The tricep is a muscle that often gets overlooked and overshadowed by its bigger counterparts. In order to improve arm size and strength it’s important not to overlook training the triceps with both compounding and isolating exercises.
Let’s take a look at the triceps and how certain exercises can lead to overall strength and size improvement!
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Triceps brachii is one of the major muscles in the upper body. Running between the shoulder and elbow, it assists with the extension and retraction of the forearm.
The triceps muscle also helps stabilize the shoulder which is one of the most unstable joints in the body due the ball and socket joint attachment.
Why is this such an important muscle to train?
For anyone wanting bigger arms, triceps exercises enable growth and help gain mass to the upper arms.
Adding these exercises into your current upper body workout out or beginning a new one will not only help improve overall upper body strength but will shape the muscles as well. Strengthening this muscle will aid mobility and support for the arm and shoulders along with flexibility if combined with relevant stretches.
Exercises which target the triceps for bigger arms
1. Triceps Dips
These are simple and can be done just about anywhere so no excuses! Beginners should have knees at 90 degrees with hands tucked behind them on the bench.
To progress this exercise, extend the legs out straight and aim to get your bottom as close to the floor as possible. This exercise is best done with a slower tempo to keep tension throughout the entire movement.
2. Triceps pushdowns
Using the cable machine and the rope attachment, slightly lock your elbows in to your side and imagine your elbow as a lever. The movement should stem from your elbow down, trying not to bring any bicep or shoulder work into.
Again this exercise is great to throw into a bigger arms routine or superset workout.
3. Skull Crushes
An old favourite, skull crushes are a great test, particularly at the end of an arm session.
– Lay with your back flat on a bench with your knees at 90 degrees either touching the floor or on the bench.
– Using the barbell, your grip should have your palms facing upwards.
– Slowly curl the bar towards your forehead, again imagining your elbow as a lever. For amounts over 20kg, make sure to have a spotter once you get close to failure.
4. Cable overhead triceps extensions
Another exercise using the cable machine and can easily be used in addition to pushdowns or instead of them.
– Using the same rope attachment, face away from the machine and extend your arms above your head holding the rope.
– With a slow tempo, lower the rope behind you head keeping your elbows close to your head and then return to the starting position.
Again a slower tempo will keep tension throughout the movement.
5. Close grip dumbbell press
This is easiest if you place a dumbbell on the bench and then lie down. Again, feet should be at 90 degrees and flat on the floor.
– Hold the one dumbbell with both hands and hold it above your chest with arms fully extended. The palms of your hands should be facing up towards the end of the dumbbell.
– Simply lower the dumbbell towards your chest and back and repeat until you have done your desired reps.
6. Close grip Bench Press
Very similar to normal bench press however we change the angle of the grip to target the triceps.
– With legs at 90 degrees and feet flat or on the bench, have your grip closer than you would have for a bench press starting position, with your arms about shoulder width.
– Bring the bar down close to your chest, keeping your elbows close to you torso to ensure the triceps get a decent workout.
As with the skull crushes, it’s advised to have a spotter for this exercise.
Want more? Whether it’s a program, a question or just a general query, get in touch via my profile and I will happily help you out! Happy training!
Connect with Expert Lisa Dunn.