Triceps Exercises - 10 Of The Most Powerful Exercises

Triceps Exercises

Many bodybuilders throughout the ages have been accustomed to giving triceps exercises great importance. The triceps muscle makes up more than two-thirds of the upper arm.

Triceps Exercises

The triceps have always been an ally of many players on the Mr. Olympia stage. Phil Heath and Ronnie Coleman, for example, have won many awards for having better triceps than their competitors.

Despite this, you may find triceps exercises marginalized by new players and amateurs. Perhaps because the triceps muscles do not appear in the mirror, that is why many people associate the size of the arm with the biceps muscle, as it is the most visible muscle,, or because the enlargement of the triceps muscle is stubborn and needs time and certain strategies.

I don't know why, but I'm sure the triceps are very important. And if you want a huge and strong arm, you must take care of amplifying the triceps muscles well.

Fortunately, there are many effective triceps exercises that may make this task easy, and below you will find a list of the best and most effective triceps exercises.

Triceps muscle anatomy

Before moving on to the exercises, it is important to know the different parts of the muscle, so that you can strengthen and amplify it in the best possible way.

The triceps muscle is a large muscle in the back of the upper arm that runs along the humerus bone along with the biceps muscle.

The triceps consists of three heads, which is why you may hear some people call them the “triceps, or triceps.”

Although each head has a role, when the muscles are working all the heads unite for thrusting.

The long head: It is attached to the shoulder from the top, and it has an important role in stabilizing the shoulder and straightening the arm.

Intermediate head: does not attach to the shoulder and therefore does not act on the humero-muscular joint. However, it is active when forearm extension occurs, whether against resistance or not, and regardless of whether the forearm is pinned or supinated.

Lateral Head: It is considered the strongest of the three heads but is usually only active during extension at the elbow that occurs against resistance.

When the three heads are well worked out they take on a horseshoe shape.

The long head takes most of the volume, so many focus on it. However, all heads must be exercised in order to properly inflate the triceps muscles.

Ultra exercises

There are a very large number of triceps exercises, and although this is useful, it can be confusing to design a list of exercises that must be done in the gym.

Therefore, I divided the exercises into several categories, and this will help you a lot to understand the mechanism of action of each exercise. Thus, you can choose a “list of the best triceps exercises” to suit your goals and fitness level.

Compound exercises to increase the triceps muscle

Exercise experts do not agree much on one opinion, but all trainers and researchers agreed on the effectiveness of compound exercises, whether in gaining strength or building muscle mass.

And most of the research and studies “if not all” confirm that compound exercises are the best muscle-building exercises, but also the fastest.

This is a list of the best compound triceps exercises that you can benefit from during your workout.

1- Bench press narrow grip

Bench press narrow grip

This “old” classic is one of the most powerful and effective triceps exercises for triceps pumping.

This exercise has gained so much popularity that it has been a favorite exercise for many bodybuilding legends. The reason for this is the heavy weights that you can lift during it.

Note that the narrower the grip, the more triceps you target.

But this may cause greater pressure and pain in the elbow joint. Therefore, it is preferable that the width of the fist be from 10 to 12 inches, “25-30 cm”.

How to perform the exercise:

Lie on the bench, grasp the barbell in a shoulder-width grip.

Raising the bar from the cage up until the arms are straight, this is the starting point.

Lower the weight slowly and with good control.

Lift the weight back up to the starting point, and repeat until the end of the set.

2- Parallel


If you want to inflate your triceps, this exercise is great. Perhaps what distinguishes it most, in addition to gaining muscle mass, is that this exercise strengthens the nerves of the arms.

There are two versions of the parallelepiped exercise, and both target the triceps, chest, and shoulder. The only difference between them is the angle of movement during the exercise.

To target the triceps, keep your body as vertical as possible. Don't lean forward too much. Because whenever you tilt your body forward, the pressure will transfer from the trap to the chest.

Note that you can use weights by means of the midsection belt, or by using dumbbells between your feet to increase the resistance and get more benefit from the exercise.

How to perform the exercise:

Using two parallel bars “often installed on the gym’s pull-up machine”

Grasp the straps firmly, securing your body between them.

Keep your body perpendicular to the ground - or almost vertical.

While breathing in, go down slowly and maintain the angle of your chest.

Slowly raise your body again until your arms are completely extended.

Try to focus and think that the movement is only coming from the arms.

3- Diving on the bench

Diving on the bench

The same mechanism as the parallel exercise, but it significantly activates the triceps muscles and works to tighten and strengthen the lower chest muscles.

So if you are having any problems with your lower chest muscles you can benefit from this exercise. Besides that it will inflate the triceps muscles, it will help you a lot to tighten the lower chest.

Here too you can use weights to increase resistance by placing some hoops on your thighs.

How to perform the exercise:

- Sit on the bench with your legs crossed.

- Place your hands on either side of your thighs.

- Lift your body off the bench, and move forward slightly.

 - Lower slowly until your arms are at 90 degrees with the floor.

 - Lift your body again and repeat the process until you finish your set.

Triceps isolation exercises

Isolation exercises are more active than compound exercises.

 Although it is inferior to compound exercises in terms of building mass and bulking.

However, there are a number of benefits that make it an important role in training programs. Perhaps most notably:

Strengthening delayed muscles in growth.

Highlighting and dissecting the muscles.

Targeting specific triceps muscles without straining the chest and shoulder muscles with them.

1- French press

French press

It is also called the Skull Crusher and is considered one of the best triceps exercises that targets the long head. Which makes up the largest part of the triceps muscles.

Just one thing to keep in mind: try not to let your elbows open to the sides too much, as this tends to make the triceps exercise easier, and may reduce the benefit of the exercise.

Note that you can perform the exercise using the same technique, but using dumbbells instead of a zigzag bar.

How to perform the exercise:

Select the appropriate weight on the zigzag bar.

Lie on a flat bench with the bar on your chest (or ask a friend to help you hold the bar in your hand).

Bend your elbows so that the bar is close to your forehead (this is your starting point).

Slowly raise the bar by straightening your arms all the way to the end.

Lower back to the starting point.

2- Triceps extension from behind the head

Where you can perform it either from a standing or sitting position. Also you can use two hands or one hand.

What is the difference between using both hands or one hand?

Using the hands: It means a greater ability to lift heavier weights, which may help you build more muscle mass.

Using a dumbbell in each hand: This allows you to ensure that you don't train one hand more than the other, which in turn may help you prevent muscle imbalances.

How to perform the exercise:

Sit on a shoulder chair, or a flat bench.

Hold one dumbbell in both hands.

Make sure your elbows are close to your ears to avoid injury to the elbow joint.

Lift the weight by straightening your arms together.

Slowly lower back up to your upper back.

3- Kickbacks


One of the best isolation exercises for the triceps, according to the electrode test, “which measures the rate of muscle activation during the exercise.” This exercise activates the triceps muscles by up to 90 percent.

Related : 11  Chest Exercises - Exercises To Strengthen and amplify the muscle

There are two versions of this exercise:

Initial use of free weights

The second is using cables

The use of cables is a better solution because it allows for greater resistance to gravity.

Also, the cables limit erroneous movements, thus preventing any injuries.

How to perform the exercise:

Take one leg forward.

Bend your body and place your right hand on your thigh.

Fix your elbow on your waist and keep your elbow position so that it does not move at all during the exercise.

Hold a cable, or a dumbbell, in your left hand.

Extend your arm while pulling the weight back, and your elbow is completely stationary.

Repeat until your group is finished.

4- Pull the cable down

Pull the cable down

Cable pull-ups are one of the most popular triceps exercises and are more commonly used in gyms. This is due to being easy and effective and gives a sense that the muscle is working during exercise.

There are a lot of different options, perhaps the most famous of them

rope tow.

Draw bar level.

Zigzag bar pull-ups.

Pull-up with the “V” bar.

Although they all work with almost the same mechanism, the best of them is pulling the rope, given that it gives a longer range of movement. It also activates the muscle by 74%, which is more than the bar level of 67%.

What really distinguishes cable pull exercises is that you can apply the “super sets” system during them. Due to the varying difficulty in it, for example, I personally start with pulling rope exercises until muscle fatigue, then move to the level bar or the “V” bar.

Just remember the main rule while using cable in triceps exercises, keep your elbow always fixed.

How to do cable pulldowns:

Ride the "rope rope" or whatever you prefer in cable.

Select the appropriate weight.

Hold the rope and lock your elbow firmly against the side of your torso.

Slowly pull the cable toward the ground.

Lift the weight again with control.

Important note: If you are a beginner, it is best to start with the “V” bar because it is the easiest.

And if your level is intermediate or advanced, use the rope and try to open your hands slightly at the end of the movement and join them again while lifting the weight.

Triceps exercises at home

Unlike most muscles, however, you can also amplify triceps at home.

If you are busy and want to reduce your time in the gym.

If your triceps are weak and you want to strengthen them at home.

If you are exercising according to the “push-pull-leg” program and feel that the triceps muscles are not getting the right amount of exercise.

Fortunately, there are many exercises that you can do to increase the triceps muscles at home without the need to go to the gym.

1- Press the jewel setting

Press the jewel setting

You may be surprised that this exercise is the strongest triceps exercise, according to the electrode test. It also targets all parts of the muscle completely.

And the best thing is that you can do it at home.

How to perform the exercise:

Same as normal pressure setting.

Hold the two sides of the thumb and forefinger together to form the shape of the jewel.

Make sure your back is straight and your face is up.

Slowly lower yourself until your chin touches the floor or is slightly higher.

Make sure your elbow stays beside your waist.

Slowly raise your body again.

2- Diving using a single deck

Diving using a single deck

Same as dips on a bench, but use a chair instead.

And instead of installing your feet on another bench, you can put them on the ground.

3- Push-ups for triceps

Push-ups for triceps

This exercise is a version of the narrow grip plank pushup.

Note that you can use a sand fact on your back during the exercise to increase the resistance. If your fitness allows.

How to perform the exercise:

from normal pressure mode.

Keep your arms slightly at shoulder level or slightly lower.

Make sure your back is straight and your butt is level with your body.

Slowly lower yourself until your chin touches the ground.

Lift your body again by straightening your arms.

Top tips for amplifying triceps muscles

To get strong and bulky triceps muscles there are some important points that must be taken into consideration when designing a training program.

1- Once a week may suffice

The higher the training volume, the fewer times per week you will exercise. This rule is not limited to the triceps only, but all the muscles of the body.

With regard to the exercises, which contribute significantly with the chest and shoulder as auxiliary muscles, it is illogical to stress the muscle more than once a week. Because this may simply prevent the muscle from recovering and thus not grow as it should.

2- Flex the triceps muscles on their own

This point is related to the previous one, but does not contradict it at all. Where most people tend to neglect triceps exercises on the pretext that it works as an auxiliary muscle with the chest or shoulder.

Although it does incorporate a significant amount of chest and shoulder exercises, this is not enough.

Therefore, it is better that your training program contain exercises that target the triceps muscle in particular.

3- Use compound exercises and isolation exercises

Compound exercises amplify the muscle and increase the mass, while isolation exercises highlight the details of the muscle in a greater proportion than amplify it.

And when it comes to strengthening and amplifying the triceps muscles, then it depends a lot on your fitness level.

For beginners: rely more on compound exercises, as your primary goal at this stage will be to gain the largest amount of muscle mass without paying much attention to highlighting the details of the muscle.

Advanced level: By a large percentage, you have relatively large triceps muscles, so one compound exercise will be sufficient, and you can use isolation exercises to highlight and beautify the muscle, or to target its weak parts.

4- Correct exercise position

The better the quality of the exercises, the more you can build stronger and larger muscles. This keeps you away from injuries as well.

The triceps muscles are a special case as they are attached to the shoulder joint from the top, and the elbow from the bottom. This is a very sensitive place.

To avoid injuries, you must make sure that your body position is correct while performing the exercise. The main rule here is to stabilize your elbow and shoulder as much as possible and make the movement always come from the same arm.

Note that no matter how much weight you lift, you will only benefit from it if the exercise itself is performed correctly. So it's better not to care too much about adding weights, just take care of your ability to perform the exercise safely.

5- In the training program

There is more than one way to exercise the triceps muscles, perhaps the most prominent of them

1- On arm day: This is the most popular of them, as many people prefer to allocate a separate day for a full arm exercise “biceps and triceps”.

2- After the chest exercises: The main idea is that the triceps muscles will be warmed up during the chest exercises, “which depends on the same mechanism – pushing.” However, this method is somewhat advanced and is not suitable for beginners, since the triceps muscles will be tired and you will not be able to exercise them well. So if you are a beginner consider another way.

3- After the back exercises: Perhaps this method is better than the previous one, especially for beginners. Because the muscle will not be strained during the exercise, and this is not the only reason. However, back exercises also work to warm up the elbow joint, and this may reduce the incidence of elbow injury during the triceps exercise.