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The 10 Best Triceps Exercises

best triceps exercises

Two-thirds of your upper arm is made up of the triceps. Therefore working on them is essential if you want larger arms. No two lifters are the same when it comes to the choice of exercises. One prefers dips, and another spends hours doing triceps kickbacks. What’s the best one? Everything’s individual. Luckily, we have a list of the best exercises for every muscle group. Read on to find out the top 10 best triceps exercises.

1. Tricep Dips

Tricep dips are a great compound movement that targets all three heads of your triceps. Secondarily, this exercise loads your chest muscles. Dips are a great way to improve strength and growth in the upper body in general. You’ll need a dip station or parallel bars to do this workout.


Dips are ideal for people who want to load muscles, burn fat, and build strength all at once.

The exercise improves coordination and flexibility in addition to increasing your strength.

As a bonus, it helps stabilize the muscles. You’re less likely to be hurt from another physical exercise if your joints and stabilizing muscles are stronger.

How to do tricep dips:

  • Take hold of the parallel bars and straighten your arms as you jump up.
  • To lower your body, bend your arms and don’t lean forward to increase the load on your triceps instead of your chest. 
  • Raise your body by straightening your arms and keeping your body upright. Your glutes and core should stay tight. Go as far as your shoulder flexibility will allow.

2. Tricep Pushdowns

The triceps’ medial and lateral heads are worked during tricep pushdowns. Tricep pushdowns may help tone the muscles on the back of your arms and improve the stability of your shoulder joint if done correctly.


Tricep pushdowns increase lockout power. Elbow extension and elbow/shoulder/wrist stability are among the triceps’ functions. These abilities are crucial for lockout power, which is needed for practicing lots of press and snatch movements.

As we noted before, more than half of the arm is made up of the triceps. The apparent conclusion is practicing tricep pushdowns will lead you to bigger arms.

The exercise works well for building mass in the upper body. Why is it so? Tricep pushdowns improve your overall pressing power and maximize muscular development.

How to do tricep pushdowns:

  • The first thing to do is to get a cable machine with 2 handles. 
  • Put the handle high, grab the bar, and step back. Put one leg in front of another and keep a slight bend in your knees and arch your back.
  • Push the bar straight down, keeping your elbows in front of your hips while maintaining a neutral spine. Keeping the elbows in front of the hips is the main thing because it guarantees constant pressure on the triceps.
  • Once you are at the movement’s bottom, come up till your elbows are a little less than at 90 degrees angle. Then, push straight down again.

3. Skull Crushers

Several workouts may help you activate the medial triceps head, but the skull crusher is one of the best since it places your upper arm at an angle to the ground. You may do this exercise to build muscle and definition on the back of your arms. It’s also possible to accomplish them safely and with minimum danger of harm if you use the proper technique.


The exercise makes your triceps stronger. Triceps strength is essential for all pressing movements and maintaining stability when lifting the arms over the head. 

Who will benefit from this move the most? To lockout of the bench press, powerlifters need powerful triceps. Because the triceps are required for elbow extension during the snatch and jerk, weightlifters must train their triceps too.

The exercise has a simple technique available to every beginner. Also, it’s an isolated movement that helps you concentrate on working your triceps. So it’s simple and powerful. Perfect combination!

How to do skull crushers:

  • Grab the bar using an inside grip.
  • Sit on the bench and widen your legs. The band of the bar should go on your quad. Roll backward and lay down. Keep your feet flat on the ground. Bring the bar above your head.
  • Keep your neck relaxed, elbows tight, and make sure your wrists stay straight. Hold the barbell in front of you.
  • Breathe out and bring the bar behind your head. You may also drop the bar to your chin, nose, or forehead.
  • Push the weight away from your body, come back to the start, and do reps.

4. Close Grip Bench Press

To do the close grip bench press, you must lie on a flat bench with your arms outstretched and raise a barbell. Because you use a close grip, the main muscle group working will be the triceps.


It increases triceps activation. When your hands are closer to the bar, more of the stress is transferred to the triceps and less to the sternoclavicular part of the pecs. If you’re having trouble reaching the peak of the lift, try this exercise to improve tricep strength.

In strength, power, and fitness sports, the elbows must tolerate a great deal of strain. A close grip barbell press can help you to strengthen elbow joints and make them healthier.

Athletes with shoulder problems, impingements, or those wanting to decrease total shoulder joint stress may find the close-grip bench press easier for their shoulders.

How to do a close grip bench press: 

  • Put the weight on a bar and lay down on the bench under the barbell. Get your feet flat on the floor.
  • Grab the bar with a close grip and get it off the rack above you. Then, lower the bar down to your lower chest area. Come down till you can almost touch your chest with the barbell.
  • Breath out and push straight up again.

5. Tricep Kickbacks

Building strength in the arms and upper body may be accomplished straightforwardly and efficiently by doing triceps kickbacks. Including them in your routine may help you become more proficient in other types of physical activity.


Triceps kickbacks, as the name suggests, target your triceps muscles. In addition, the auxiliary muscles that assist in hand extension are strengthened throughout the exercise.

This exercise is excellent for building functional strength. Every pushing exercise and certain pulling ones when the arms are near to your side need strong triceps. 

Also, tricep kickbacks enhance the overall appearance of your arms.

How to do tricep kickbacks:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells.
  • Lean over until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Keep your arms close to your body.
  • Extend your elbows and bring the dumbbell up, using your foot on the ground as support. 
  • Go up until your arm is parallel to the floor, and kick it back. Breathe out when you do the kick.

6. Standing Overhead Tricep Extension

Tricep extensions are a terrific workout to add to your fitness program since they target all three heads of tricep muscles. Secondarily, it works your core, glutes, and lower back muscles.


The overhead triceps extension is one of the most beneficial workouts because of the triceps hypertrophy that occurs throughout the movement. The exercise loads 3 heads of the triceps.

An overhead triceps extension is a great option if you have wrist pain or discomfort. Wrists remain at a constant angle throughout the workout, putting minimal strain on them.

This exercise uses your core muscles to help maintain your spine and back since you are standing while doing it. That’s why it improves your posture.

How to do a standing overhead tricep extension 

  • Pick a weight you can do. Grab the dumbbell and put your palms under one of the dumbbell’s plates.
  • Bring the dumbbell up over your head. Keep your wrists straight; the dumbbell should face the wall.
  • Get a slight arch in your back, keep your knees bent, and bring the dumbbell down behind your head. Stop at a 90-degree angle and make sure your elbows are tight. Don’t let them flail out.
  • Push the dumbbell up, keeping your wrists straight. 

7. Seated Overhead Tricep Extension

The triceps are the major muscle group engaged by the tricep extension, as well as its standing variation. Secondary muscle groups that are activated include the biceps, forearms, lats, abs, obliques, pecs, and traps. These auxiliary muscles contract to stabilize and sustain the movement.


This exercise will make all of your triceps’ heads stronger, which helps you move comfortably and perform better in many activities, including swimming, hitting a tennis ball, playing basketball, etc.

Because your back is held against the bench, the sitting overhead tricep extension requires less core stability than the standing variation. There is no need to worry about the other muscles, so you can concentrate on your triceps and obtain a bigger pump.

How to do a seated overhead tricep extension:

We are going to tell you how to do the exercise with an EZ bar, but you can do it with a dumbbell as well.

  • Sit on the chair, the back of which comes up above your shoulders. Put your feet on the pegs.
  • Grab the bar with the inside grip and get it over your head. Ensure your wrists are straight.
  • Bring the bar back and come down at 90 degrees, keeping your elbows close to your head.
  • Extend your arms, coming back to the starting position.

8. Lying Tricep Extension

This is excellent isolation for the triceps that builds strength and makes your arms bigger. All you need to do this exercise is the bench and a pair of dumbbells. A skull crusher and a lying tricep extension are almost identical exercises. The only difference is you may drop the bar to your chin, nose, forehead, or behind your head to complete skull crushers. And lying tricep extensions are more specific – an athlete should lower the bar behind his head.


The lying tricep extension is a joint-friendly exercise. They’re safe for your elbows and the technique is quite straightforward.

The lying tricep extension offers maximum support to your back and minimum danger of dropping the weight to your face. So this exercise’s main benefit is its safety.

You may train one arm at a time or both arms together. The exercise is not demanding in terms of equipment. All you need is some firm surface to lie on and dumbbells.

How to do lying tricep extension

  • Begin the exercise by laying on the bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Keep your shoulder blades back against the bench. Your butt should be in contact with the bench’s surface all the time.
  • Keep a full grip with your thumb locked around the dumbbells. Extend your arm fully, squeezing your tricep hard.
  • Breathe out and bring the dumbbell behind your head. Try to keep your elbows behind your head.
  • Make sure you have a spotter around if needed.

9. Bodyweight Tricep Extension

One of the finest tricep bodyweight workouts is this underappreciated one because it removes your chest from play and loads your triceps to the maximum.


Bodyweight tricep extension provides 100% tension on your triceps. Triceps are virtually completely isolated since this workout is a single-joint action.

This exercise is available to everyone and can be practiced anywhere since it needs no equipment

Although it’s a difficult calisthenics motion, it puts less strain on your elbows than other techniques. And it’s one more severe benefit.

How to do a bodyweight tricep extension:

  • Find a bar that is about hip height and grab it with an overhand grip. You should be standing slightly behind the bar.
  • Ensure that your core is firm and that your back is straight. Don’t allow your hips to drop.
  • Start lowering yourself by bending your elbows until your head passes your arms.
  • Make a 1-second pause and then extend your arms. Continue till your arms are fully extended.
  • Feel the tension in your triceps as your elbows lock out. Then, go down for the next rep.

10. Cobra Push-ups

Cobra push-ups are pilates exercises that primarily target the triceps and, to a lesser degree, load the abs, chest, lower back, and shoulders. It requires more strength than regular push-ups. So this exercise suits intermediate and advanced fitness levels.


Cobra push-ups may test your limits in terms of a range of motion for your arms and improve your flexibility.

Because cobra push-ups are a bodyweight workout, you don’t need any special equipment, which makes the exercise available for all athletes and any location.

Cobra push-ups are likely to need more energy than your normal activity. That condition results in extra muscular mass and also aids in weight loss.

How to do cobra push-ups:

  • Set yourself on the floor in a standard push-up position. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Look straight ahead through the whole movement. This trick will help you to maintain the right body stance.
  • Push up, keeping your hips low to the floor and moving your upper body slightly forward. Raise your head and try to keep your shoulders towards the ceiling.
  • Pause for a second at the top of the movement. Then, lower your body and go back to the start.

What Muscles Do Triceps Consist Of

Triceps muscles

The triceps are located between the shoulder and the elbow on the humerus. Due to triceps and biceps, your forearms can extend and retract. The triceps also help to support the shoulder joint. Triceps brachii is a three-headed arm muscle. We talk about:

  • long head – develops from the scapula’s infraglenoid tubercle, which is a rough region near the inferior edge of the glenoid fossa; 
  • lateral head – the small, linear ridge directly above the radial groove on the posterior aspect of the humerus is where the lateral head gets its start;
  • medial head – the triceps’ long and lateral heads rest on top of the medial head. To put it another way, it extends from the radial groove along the whole rear side of the humerus.

All three muscle heads join together to form a single tendon that attaches to the posterior side of the ulna. The triceps muscle is the lone member of the arm’s posterior muscle group, covering almost the whole length of the humerus. As a result of the shoulder’s pliability, the triceps is a crucial stabilizer, helping to keep it from dislocating.

How Often Should You Train Your Triceps

If you want to build stronger and more sculpted triceps, you’ll probably need to do many sets of resistance training. Working your chest and triceps together once or twice a week is your best bet. To get the most out of each exercise, pick a weight that will allow you to do eight to twelve repetitions until your reach failure.

Be patient, and you’ll get the triceps you want without over-stressing your muscles and incurring injury. The amount of recovery your triceps need varies depending on your regular workout plan. In most cases, the triceps will need 48 hours to recover from three or fewer exercise sessions.

You may exercise your triceps on a different day from your chest, either alone or with your biceps. The triceps won’t be prefatigued since you didn’t exercise a bigger muscle group earlier, so you can lift heavier weights.


Having strong triceps muscles helps to support the shoulders and elbows. Stable arm joints make it easier to go about throughout the day. In sports, triceps may be a huge asset too. Finally, strengthening the triceps muscle result in a better-looking upper arm. There are several triceps exercises to choose from, so you’ll never get bored. You may engage these muscles in various ways, from triceps dips and bench presses to skull crushers and kickbacks. Exercises should be varied so that the long, lateral, and medial heads are correctly targeted. Always begin with a lesser weight when attempting a new exercise to ensure that you have the proper technique. Good luck!