Ask 10 lifters to call the physique half they’re coaching on any random day, and also you’ll most likely hear some acquainted solutions — chest, again, arms, biceps, possibly even legs. But only a few will say they’re working triceps. There’s generic “arm day,” which incorporates the triceps. But they hardly ever get a highlight, and that’s a mistake.

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The tris are a powerhouse muscle, chargeable for transferring heavy hundreds through the extra fashionable bench press and overhead press. They additionally cowl extra floor space on the higher arm, making them extra chargeable for growing arm dimension than the extra fashionable biceps. It’s time to place the triceps centerstage and provides them the eye they deserve.

Best Triceps Workouts

Best Triceps Workout With Dumbbells

Training with dumbbells is an efficient option to scale back joint stress as a result of the arms are in a position to transfer freely with out being locked right into a strict vary of movement. Because many triceps workouts can irritate the elbow joint as a consequence of leverage, utilizing dumbbells is one widespread various.

The Dumbbell-Only Triceps Workout

This all-dumbbell plan builds dimension and power within the triceps with out the necessity for a completely outfitted gymnasium, versatile cable stations, or a wide selection of kit.

Man lying down performing triceps exercise with dumbbellsCredit: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

With a superb set of dumbbells and a bench, you may work all three heads of the triceps with minimal joint pressure.

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press

  • How to Do it: As you lie on a flat bench, “kick” a pair of dumbbells right into a locked out place above your chest. Face your palms towards one another and plant your ft flat on the ground. Keep your head and tailbone on the bench as you decrease the weights to your chest. Point your elbows towards your ft and allow them to slide previous your ribs as you decrease the burden. The dumbbells ought to find yourself touching the surface of your chest together with your elbows close to the underside of the bench. Reverse course to press the weights up.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: Two minutes between units

Dumbbell Skull Crusher

  • How to Do it: Lie on a flat bench with a pair of dumbbells locked out overhead together with your palms going through one another. Keep your head and glutes on the bench. Bend solely on the elbows and decrease the weights to the bench behind your head. In the underside place, your elbows ought to level to the ceiling and your fingers must be going through your ears.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12
  • Rest time: One minute between units.

Single-Arm Overhead Extension

  • How to Do it: Sit upright on a bench with a dumbbell locked overhead in a single hand. Use your free hand to the touch the triceps of the working arm. This maintains its place and reinforces muscle recruitment. (1) Bend your elbow to decrease the burden in an arc with out transferring your higher arm. In the underside place, the burden must be behind your reverse shoulder. Raise the burden whereas protecting your elbow pointed to the ceiling. Perform all reps with one arm earlier than switching sides.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-15
  • Rest time: No relaxation between arms. 30 seconds between units.

Best Bodyweight Triceps Workout 

Bodyweight workouts usually goal bigger muscle teams just like the chest, again, and legs as a result of nearly all of body weight actions contain multi-joint workouts primarily emphasizing these bigger physique elements.

However, sure train variations or particular workouts can emphasize the triceps whereas related muscular tissues, just like the chest and shoulders, work in a supportive position.

Triceps Size and Strength Without Weights

This bodyweight-only triceps exercise makes use of push-up variations to regulate the physique’s leverage, which makes the triceps the first muscle recruited.

Choose any considered one of these workouts to plug right into a extra full higher physique or full-body exercise, or carry out the complete exercise as a part of a triceps-focused coaching day.

Tiger Bend Push-Up

  • How to Do it: Begin in a kneeling place together with your forearms, elbows, knees, and shins on the bottom. Set your elbows straight underneath your shoulders, your knees underneath your hips, and your palms down. Press via your fingers till your arms are locked straight. Don’t permit your again to sag or spherical. To make the train more difficult, transfer your ft and knees farther again. Performing the train with straight legs and solely your toes on the bottom is essentially the most troublesome development.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 4-6
  • Rest time: Two minutes between units.

Dip with One-and-a-Half Reps

  • How to Do it: Begin at a dip station or arrange between two sturdy chairs or excessive benches. Jump to the highest place with locked arms. Keep your torso upright and your head again as you decrease your physique by bending your elbows. As you descend, hold your elbows pointed straight again, not flared to the perimeters. Pause after a number of inches and press again to lockout. Lower your self once more so far as your shoulder mobility permits earlier than urgent as much as full lockout. That’s one full rep.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between units.

Close-Grip Push-Up

  • How to Do it: Begin together with your fingers on the bottom barely nearer than shoulder-width and your ft on the bottom, barely wider than shoulder-width. Maintain a straight line out of your neck to your ft. Lower your whole physique till your chest practically touches the bottom. Keep your elbows aimed in direction of your ft, not flared to the partitions.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 12-15
  • Rest time: 30 seconds between units.

Best Triceps Workout for Muscle Mass

Big arms are a well-liked aim for a lot of, if not most, lifters within the gymnasium. However, over-focusing on constructing the biceps is an inefficient and ineffective plan for arm dimension.

Muscular person lying on bench performing barbell triceps exerciseCredit: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

One widespread anecdote shared in gymnasium locker rooms is, “triceps account for 66% of your arm size.” This well-meaning statistic is as arbitrary as it’s widespread. However, the ethical behind it’s stable. The triceps muscle does have the potential for a larger impression on general arm dimension in comparison with the biceps as a result of it’s anatomically bigger, even earlier than weight coaching’s muscle-building stimulus.

More Size for Your Tris

For most muscle progress, the triceps should be labored with the higher arm in a wide range of positions relative to the torso. (2) Due to the various attachment factors of the three heads of the triceps muscle, full growth is achieved by working with the higher arm alongside the torso (pointed down), perpendicular to the torso (pointed ahead), and above the torso (pointed up).

Rope Pressdown

  • How to Do it: Attach a rope deal with to a high-cable pulley. Take the rope with each fingers and pull your elbows to your sides together with your fingers roughly chest-level. Keep your knees barely bent and your torso upright. Press your fingers towards the bottom for a whole contraction. Pause for one second within the backside place. Don’t permit your elbows to maneuver ahead when reducing the burden.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-12
  • Rest time: 30 seconds between units.

Dumbbell Overhead Extension

  • How to Do it: Sit upright on a bench holding one dumbbell with each fingers above your head. Keep your core tight whereas reducing the burden behind your head towards the bench. Your elbows ought to level ahead, not flare out to the perimeters. In the underside place, your triceps must be stretched and your fingers must be close to the again of your neck. Raise the burden slowly, sustaining a forward-elbow place.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12
  • Rest time: 60 seconds between units.

EZ-Bar Skull Crusher

  • How to Do it: Hold an EZ-curl bar with a moderate-width (neither shut nor large) overhand grip. Sit on a flat bench. As you lie again, “kick” the burden right into a locked out place above your face. Lower the burden in direction of the bench behind your head and permit your elbows to maneuver barely as you bend your arms. Rest the burden briefly within the backside place earlier than returning to the beginning place.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-12
  • Rest time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the following train.

EZ-Bar Close-Grip Bench Press

  • How to Do it: Remain mendacity on the bench whereas holding the identical weight in the identical hand place because the earlier train. Begin together with your arms locked straight above your chest. Lower the burden till it touches your decrease chest. Keep your elbows near your sides, not pointed away out of your physique.
  • Sets and Reps: 3 x AMRAP (As many repetitions as attainable till muscular failure.)
  • Rest time: 90 seconds relaxation earlier than returning to the earlier train.

Best Triceps Workout For Strength

Triceps power is important for all urgent workouts, in addition to offering stability throughout pulling workouts. Building stronger triceps will carry over to total-body power, so time spent targeted on stronger tris is time spent targeted on a stronger physique.

Triceps-Focused Strength Workout

While some lifters method triceps coaching as help workouts carried out with lighter weights and better reps, coaching the tris particularly for power utilizing extra conventional power and power-focused units, reps, and hundreds can yield extra direct enhancements in general power.

Person in gym performing weighted exercise on dip barsCredit: Bojan Milinkov / Shutterstock

It is essential to notice that coaching priorities ought to at all times be revered. Recovery and progress could also be compromised should you attempt to concentrate on bench and/or overhead power in addition to triceps-specific power concurrently. Taking a number of weeks to prioritize the triceps earlier than re-prioritizing chest or shoulder urgent is a extra environment friendly long-term plan. 

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • How to Do it: Lie down at a flat bench press station. Take an overhand grip on the barbell together with your fingers barely nearer than shoulder-width for elevated triceps stress and decreased chest recruitment. (3) Keep your ft flat on the bottom as you unrack the bar and decrease it to the touch your chest. Your elbows ought to level in direction of your ft. Press again to full lockout and pause on the prime earlier than starting the following rep.
  • Sets and Reps: 5 x 3-5
  • Rest time: Three minutes between units.

Weighted Dip

  • How to Do it: At a dip station, bounce into the highest place with locked arms. Keep your head up and your torso upright. Lower your self underneath management so far as your shoulder mobility permits. To emphasize triceps recruitment, hold your elbows pointed backwards, not flared to the perimeters. Use a dip belt or weighted vest for added resistance.
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 6-8
  • Rest time: Three minutes between units.

Partial Overhead Press

  • How to Do it: In an influence rack, start in a shoulder press place holding a barbell with an overhand grip at roughly collarbone-height. Keep your knees barely bent and your core tense as you press the burden overhead to full lockout. Lower the burden to eye-level earlier than urgent to full lockout once more. On every repetition, deliver the burden no decrease than your eyes to extend triceps recruitment and reduce shoulder activation. 
  • Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-10
  • Rest time: Two minutes between units.

The Triceps Muscles

The triceps muscular tissues is probably not one of the crucial fashionable physique elements, however they play an lively position in numerous higher physique workouts and a extra supportive position in lots of decrease physique workouts.

Here’s a extra in-depth take a look at how the triceps perform and the way they are often most successfully skilled.

Triceps Brachii

The triceps brachii, or triceps, are composed of three separate muscle heads working in unison to increase the elbow, or straighten the arm. The lengthy head, medial head, and lateral head all connect just under the elbow.

muscular person in gym flexing tricepsCredit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

The medial head and lateral heads originate on the higher arm, whereas the lengthy head connects to the scapula (shoulder blade). (4) Because the lengthy head crosses the shoulder joint, it serves an added perform in serving to to manage motion of the arm on the shoulder.

This shoulder perform permits the lengthy head to be extra extremely activated when the arm is introduced overhead throughout triceps workouts, as in overhead extensions.

Triceps Warm-Up

An intensive warm-up is important for optimizing efficiency and minimizing joint pressure. A triceps warm-up ought to contain the encircling musculature (chest, again, shoulders, and biceps) in addition to the triceps straight. 

person outdoors exercising with resistance bandCredit: Miljan Zivkovic / Shutterstock

Here’s a easy and efficient resistance band warm-up to start any triceps exercise.

Triceps Band Warm-up

  • Band Pull-Apart: Take a palms-down grip on a resistance band. Begin together with your arms prolonged in entrance of your chest. Keep your arms practically locked whereas pulling your fingers according to your shoulders. The band ought to contact your chest earlier than returning to the beginning place. Perform 15 reps earlier than transferring to the following train.
  • Band Chest Press: Secure the band to a secure level roughly chest-height. Face away from the anchorpoint. Take one finish of the band in every hand. Press straight forward till your arms are locked out in entrance of your shoulders. Perform 15 reps earlier than transferring to the following train.
  • Band Curl: With the band nonetheless anchored at chest-height, flip round and seize one finish of the band in every hand. Step again and prolong your arms straight. Curl your fingers in direction of your face with a thumbs-up grip whereas protecting your elbows at shoulder-height. Perform 15 reps earlier than transferring to the following train.
  • Band Pressdown: Keep one finish of the band in every hand and step ahead. Pin your elbows to your ribs. Straighten your arms to full lockout together with your fingers close to your waist. Return your fingers to chest-level. Perform 15 reps earlier than returning to the primary train. Do a complete of two units of the entire circuit.

Tri to Focus

Don’t let your triceps be overshadowed, figuratively, by different physique elements. They’re neglected, quietly working alongside their extra attention-grabbing counterpart, the biceps.

The tris solely step into the highlight when it issues most, whether or not it’s serving to you lock out a bench press PR or fill out your shirtsleeves. It’s time to deliver them entrance and heart, select a focused coaching plan, and spend time giving them the eye they’ve been lacking.


  1. Oshita, Kazushige. (2021). Effect of inside focus of consideration with touching cue on the agonist muscle exercise throughout train. 10.14198/jhse.2021.16.Proc2.04.
  2. Kholinne E, Zulkarnain RF, Sun YC, Lim S, Chun JM, Jeon IH. The completely different position of every head of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2018;52(3):201-205. doi:10.1016/j.aott.2018.02.005
  3. Lehman G. J. (2005). The affect of grip width and forearm pronation/supination on upper-body myoelectric exercise through the flat bench press. Journal of power and conditioning analysis, 19(3), 587–591.
  4. Tiwana MS, Sinkler MA, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. [Updated 2021 Aug 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

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