Ah the triceps. While the biceps tend to be a favorite muscle group of novice body builders and the average gym-goer, those who truly want to achieve shapely, toned arms know that the triceps are just as important. Not only are they vital for aesthetics, the triceps are incredibly important for functional movement and strength in general.
In this article, we will review the ten best triceps exercises that will leave your arms pumped up and defined every time.
You'll need some dumbbells or other object (cans of soup or water bottles work well).
- Push-ups x 8
- Tricep kick-back
- Tricep press
- Skull crushers
- Diamond push-ups
- Shoulder press
- Renegade row with tricep extension
- Tricep dips x 8
- Isolated tricep extension
- Sphynx press
DOWNLOAD THE EXERCISES IN PDF
How to do a push-up
To properly perform a push-up, start with your arms extended and your toes (or knees) on the ground. Next, slowly lower yourself toward the ground until your chest comes as close as possible to touching the floor, and then push yourself back up to the start. Make sure you keep your back straight throughout the movement!
This exercise will not only torch your triceps, but will also activate many of the muscles in your shoulders as well as your pecs.
2. Tricep kick-back
How to do a tricep kickback
Comienza con una mano apoyada en un banco o silla, mientras que la otra sostiene una mancuerna. Inclínate hacia delante para que tu torso esté relativamente paralelo al suelo y la parte superior del brazo esté en línea con él. Endereza lentamente el codo hasta que esté casi completamente recto (no lo “bloquees”). Vuelve a la posición inicial.
The kickback is a favorite of dedicated and casual gym-goers alike. It is easy to perform and requires very little equipment. It works a few small stabilizer muscles, but is almost exclusively focused on the triceps
3. Tricep press
How to do a tricep press
Holding a dumbbell behind your head with both hands, slowly straighten both of your arms toward the ceiling. Then slowly return the weight to behind your head to complete the rep.
The overhead triceps press puts the muscles in a stretched position, so they are worked in a different way than they are during some of the other triceps exercises on this list. Your shoulders and abs are also used as stabilizers during this movement.
4. Skull crushers
How to do skull crushers
Lying on a bench, grab a dumbbell or barbell with both hands. Your hands, while holding the weight, should be pointed directly toward the ceiling. Next, allow your elbows to slowly bend as the weight comes close to your forehead or just above it. Extend your elbows straight up toward the ceiling again to complete the rep.
Just like many of the other exercises on this list, this exercise incorporates some stabilizer muscles in the lats, pecs, abs and shoulders in addition to the primary target: the triceps.
5. Diamond push-ups
How to do a diamond push-up
Form a diamond shape with your hands by joining together your thumbs and index fingers. Holding this shape, place your palms flat on your mat in front of you and lift your body to form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Lower your body slowly towards the floor, bending your elbows. Your elbows should stay tucked in to your torso throughout the movement. Go back to the starting position and repeat!
Modifier: You can do the exercise with your knees on the floor if the regular push-up is too challenging.
Diamond push-ups mostly work your triceps and pectoral muscles, but it also works the core muscles to an extent.
6. Shoulder press
How to do the shoulder press
Holding dumbbells or a barbell at shoulder height, push the weight straight up toward the ceiling and then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
While this exercise primarily targets shoulder muscles such as the deltoids, you’ll feel the triceps helping out big time.
7. Renegade row with tricep extension
How to do the renegade row with tricep extension
This exercise is amazing for working your triceps and core muscles. Start on all fours on your mat, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder width. Lift your body into a high plank pose with your feet a little wider apart. Keep your back straight and keep the tension in your abs. Now lift one dumbbell, bending your elbow. Your elbows should stay close to your body. Then stretch your arm out behind you. Return to the starting position and repeat the other side.
The movement should be slow and controlled - control is more important than force!
Modifier: If it's too difficult, you can perform the exercise without dumbbells.
The renegade row with tricep extension is a beast of an exercise that works tons of muscle groups at once - chest muscles, shoulders, biceps, back and core,.
8. Tricep dips
How to do tricep dips
Start by sitting slightly in front of the bench and place hands behind you on the bench surface. Keeping your feet on the ground, slowly push yourself up toward the ceiling using your arms. To complete the rep, slowly lower yourself back down toward the ground.
This is one of the best exercises for toning the backs of your arms. If you have shoulder discomfort with this exercise, it may be best to opt for one of the other exercises on this list.
9. Isolated tricep extension
How to do the isolated tricep extension
This exercise is very similar to the tricep press, except it's more intense because instead of using both hands to hold the weight, you use only one. Do 2 series of 10 reps each side - you'll definitely feel the burn! Just be careful not to sacrifice your form.
The isolated tricep extension works the triceps intensively, which makes it one of the best exercises for toning and growing muscle in this area.
10. Sphynx press
How to do the sphynx press
Lying on your stomach with your forearms flat on the ground and your toes planted (much like a plank), move into an upright pushup position by straightening your elbows. Return to the starting position by slowly lowering yourself down into plank.
This advanced exercise crushes the triceps while also working your abs heavily. Try it out!
If you’re looking for ways to really build up your triceps, the above list provides some of the best exercises imaginable. Make sure you always start slow, listen to your body, and consult with a medical professional such as your doctor when beginning any new exercise regimen.
Also, if you need help in the gym, a personal trainer or fitness coach can help you design a workout program so that you can reach your fitness goals.
Caty is a blogger and ISSA-certified personal trainer. She loves designing core workouts and doing HIIT sessions.
More articles you might like
15 Explosive Exercises for the Upper Body
18 Best Dumbbell Exercises for a Full Body Burn
13 TRX exercises you should do if you want to get strong
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor or other medical professional before beginning any new exercise regime to see if it is appropriate for your needs. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. See the full disclaimer.