Push Up

Overhead Dumbbell triceps extension 

Week Three

Day One: (Horizontal Chest/Tris) 

Horizontal Close Grip Bench Press: 3 X 7-10
Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 X 7-10
Skull Crushers: 3 X 8-12
Bench Dips: 3 X 15 

Day Two: (Vertical Chest/Tris)

Smith Machine Overhead Press: 3 X 7-10
Overhead Tricep Extension: 3 X 7-10
Dips: 3 X 8-12
Tricep Push Down: 3 X 8-12

Day Three: Tricep Isolation

SUPERSET 3 X 12

Skull Crusher  
Push Down 

SUPERSET 3 X 12

Close Grip Push Up
Overhead Dumbbell triceps extension 

Week Four

Day One: (Horizontal Chest/Tris) 

Horizontal Close Grip Bench Press: 4 X 7-10
Dumbbell Overhead Press: 4 X 7-10
Skull Crushers: 4 X 8-12
Bench Dips: 4 X 15 

Day Two: (Vertical Chest/Tris)

Smith Machine Overhead Press: 4 X 7-10
Overhead Tricep Extension: 4 X 7-10
Dips: 4 X 8-12
Tricep Push Down: 4 X 8-12

Day Three: Tricep Isolation

SUPERSET 4 X 12

Skull Crusher  
Push Down 

SUPERSET 4 X 12

Close Grip Push Up
Overhead Dumbbell triceps extension 

Week Five (Deload)

Day One: (Horizontal Chest/Tris) 

Horizontal Close Grip Bench Press: 2 X 5
Dumbbell Overhead Press: 2 X 5
Skull Crushers: 2 X 6
Bench Dips: 2 X 6 

Day Two: (Vertical Chest/Tris)

Smith Machine Overhead Press: 2 X 5
Overhead Tricep Extension: 2 X 5
Dips: 2 X 6
Tricep Push Down: 2 X 6

Day Three: Tricep Isolation

SUPERSET 2 X 5

Skull Crusher  
Push Down 

SUPERSET 2 X 5

Close Grip Push Up
Overhead Dumbbell triceps extension 

How about your diet?

Ideally, you want to pair this program with a diet for either fat loss or muscle gain. 

You can use our calculator to figure out how many calories you need for either of those goals. 

And also, if you haven’t yet transitioned into Veganism, here’s an article that will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to do that. 

The Bottom Line About THE BEST TRICEP EXERCISES FOR Bigger And Stronger Arms

Most people think that to get big arms you need big biceps.

But as you already know, that’s far from the truth.

Doing the best tricep exercises will have the greatest impact on the size and appearance of your arms because they’re a much larger muscle group. 

Follow the advice outlined in this article to get some quick wins and get you on your way to getting the arms you only dream about. 

Remember, building a great body takes patience, commitment, and consistency. 

Imagine how you’ll look if you add a couple of inches to your arms and a couple of pounds of muscle to your body. 

You’d become a completely different person.

Keep that image in your head because it’s completely achievable. 

Now go.

_________________________________________________________________________

We’ve helped thousands of vegans shred fat, build muscle, and get the body they’ve always wanted.

How? With tailor-made meal plans, personalized workout routines, and regular 1 on 1 coaching calls.

If that sounds like something you could benefit from to finally get in shape and become a healthier person, apply to become a Jacked Vegan and I’ll get back to you soon!

gymster-subscribe-image
Sign Up to Get Latest Updates
It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the