Although you might flex your biceps when someone asks you to “Show me your guns”, the triceps is a MUCH bigger muscle. If you want to have some impressive arms, make sure to hit your triceps. Here’s how-
Let’s look at the BEST triceps exercises for gaining upper arm mass and definition. Then, we will take a look at a sample workout that you can use to start EXPLODING your triceps gains.
After you have absorbed this knowledge, you will have NO EXCUSES – it will be up to you to develop the arms that you have always wanted. Let’s get started…
What Are The Best Triceps Exercises?
Despite what you might have seen in the gym, isolation exercises such as triceps kickbacks are NOT the best way to pack on your first muscle mass gains. What you want to do is load up the muscle with AS MUCH WEIGHT AS POSSIBLE.
The more weight you can move for a given exercise targeting the triceps, the more the triceps will be stimulated to grow.
Here’s an interesting fact:
- Only one part of the triceps, the medial head, is activated by sub-maximal efforts. It takes SERIOUS weight for the other parts (long and lateral heads) to become activated.
So – to build muscle fast, since we need to push heavy weights – PRESSES AND DIPS ARE THE BEST OPTIONS. You can do weighted dips on parallel bar dip stations, rings, or even a homemade suspension trainer (check Google for some excellent tutorials).
- Dips– Keep your shoulders healthy by not letting your upper arm dip below parallel. This will reduce unnecessary strain on your shoulders.
- Presses– Close grip bench press is an EXCELLENT option. Protect your shoulders by keeping your elbows tight. Grip the bar as hard as possible and try to pull it apart as you lift.
- Home Gym Option – If you don’t have access to a bench press, another pressing option is the weighted close grip pushup. Just throw some pea gravel or sand into a bag, put it into a backpack, and get big!
Best Triceps Exercises – Sample Triceps Workout
Here is a quick workout that will first activate your body’s anabolic hormones and get you primed to build muscle. The heavy dips will then tax your triceps, leading to serious gains.
- Deadlift – 4 sets of 4-8 reps
- Dumbbell (or barbell) Military Press – 4 sets of 4-8 reps
- Weighted Dip – 4 sets of 4-8 reps supersetted with the following:
- Dumbbell bent over row (or weighted body row) – 4 sets of 4-8 reps
What, you say? No isolation exercises?
The overhead presses and dips are both hitting your triceps, HARD.
Put on a year or two of mass with routines like this. If you STILL feel like you need to put on some triceps mass after that, try finishing off each workout with a couple sets of HEAVY triceps dumbbell kickbacks.
Make sure to allow your body to recover between workouts – don’t workout more than 3-4 times per week, back off the intensity now and then, and take a week off COMPLETELY every couple months or so.
So, now we know that the best triceps exercises are heavy, compound moves that FORCE complete muscle activation. And you have a general idea on how to structure an excellent triceps workout.
So, train hard, rest properly, eat well, and you will be well on your way to building some impressive triceps!