27/09/2020
man exercising the triceps

The best triceps exercises to gain volume

If you want to develop bigger arms, focus on triceps exercises. They are more important than the biceps to make the arm more muscular.

The triceps make up 2/3 of the upper arms, so it is more important to focus on them than on the biceps if you want larger and fuller arms.

The triceps are activated by many basic exercises. For example, the bench press is one of the best-known exercises to train the chest but also activates the triceps if done properly.

We recommend that you practice many basic exercises and add some isolation exercises.

Here I show you a list with my 8 favorite triceps exercises.

1. Bench press with a narrow grip

The bench press is the classic exercise for strength training. It strengthens the chest, but also the triceps and shoulders. The main feature of the bench press is that one does a series of repetitions by lifting a barbell or a pair of weights. In addition, you are lying down (either flat or inclined).

If you use weights when doing bench press exercises, you will get a greater stretch, since the weights can lower more (what is called the range of motion).

If you practice bench press with a narrow grip, you focus more on the triceps. Since the bench press is a basic exercise, this is one of my favorite triceps exercises. If you want to get more out of the exercise, put your legs together, and keep them in the air. In this way, you get a better balance but also a better result.

Process

The exercise is performed in the same way as the traditional bench press. Lie on the bench with the bar resting on your chest. Push up using the pectoral muscles.

Keep your elbows in at all times (i.e. near the body, this will have a tight grip automatically around the bar). The grip should be around the width of the shoulders (preferably a little narrower).

When lifting the bar, you should preferably do it explosively.

2. Triceps kick with a dumbbell

Tricep kicks train the upper part of your arms and especially your triceps. The exercise is performed by supporting one knee and hand on an exercise bench (it must be the knee and hand on the same side).

This is one of the most popular triceps exercises because it exercises all three heads of the triceps. The elbow joint must be rigid in this exercise, otherwise, it will have no effect. In addition to the triceps, exercise also exercises the shoulders and back.

Process

Take your dumbbell with one hand and place the other hand on the bench to create balance. At the same time, place the knee on the bench and leave the other leg resting on the floor. Lift your elbow joint to align your back. Carry your arm back until it is fully stretched and aligned with the back, from this position lower it again until it is contracted again.

woman performing a triceps exercise

3. Military press

The military press is a fantastic basic exercise. Although it is mainly considered a shoulder exercise, you can also exercise your triceps very well. Usually, the military press is made with a grip that is slightly wider than the width of the shoulders. But the narrower it is, the more your triceps will work.

To perform the military press, you must have mobility in the upper body (shoulder flexion). Not everyone has it. However, mobility is something you can get by exercising.

Process

Hold the bar on the upper chest. You should lift the bar above your head until your arms are stretched. Do not bend your back in the upward movement. When lifting, squeeze the stomach so that it does not lean back.

4. Dumbbell triceps extensions

We have all tried this exercise, but not everyone knows the technical aspects of it. The triceps extension is a classic exercise not only used in strength training but also in sports (especially as a warm-up for football and handball).

This is an exercise that can work your triceps very well if you do it correctly. In addition to focusing on the triceps, you will also exercise your shoulders, back, and chest.

If you want to do the triceps extension, you must keep your elbows glued to your body. You need to place your hands close to each other. Therefore, it can be compared a bit with the narrow bench press. The advantage of stretching the arms is that the shoulder blades can move freely, providing a more natural workout.

Process

Keep your hands a little narrower than shoulder width and slightly below shoulder height. The knees, the hip and the head should form a straight line. Hold the dumbbell above the head with the arm almost fully stretched. As you descend, be sure to join the shoulder blades. Try not to move your elbow anywhere. When climbing, stop just before stretching your elbows.

man performing a triceps extensions

5. Triceps extensions in a high pulley

Triceps extension in the high pulley is one of the most popular exercises. It is a very effective triceps exercise since the exercise only works the triceps. This is an isolation exercise, so we recommend that you use this exercise eventually in your strength training program.

You should always start with basic exercises (also called multi-joint exercises. For example, deadlift or bench press) before going to war with isolation exercises.

The extension of triceps with a sharp grip is focused on the long head of the triceps, while with a supine grip it is focused on the medial head of the triceps. The stretches with rope are centered on the lateral head of the triceps. Therefore, you have extremely good opportunities to isolate and move pressure with this exercise.

Process

Keep your elbows glued to the body at all times. Pull the bar/rope toward the floor until you have stretched your arms. Both when you raise and when you lower your arms, your elbows should not move. Do not extend your arms too far to the chest.

man performing the triceps extension with pulley

6. Dips with bodyweight

Dips are a very popular exercise of triceps, shoulders, and chest. It is a good and effective exercise that also helps prevent injuries. The more upright you are, the more attention you will put on your triceps.

The more inclined you are, the more attention you will put on your chest. If you have been training dips for a long period of time, and have already built a base, you will need to train with more than just bodyweight.

The bottoms also help increase shoulder flexibility. However, it is important that you be careful to descend too low as it may end up causing shoulder damage.

Process

Stand on the parallel bench and keep your shoulders and arms stretched. Also, make sure your legs do not touch the ground. Lower your body until your shoulders and elbows are parallel to each other. Upload again.

7. French press

The French press is one of my favorite triceps exercises. It is an isolation exercise, so we recommend that you do the exercise after doing basic exercises. A good combination could, for example, be, start with the bench press and military press, and then apply the French press as a supplement.

One point to keep in mind is that your elbows should move minimally throughout the movement. You can decide for yourself which triceps head you want to exercise/isolate more. If you drive the bar forward, you will most likely hit the lateral and medial head. If you pass the bar over your head, you will most likely hit the long head of the triceps.

Process

Lie on the bench with the Z bar resting on your chest. Raise the bar until your arms are straight. You should take the bar with what is called a closed and supine grip, that is, with your palms facing up. Lower your hands without moving your elbows until the bar almost touches your forehead and then go back up.

8. Shoulder press

The shoulder press can be done in different ways which help strengthen your shoulders and triceps, but it will also work your chest. I have included this exercise on the list because it is easy and effective. I recommend adding this exercise to your program. You can not vary much stress on the triceps. Therefore, there is no difference between holding a wide or narrow grip.

Procedure (with bar)

Have a grip that is wider than shoulder-width. Raise the bar over your head. The movement should be fluid and the bar should be pushed slightly backward (towards the back). Your elbows should be located under the bar.

woman performing a shoulder press

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