Tricep Exercises: When it comes to building big, strong arms, many people focus exclusively on biceps exercises. While it’s true that the biceps are an important muscle group to train, it’s also important not to neglect the triceps. The tricep exercises make up a significant portion of the upper arm, and are responsible for extending the elbow joint.
If you want to build bigger, stronger triceps, here are some of the best tricep exercises to include in your workout routine:
1. Close-grip bench press:
This exercise is a variation of the traditional bench press, but with a closer grip. By bringing your hands closer together on the barbell, you place more emphasis on the triceps. The close-grip bench press is a compound exercise that also works the chest and shoulders.
- Lie down on a bench and grasp the barbell with a grip that is closer than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing forward.
- Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it straight up over your chest, with your arms fully extended.
- Lower the barbell slowly towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Pause when the barbell is just above your chest and then push it back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Benefits of close grip bench press include:
- Increased tricep strength: Close grip bench press is a great exercise for targeting the triceps, which are important for many upper body movements.
- Improved chest and shoulder strength: While the primary focus is on the triceps, close grip bench press also engages the chest and shoulders to a lesser extent.
- Improved bench press performance: Close grip bench press can help to strengthen the muscles used in the standard bench press, allowing you to lift heavier weights.
- Increased muscular endurance: Performing close grip bench press can help to increase your muscular endurance, allowing you to perform more reps or sets of other upper body exercises.
- Variety in your workout routine: Close grip bench press is a great exercise to add to your workout routine to change things up and challenge your muscles in a new way.
Dips are a great exercise for strengthening and toning the triceps, chest, and shoulders. Here’s how to perform dips:
1. Find a stable surface such as parallel bars, the edge of a bench or chair, or dip bars.
2. Place your hands on the bars or edge with your fingers facing forward and your palms facing down.
3. Keep your arms straight to lift your body off the ground.
4. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
5. Push yourself up again by straightening your arms.
Benefits of Dips:
Here are some benefits of doing dips:
1. Strengthening the triceps: Dips are a highly effective exercise for isolating and strengthening the triceps muscles.
2. Developing upper body strength: Dips work the chest, shoulders, and triceps together, making it a compound exercise that develops upper body strength.
3. Improving muscle endurance: Because dips are a bodyweight exercise, they can be done for higher reps, which can help improve muscle endurance.
4. Increasing range of motion: Dips require a greater range of motion than many other triceps exercises, helping to improve flexibility and mobility in the shoulders.
5. Can be done anywhere: Dips can be performed almost anywhere, making them a great exercise for those who don’t have access to a gym or exercise equipment.
3. Tricep pushdowns:
Triceps pushdowns are an exercise that target the triceps, which are the muscles located at the back of your upper arm. Here are the steps to perform triceps pushdowns:
1. Stand in front of a cable machine and attach a straight bar to the high pulley.
2. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, with your hands shoulder-width apart.
3. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight and your core engaged.
4. Pull the bar down towards your thighs, keeping your upper arms stationary at your sides.
5. When the bar is fully extended, pause for a moment and then slowly return to the starting position, making sure to control the weight throughout the movement.
Benefits of Triceps Pushdowns:
Benefits of triceps pushdowns include:
1. Increased triceps strength and size: Triceps pushdowns target the triceps, which can help to increase their strength and size over time.
2. Improved overall arm strength: The triceps are an important muscle group in the arms, and strengthening them can lead to improved overall arm strength.
3. Enhanced athletic performance: Strong triceps can improve your performance in sports that require arm strength, such as baseball, tennis, and swimming.
4. Reduced risk of injury: Strengthening the triceps can help to reduce the risk of injury to the shoulders and elbows, as the triceps play an important role in stabilizing these joints.
5. Improved body composition: Triceps pushdowns can help to increase muscle mass in the triceps, which can improve your body composition by increasing your overall muscle mass and reducing body fat.
4. Overhead tricep extensions:
Overhead tricep extensions are a great exercise for building and strengthening the triceps muscles, which are located on the back of your upper arms. Here’s how to perform this exercise:
1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in both hands.
2. Raise the dumbbell overhead, with your arms straight and your palms facing each other.
3. Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head, bending your elbows and keeping your upper arms stationary.
4. Pause when the dumbbell is parallel to the ground and then extend your arms back up to the starting position.
5. Repeat again for desired number of reps.
Benefits of Overhead Tricep Extensions:
Here are some benefits of overhead tricep extensions:
1. Builds triceps strength: The primary benefit of overhead tricep extensions is that they target and strengthen the triceps muscles, helping you to build bigger, stronger arms.
2. Improves arm definition: Overhead tricep extensions can help to tone and define your arms, making them appear more sculpted and muscular.
3. Supports other exercises: Strong triceps are important for a variety of other upper body exercises, including bench press, push-ups, and dips. Incorporating overhead tricep extensions into your workout routine can help you to improve your performance in these exercises.
4. Can be done at home or in the gym: Overhead tricep extensions require only a dumbbell and can be done at home or in the gym, making them a convenient exercise for anyone looking to build triceps strength.
5. Skull crushers:
Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a popular exercise for targeting the triceps muscles of the upper arm. Here’s how to perform skull crushers and some of their benefits:
1. Lie down on a flat bench with a barbell or dumbbells held with a narrow grip over your chest.
2. Extend your arms up towards the ceiling, keeping your elbows in and your palms facing each other.
3. Slowly lower the weight towards your forehead or just above it by bending at the elbows. Your upper arms should remain stationary while your forearms move.
4. Pause briefly when your forearms are parallel to the floor, then press the weight back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
Benefits of Skull Crushers:
Benefits of skull crushers include:
1. Triceps development: Skull crushers specifically target the triceps muscles, helping to build strength and size in this area.
2. Improved bench press: Strengthening your triceps can help improve your bench press by allowing you to lock out the weight more effectively.
3. Joint stability: Skull crushers can help improve the stability of your elbows and shoulders, which can reduce the risk of injury during other exercises.
4. Variety in your workout: Skull crushers are a great way to mix up your upper body workout routine and add some variety to your triceps training.
Remember to start with lighter weights and work on proper form before increasing the weight. It’s also important to avoid lowering the weight too far down towards your face, as this can cause injury.
When performing tricep exercises, it’s important to use proper form and a weight that allows you to perform the tricep exercises safely and effectively. Start with a weight that feels comfortable, and gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. With consistency and dedication, you can build big, strong triceps that will help you lift heavier weights and achieve your fitness goals.