5 Most Effective Exercises For Building Your Triceps

If you’ve been pumping up your biceps with paying little to no attention to the triceps, the results might be a bit off. Since the latter make up the majority of your upper arm mass, you can’t really pride yourself with an insanely developed upper arm musculature without ripped triceps.

If your triceps are out of shape, stop waiting for them to grow on their own – you’ll have to earn that powerful physique and the respect that comes with it. In this article we’ve put together a list of five top-notch triceps exercises that are guaranteed to give you the arms of a superhero that are as strong as they look!

1. Parallel bar dips

Back to the basics, guys. Dips are tough and old school, but there’s a reason why they will get you better results than those sci-fi machines in state of the art gyms.

The dip is a compound movement that uses your own bodyweight and hits every head of the triceps (long, medial and lateral), which is the best way to grow. But if you want some serious gains and you want them now, why not take the basic dip to the next level of intensity by applying the 21 style.

How to do it?

Start with an upright position on the dip bars, then lower your body (while keeping the elbows close to it). Perform 5 reps in the lower half part of the movement, followed by 5 reps in the upper half part of it. Finish with 5 reps with a full range of motion. When you get a bit comfortable with those settings, increase the number of reps from 5 to 7.

2. Lying barbell extension (french press)

The lying triceps extension (a.k.a french press) is a powerful and advanced type of exercise specially designed for the triceps. You should definitely consider adding it to your triceps workout. Have in mind that it requires a bit of caution because improper form or trying to cheat can easily lead to injury. But if you do it right, you’ll hit the pro league in no time!

How to do it?

Start by lying down on your back and holding a barbell over your chest. Then, inhale, bend your elbows  and start lowering the bar to the level of your forehead. As you exhale, press the bar back to the original position.

If you want to further increase the tension on the triceps, start with the bar positioned over your forehead, then lower it in an arch and bring it over and behind your head.

3. Diamond push-up

There’s a reason these push-ups are a staple exercise in the Army. If you’ve been continuously doing the regular kind so far, you’re ready for the diamond push-up. Many guys who’ve been struggling with their triceps definition have sparked up great arm progress with this simple exercise.

How to do it?

diamond push ups

As with any exercise, you need to perform the diamond push-up with a proper form in order to get the most of it. First of all, your body should be as straight as possible throughout the whole movement. Hands should be placed under the chest, with the thumbs touching each other or overlapping.

When you descend, do it slowly while keeping your elbows in and pause for a few seconds at the bottom. Make sure that you keep the elbows in during the push-up as well. Perform 12-20 reps. After you master the diamond push-up with solid form and a decent number of reps, try placing even more load on the triceps by performing it with elevated feet.

4. Close-grip incline bench press

The bench press remains an absolute favorite among bodybuilders for many years now, and the close-grip incline bench press is a highly efficient version that promotes outstanding growth of the triceps and pecs.

How to do it?

Position your hands shoulder width apart on the bar and remember to keep them close to your body all throughout the movement. Now, if you’re willing to try something that’s totally different but can translate to bigger gains, try performing this exercise on a decline bench – the declined angle will provide a heavier triceps contraction.

5. Triceps rack press

Performing triceps rack presses is another excellent way to stimulate fast-twitch muscle fibers and develop the strength of your triceps. Including this challenging exercise in your routine will add diversity and push your triceps to explode.

How to do it?

Keeping a straight posture, grip the bar and lower your body with the bar going toward your forehead, then press back up to the original position. When you get good at it, increase the intensity of the exercise by starting with the bar at knee level and then keep raising it one level up every time you reach muscular failure.

Triceps workout routines

Start working on your triceps by introducing triceps building sessions twice per week with two different combinations of the above mentioned exercises.

For example:

Triceps Routine #1

1. Lying French Press – 3 sets, 12-15 reps
2. Parallel Bar Dip – 3 sets, 21 reps
3. Diamond Push-Up – 3 sets, 21 reps

Triceps Routine #2

1. Diamond Push-Up – 3 sets, 21 reps
2. Close-Grip Bench Pres – 3 sets, 8-12 reps
3. Triceps Rack Press – 3 reps, 8-15 reps

As your proficiency increases, add a few more reps and opt for the more intense version of the exercises. Don’t waste any time to pump up your arms to the max!

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