When people go to the gym to lift weights and bulk up, one of the main body parts that they tend to find themselves focussing on is the arms, because who doesn’t want a set of huge guns, right?
Well, the problem is, that most slightly inexperienced lifters, will tend to focus on bicep training and bicep exercises because they believe the biceps are what give arms their size. In reality, however, the secret to huge arms, is a huge set of triceps, which many people often tend to neglect.
The triceps, however, is indeed the key to large arms because the muscle has three heads (TRI-ceps) as opposed to just two (BI-ceps).
As there are three heads, the muscle is bigger, which means that the bigger the muscle grows, the larger the arms will become.
Triceps mass building, however, is far easier said than done because people are often guilty of not isolating their triceps whilst training them.
Here, however, we’ll be listing seven of the best triceps exercise techniques and examples, so that you have yourself a set of killer tricep in no time at all.
Close-Grip Bench Press
People often ignore close grip bench presses when working their triceps, because obviously the bench press is primarily considered an exercise for working the chest.
By simply adjusting your grip, however, you can have yourself one truly effective triceps exercise that will absolutely destroy your triceps, in a good way, and target all three of the muscle’s heads.
What’s especially useful about this exercise, is that you can also work your chest simultaneously, making it a great compound lift and one of the best tricep exercises for mass building you could wish for.
When performing this exercise, you will place your hands much closer together than if you were bench pressing for your chest, and will make sure your elbows are tucked in against your torso as you perform the lift.
You will slowly lower the bar until your triceps are parallel, will hold for a second until you feel a light squeeze, and will then return the bar into the air, and repeat as necessary.
Triceps Rope Pushdowns
Recommended by many bodybuilders such as Kali Muscle, triceps rope pushdowns are arguably the most common triceps exercise currently utilized, though that certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Rope pushdowns are fantastic for working the outer head of the triceps and are perfect for volume training when you’re going above 12 reps.
To begin with, they feel easy, yet after 12 reps or so, you really feel the burn. To perform this exercise you attach a rope to a high pulley, will grip it at the base, will hunch forwards ever so slightly, and will again ensure your elbows remain constantly by your side.
Here you will pull the rope down and will push your palms apart at the bottom of the lift. Next, you hold for a second, return your hands together, bring the rope back into the air, and repeat as necessary.
Don’t let the name fool you, there won’t really be any skull crushing going on unless of course, you don’t follow the instructions were about to provide and end up dropping the bar on your head!
Also known as lying barbell extensions, skull crushers work the medial and long head of your triceps, helping to add mass to your lower arms, which is so important for anybody trying to add mass to their arms.
To perform this exercise, you will take an EZ bar, will use a moderate weight, and will lay down flat on a bench, extending your arms with the EZ bar, into the air above your head.
Next, again, keeping elbows against your torso (do you see a pattern emerging here yet?) will slowly lower the bar down until it stops an inch or so above your forehead.
Here you hold for a second, return to the starting position, and repeat for as many reps as required.
Some people choose to lower the bar down behind their heads as this is kinder to the elbows, and helps give a deeper stretch to the triceps. When it comes to tricep exercises for mass building, skull crushers cannot be ignored.
As far as popular triceps exercise examples go, triceps dips are arguably the most popular of all, and rightfully so.
They work all three of the heads of the triceps at once and are great for really overloading the muscle due to adding heavier weights.
The thing with most triceps exercises is that you can’t really train too heavy because the muscles cannot handle the strain and will likely tear. Triceps dips, however, allow you to really increase the poundage.
To perform this exercise, hop onto a dipping machine/station, grasp the bars firmly with each hand, slightly hunch forward, bring your feet off the machine, and suspend yourself in the air.
Next, slowly lower yourself downwards until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Hold for a second until you feel a deep stretch in your triceps, and then slowly bring yourself back into the air, and repeat until failure.
You can wear a dipping belt with weight plates attached for added resistance, or you can use heavy chains around your neck, though truthfully, your body weight alone should be plenty to start with.
When it comes to triceps exercises, dips of any variation, but when it comes to bench dips, these exercises are considered to be, by far, one of the best tricep exercises for mass.
With bench dips, you are able to really help isolate your triceps, without incorporating any form of deltoid work at all.
This is important because not only does it help protect the shoulders and help you to avoid rotator cuff injuries. etc, but it also allows you to isolate and target the triceps, so you can focus on piling the muscle mass on them.
To perform this exercise, you will place both palms onto a flat bench, you will elevate your feet using the second bench, and then you will focus on slowly lowering yourself downwards until your triceps are parallel with the ground.
For some people, their own bodyweight won’t be enough, so they will perform the exercise with weight plates resting carefully on their midsections.
After the first 8 – 10 reps, however, you will really feel the burn, and the deeper you go, the more you will be able to target the tricep.
Foam Roller Press
This exercise is ideal for really targeting the triceps, and it is one of the safest triceps exercises that you can perform.
With this exercise, you will place a foam roller vertically down the centre of your body as you lay on a flat bench press station.
You will then select a moderate weight and will bench press as normal.
The foam roller, however, reduces your overall range of motion, so that when you do lockout as you press the bar upwards, your triceps will do the majority of the work.
This is one of the best tricep exercises for mass, and it is also ideal for people looking to bench press, without placing any stress or strain on the deltoids.
Kettlebell Floor Presses
To perform this exercise, obviously you will need a set of Kettlebells, but the good news is that the exercise is very simple to perform, and it is extremely effective in the process.
Simply take a Kettlebell in each hand, lay down flat on the ground, bring your knees upwards and hold the Kettlebells in the air above your head, with the bell facing just away from your wrists.
Slowly lower your arms until your elbows graze the ground, and then repeat the movement as necessary. As you lock out your arms, you will feel a deep stretch in your triceps.