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What exercises give you bigger triceps? We've put together a list of practical, effective exercises that will actually help you achieve those bigger triceps. We've sifted through the gimmicks and fads to bring you only the best exercises that have been tried and tested over time.
We know you're not here for some temporary "pumps" that disappear as soon as you leave the gym. You're here for that long-lasting, jaw-dropping triceps. So, let's start building those impressive arms that will make even Arnold Schwarzenegger himself do a double-take.
We're about to let you in on a little secret: the close-grip bench press is one of the most effective exercises for building impressive triceps. You might be thinking, "Wait a minute, isn't the bench press a chest exercise?" Yes, it is, but when you switch to a closer grip, you'll feel the burn in your triceps like never before.
Not only does the close-grip bench press target the triceps, but it also hits the chest and shoulders, making it a fantastic compound exercise. Moving from a wide to narrower grip width works the triceps harder. That's right, by simply adjusting your grip width, you can intensify the focus on your triceps and achieve greater gains.
Moving from wide to narrower grip widths works the triceps harder!
Don't worry if you're not sure how to perform this exercise. It's simple, really. Just lie down on a flat bench and place your hands shoulder-width apart or closer on the barbell. Lower the bar towards your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body. Then, push the bar back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
If you're looking for a way to mix up your close-grip bench press routine, try using dumbbells instead of a barbell. This will allow you to adjust your grip width and weight selection to fit your individual preferences and fitness level.
Pro tip: To maximize the effectiveness of the close-grip bench press, focus on keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body throughout the movement. This will place greater emphasis on your triceps and prevent your chest and shoulders from taking over the exercise.
Let us tell you about one of our favorite sleeve-stretching triceps builder - The Skull Crushers! This move is a real head-turner (literally) when it comes to building those killer triceps. The name alone is enough to impress! Who doesn't want a skull-crushing grip?
But all jokes aside, this exercise is no joke. Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, are a powerhouse when it comes to targeting the long head of your triceps, adding some serious size to your tri's. Why should you care about the long head, you ask? Well, it just so happens to be the biggest part of your arm muscle, running down the back of your upper arm.
To perform Skull Crushers, lie on a flat bench with a barbell or dumbbells in your hands. Extend your arms above your chest with your palms facing towards your feet. Slowly lower the weight towards your forehead while keeping your elbows stationary. But remember, don't let the weight drop too quickly. We don't want any accidents happening!
Once the weight is close to your forehead, pause briefly before extending your arms back up to the starting position. It is important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, keeping your elbows stationary and avoiding any swinging or momentum.
Pro tip: switch up your equipment. Skull Crushers can be done with barbells, dumbbells, and cables, and each one provides a unique stimulus to your triceps. This will keep your workouts exciting and prevent boredom from setting in.
Looking for a killer exercise to target your triceps? Seated DB Power Bombs are a great option that will help you build serious muscle mass in your arms.
To perform Seated DB Power Bombs, sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells in your hands. Hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip and extend your arms above your head. Slowly lower the dumbbells towards the back of your neck, making sure to keep your elbows close to your head. Once the dumbbells reach the back of your neck, press them back up to the starting position.
Make sure to keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back during the movement. It's also important to keep your elbows close to your head to target your triceps effectively.
Seated DB Power Bombs can be a challenging exercise, so it's important to start with a weight that you can handle and focus on maintaining proper form. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the weight to keep challenging your muscles.
Pro tip: For an extra challenge, try doing Seated DB Power Bombs with a single dumbbell held with both hands. This will require more stability and control, making the exercise even more effective.
Here's another killer triceps exercise - Dips! If you're looking to add some serious size and definition to your arms, then dips are definitely worth adding to your workout routine.
Dips are a compound exercise that work not only your triceps but also your chest and shoulders. They can be done with just your bodyweight, making them a great option for those who don't have access to weights or gym equipment.
To perform dips, find a sturdy surface like parallel bars or the edge of a bench. Place your hands on the surface and extend your legs out in front of you. Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping them tucked in close to your body. When you reach the bottom of the movement, push yourself back up to the starting position.
It's important to maintain proper form during dips to avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise. Keep your shoulders down and back, engage your core, and avoid letting your elbows flare out to the sides. Start with a few sets of 8-12 reps and increase the difficulty by adding weight or trying different variations like triceps dips or chest dips.
Pro tip: Dips can be tough on your wrists. Dip bars is the best option for doing this exercise.
Tricep pushdowns are an isolation exercise that target the lateral head of the triceps. This move is a staple in many gym-goers' routines and for good reason. It's a great way to really isolate and squeeze the triceps.
To perform tricep pushdowns, you'll need a cable machine or resistance band. Start by attaching the cable or band to the high pulley and grabbing onto the bar with an overhand grip. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Keeping your upper arms stationary, push the bar down towards your thighs by extending your elbows. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement before slowly returning to the starting position.
Make sure to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, keeping your core engaged and avoiding any swinging or jerking movements. You can also try different variations like using a rope attachment or changing the width of your grip to target different parts of your triceps.
Pro tip: Don't go too heavy too fast. It's important to start with a weight that you can comfortably lift for 8-12 reps and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
This move targets the long head of the triceps, which is the largest part of the muscle and plays a key role in arm size and definition.
To perform Cable Overhead Tricep Extensions, start by attaching a rope to the top of a cable machine. Grab the rope with both hands and face away from the machine. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended above your head. Slowly lower the rope behind your head by bending your elbows, making sure to keep your upper arms stationary. Once the rope reaches the back of your head, extend your arms back up to the starting position.
To get the most out of Cable Overhead Tricep Extensions, make sure to keep your core engaged and your elbows close to your head throughout the movement. Avoid letting your elbows flare out to the sides, as this can shift the emphasis away from your triceps and onto other muscles.
Pro tip: Try using different equipment like an EZ bar to change up the stimulus and the angle.
This exercise is great for building strength and mass in your triceps, and it's easy to do with the help of a machine. This exercise targets the lateral and medial head of your triceps (depending on your grip), which is the outer part of your arm muscle. By using the Seated Bench Dips machine, you can isolate this muscle group and ensure that you're getting a full range of motion.
To perform Seated Bench Dips, sit on a bench facing the machine and place your hands on the handles. Slowly lower your body down by bending your elbows, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Once your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, push yourself back up to the starting position.
When performing Seated Bench Dips, it's important to keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back. You should also make sure to lower your body slowly and under control to avoid any strain or injury.
Pro tip: To target the lateral head of your triceps more effectively, try using a closer grip on the handles. To target the medial head, use a wider grip.
A classic exercise that can help you build impressive triceps. Tricep kickbacks are an isolation exercise. This exercise primarily targets the lateral head of your triceps, which is located on the outer part of your upper arm.
To perform Tricep Kickbacks, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips so that your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and engage your core throughout the movement.
Next, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your sides, keeping your upper arms close to your body. From here, extend your arms back behind you, squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement. Make sure to keep your upper arms stationary and avoid swinging the weights.
Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. It's important to use a weight that challenges you without compromising your form.
Pro tip: If dumbbells are too challenging, try doing Tricep Kickbacks with a resistance band or cable machine. This will provide constant tension on your triceps throughout the movement.
One-arm dumbbell isolated triceps extension is a great exercise to add to your routine for building muscle in your triceps. One-arm dumbbell isolated triceps extension primarily targets the long head of the triceps, which is the largest of the three heads of the triceps muscle. By focusing on this head of the muscle, you can add size and definition to the back of your arms.
To perform this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in one hand and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise the dumbbell above your head, making sure your arm is fully extended. Slowly lower the weight behind your head, keeping your elbow close to your head throughout the movement. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, pause briefly before extending your arm back to the starting position.
Start with a weight that you can handle without sacrificing your form. Keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back during the movement to prevent injury.
Pro tip: You can also perform this exercise seated on a bench.
Reverse grip cable tricep extensions are a great exercise for targeting the medial head of your triceps, the area in the middle of your upper arm. This exercise can help you build size and definition in this important muscle group.
To perform Reverse grip cable tricep extensions, start by attaching a straight bar to a high cable pulley. Stand facing away from the machine and grip the bar with an underhand grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your elbows should be close to your body.
Keeping your elbows stationary, extend your arms downwards until the bar reaches your thighs. Pause briefly before slowly returning the bar to the starting position.
To get the most out of this exercise, it's important to focus on proper form. Keep your core engaged and avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight. You should feel a deep contraction in your triceps as you lift the weight.
Pro tip: Experiment with different grip widths and equipment such as EZ bar to target different areas of your triceps.
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