Triceps Takes Up to 60% of Your Upper Arms – Triceps Is the Key to Bigger Arms

A big arm is the most desired body part of the gym-goers. If you’re one of those gym rats whose all-time favorite is bicep exercise, then this piece of article is for you.

Yes, to increase the size of your guns, you have to have proper triceps workouts. You might not know, but triceps muscles take up to 60% of your arms, which can affect other body part workouts if it’s not fully developed or lacking strength.

best exercise for bigger triceps

For instance, if your strength goes stagnant for chest and arms, it could be due to weak triceps and not pectoral muscles. In other words, if you wish to see the right size into your arms with good strength in the push and pull exercises, then you’ve to get serious with your triceps workouts.

Let’s dig into details.

Here’s the Best 9 Exercises for Killer Triceps

Below are the top 9 triceps exercises that you should do to get bigger arms.

  1. Parallel Dips
  2. Close Grip Bench Press
  3. Seated French Press With EZ – Bar
  4. DB Overhead Triceps Extension
  5. Single Arm Triceps Kickbacks
  6. Lying Triceps Extensions
  7. Weighted Bench Dips
  8. Cable Overhead Extensions Using Rope
  9. Cable Pushdowns

1. Parallel Dips

As the squats and bench press is the big basic movements for the legs and chest, parallel dips are for the triceps. Parallel dips work on all the heads of the triceps. It’s considered as the king of killer triceps development. It may sound a bit odd, but it’s true that if you want to opt for only one triceps exercise, then this parallel dips will win. It’s one go-to exercise for the overall development of your triceps.

Furthermore, dips are not an isolated triceps exercise. It’s a compound movement, and the way you perform varies the triceps development. And, it may result in your favor. However, if you’re doing chest movements regularly and not triceps workouts, you should prioritize your triceps for as much isolation as possible.

For focusing on your triceps, keep your body vertical and avoid leaning forward while performing dips. It involves a high degree of muscles, and it’s often considered very useful if it’s done later into your triceps workouts.

For performing it effectively,

  • Go down till your shoulder joint is below the elbow joint.
  • Avoid lockouts when you reach the top, and just stop just before you reach full extensions.

For doing Parallel Dips:

  • Handle the parallel bars and jump up while keeping your arms straight.
  • Bend your arms and lower your body while learning a bit forward.
  • Go down till your shoulders are below your elbows.
  • Once you reach that position, lift yourself back.

2. Close Grip Bench Press

Similar to parallel dips, the close grip bench press is another great triceps exercise. It’s also a compound movement that works on chest and shoulders.

It’s one of the triceps workouts that help improve the triceps overall strength and size while improving your performance for exercises like overhead movements and bench press.

The difference between close grip bench press and that standard chest bench press is definitely regarding the hands positioning and how elbows are placed close together, making your triceps work more. Still, it also works on the chest, especially the inner chest.

The close grip bench press is also used as an accessory exercise for the bench press or as a triceps builder during the arms training session. And, it can be trained with low or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance purpose.

  • Lie on the bench while keeping your foot flat on the floor, as you do for standard bench press.
  • Now, hold the bar with the grip shoulder-width apart or slightly closer than that. (Avoid keeping it too close, as it can become injurious to wrist).
  • Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together and brace your core to stabilize the body.
  • Hold the bar and slowly bring downward and press up with power. Again, bring the bar down to your sternum.
  • Throughout the motion, keep your elbows close to your sides as it’ll help target your triceps. Also, avoid arching your back.

3. Seated French Press With EZ – Bar

It’s done by sitting on a flat bench while racking EZ-bar on your clavicles (collar bone). The bar is held with a pronated grip (palms down), and the width of the grip is kept slightly narrower to shoulder width.

The seated EZ-bar French press targets long head. If done correctly, it keeps constant tension on the long triceps head without stressing your shoulder and elbows joint. For this French press exercise, higher reps are good to go with. For example, 12 to 15 reps will work well for this movement, giving some good pumps.

  • Once you select the weight, seat on the upright bench.
  • Set the position by reverse curling the bar onto your collar bone and press in the straight overhead movement until your triceps don’t get lockout.
  • Lower the weights back to the shoulder and allow that EZ-bar to go behind the head.
  • Once your forearms get to parallel or slightly below to it, reverse back the movement to extend the elbow while exhaling by flexing your triceps till lockout.

4. DB Overhead Triceps Extension

The dumbbell overhead triceps extension is the best exercise to target the medial head. It lets you safely overload the muscles by pressing heavyweights. It’s another must-do triceps exercise that aids in bulking mass as well as shape your arms. Another great thing is that your muscle will be recovered quickly from this exercise compared to other ones.

This triceps exercise can be done seated or in standing position. Another exciting thing about Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extensions is that it helps in improving your posture as it engages your core muscle for supporting spine and back, which results in proper posture – engaged core, lifted shoulders, and straight back.

Lastly, some of the common mistakes to avoid are like arching your lower back while trying to lift heavy, as it can place stress on the spine, resulting in injury. For avoiding this mistake, you should tuck your tailbone and keep your glutes and abs tight in every rep while keeping proper form.

  • If you’re standing, then with your feet shoulder-width apart while keeping your core tight, hold a dumbbell with both the hands.
  • Get to the starting position by lifting the dumbbell till your arms extended with your palms facing the rooftop and elbows pointed forward.
  • Bend at the elbows and take the dumbbell to bottom by lowering behind your head. And squeeze at the bottom.
  • Slowly, go to the starting position and repeat the movement.

5. Single Arm Triceps Kickbacks

Single-arm kickbacks or single-arm triceps kickback is the triceps exercise that can be done with dumbbells and cables. It’s an isolation movement from a bent-over position. It’s best to increase the strength and size of your triceps.

It’s one of the great exercises that help in achieving that horseshoes look. It helps in developing triceps long rear head. Also, it helps in giving an excellent workout to abdominal from the stabilizing work that’s needed. Apart from the triceps, it also works on secondary muscles like latissimus dorsi, rear deltoids and antagonist’s muscles, biceps, brachioradialis, and brachialis.

You can also try different variations with low-cable triceps kickbacks such as, reverse grip cable kickbacks using D-handle that focuses on the medial head. Lastly, as said earlier, it can also be performed with dumbbells, so if you don’t have access to the gym, this can be a useful exercise if you’re doing triceps workouts with dumbbells.

  • Hold the dumbbell with your palms facing towards each other and slightly bent your knees.
  • Tighten your core and maintain a straight spine while hinging forwards towards the waist. Now, bring your torso slightly parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your upper arm tucked towards your body while keeping your head align to spine ad slightly tuck your chin.
  • Straighten your elbow while exhaling.
  • Hold your upper arm still and move your forearms throughout the movement.
  • Pause for a second and then inhale while returning to the starting position.

6. Lying Triceps Extensions

Lying triceps extension, also called skull crushers, is one of the most stimulation exercises that work on the upper arm’s entire triceps muscle group. It’s an isolation exercise. It works on your triceps from the elbow till latissimus dorsi.

Some of the variations you can try for triceps extensions are like:

  • Vertical triceps extensions, which you can perform while sitting on a bench with a light backing that gives enough space for the full range of motion for shoulders movement.
  • EZ-bar lying triceps extensions where you perform this exercise lying on an incline bench and use EZ-bar that hits muscle from a different angle. This variation gives a good stretch to the triceps long head as arms are pointed towards your back.
  • Triceps extension push-up is a bodyweight exercise that can be a good option for those who workouts for triceps at home.

For doing this triceps exercise,

  • Get the EZ-bar and hold it with the inner grip, and through an overhand grip, raise your arms straight.
  • Keep your elbows fixed and tucked inside and slowly lower the bar until it reaches one inch above your forehead.
  • Now, breathe out and slowly extend your arms back to the starting position.

7. Weighted Bench Dips

The weighted bench dips are one of the effective triceps workouts. In this exercise, resistance comes from added weight as well as your bodyweight. It’s effective for building strong and more muscular triceps. It’s also considered a good burnout set for ending your arm workout session. And, depending upon your shoulder comfort, you can alter the range of motion.

  • Sit down on a bench and put your hands behind next to the thighs.
  • Now, elevate your feet to another bench. And, ask your partner to put plates on your lap.
  • Hinge from the elbow and lower your body down till your arm reaches a 90-degree angle.
  • Finally, push up with your palms back to the starting position.

8. Cable Overhead Extensions Using Rope

The cable-overhead triceps extension exercise targets all three heads of the triceps, primarily long head. Here, the triceps are targeted due to the overhead position of this triceps workout. And, the cable helps to keep constant tension on the muscle, which helps to build the strength and size of the triceps.

  • First, stand shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight.
  • Gets the rope extension through both the hands with your palms facing up.
  • Get to the starting position by raising the rope above your head.
  • Slowly, lower the rope attachment in an arm motion behind your head and feel the stretch.
  • Pause for a second and slowly raise the rope back to the start and repeat the reps.

9. Cable Pushdowns

Cable pushdowns also called triceps pull-down, triceps rope pushdowns, and cable pushdowns. It’s one of the best triceps development exercises. Though it’s commonly performed using the cable, but it can be done using resistance bands if you’re doing workouts for triceps at home or don’t have access to the cable machine.

This triceps workout is an isolation exercise, which means it’s good for targeting your triceps. And, being an isolation exercise, the main benefit of triceps pushdowns is that it helps to strengthen your muscle imbalance or size because of its specific target on triceps.

  • Stand shoulder-width apart facing a cable machine, with an attached V-bar, straight bar or rope, hanging at the chest’s height.
  • If you’re using a straight bar, hold it with palms facing downwards. If you’re using a rope, hold it towards the butt end with palms facing together.
  • Keep your chest high, and shoulder blades together and slightly bend forward and start the exercise.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in towards your side, and bring attachment down and squeeze your arms at the bottom. Hold it for a second and bring it up to the starting position and do it again.

Wrapping Up

Now, it doesn’t seem realistic to use all these exercises in a single workout session. However, there’s no need to sweat on it. Look at this exercise as a restaurant menu of the triceps movement and make use of it for planning your current and future triceps workouts.

Satinder Chowdhry Avatar

Satinder Chowdhry