Are you looking to build bigger, more defined arms? If so, focusing on your triceps is essential because they make up roughly two-thirds of your upper arm muscles. However, with so many tricep workouts and exercises to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which ones are the most effective. In this article, we'll break down the 10 best triceps exercises for building muscle and provide you with expert tips to get the most out of your tricep workouts.
1. **Skullcrusher (Lying Triceps Extension)**
- *Why it's on the list:* The Skullcrusher is a versatile exercise that targets both the long and lateral heads of the triceps. You can perform it on a flat, decline, or incline bench, making it suitable for different preferences and equipment availability.
- *In your workout:* Warm up your elbows and perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, either as the first or second exercise in your routine.
2. **Close-Grip Bench Press**
- *Why it's on the list:* The Close-Grip Bench Press is a compound exercise that specifically targets the triceps. It's known to hit the triceps harder than wider grip variations, making it an excellent choice for muscle growth.
- *In your workout:* Prioritize this exercise by performing it first or second in your routine. Aim for 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps, and consider using wrist wraps for added support when going heavy.
3. **Triceps Dip**
- *Why it's on the list:* Dips are proven mass-builders for the triceps. To maximize triceps engagement, keep your body as vertical as possible and avoid leaning forward.
- *In your workout:* Start with 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, and if needed, use assistance or add weight with a dip belt or dumbbell between your knees or feet.
4. **Bench Dip**
- *Why it's on the list:* Bench Dips activate the triceps substantially and can be made more challenging by adding weight.
- *In your workout:* Include this exercise in the middle or at the end of your workout, aiming for 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
5. **Triceps Machine Dip**
- *Why it's on the list:* The Triceps Machine Dip allows for easy weight adjustment, making it suitable for various rep ranges and intensity-boosting techniques.
- *In your workout:* Perform this exercise early or in the middle of your workout for 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps.
6. **Board Press**
- *Why it's on the list:* Board Press is a partial-rep version of the bench press that specifically trains the lockout portion, emphasizing triceps strength.
- *In your workout:* Start your triceps routine with this exercise, aiming for 4 sets of 8 reps.
7. **Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension**
- *Why it's on the list:* Overhead extensions prioritize the long head of the triceps, which can be challenging to target otherwise.
- *In your workout:* Do these extensions later in your routine, performing around 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
8. **Cable Overhead Extension with Rope**
- *Why it's on the list:* Cable overhead extensions provide constant tension, effectively targeting the long head of the triceps.
- *In your workout:* Consider this exercise as a second or third choice, performing 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
9. **Single-Arm Cable Kick-Back**
- *Why it's on the list:* This exercise effectively activates the triceps, and when executed correctly, it can be as effective as other compound movements.
- *In your workout:* Place it last in your routine, aiming for 3 sets of 10-12 reps while focusing on maximum contraction.
10. **Cable Push-Down**
- *Why it's on the list:* Cable Push-Down is an excellent isolation exercise to finish your triceps workout and provide a great burnout.
- *In your workout:* Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps or slightly higher toward the end of your workout.
Bonus: **Close-Grip Push-Up (Bodyweight Choice)**
- *Why it's on the list:* Close-Grip Push-Ups are a bodyweight exercise that effectively targets the triceps, making them an excellent addition to your triceps routine.
- *In your workout:* Use this exercise as a finishing move, and if regular push-ups are too easy, elevate your feet or add weight for added challenge.
Now that you have a comprehensive list of the best triceps exercises, you can create a customized workout plan to maximize your triceps muscle growth. Remember to prioritize compound movements like the Close-Grip Bench Press and supplement them with isolation exercises like the Cable Push-Down. Consistency and proper form are key to achieving the well-defined triceps you desire. Incorporate these exercises into your routine and watch your arm gains soar.