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Best Tricep Workout: Exercises For Building Sleeve Busting Triceps

Best Tricep Workout: Exercises For Building Sleeve Busting Triceps

Most beginner bodybuilders are often seen training their biceps to build muscle mass and increase their overall arm size. While the biceps are easy to exert, they only comprise 30% of your arms. To correctly build muscle mass, your arm workout must also incorporate tricep exercises.

The triceps are important because they support other muscles in your body, including the chest and shoulders. They do most of the work while doing bench presses, overhead shoulder presses, and pushups.

Having ripped triceps will help you stand out amongst other bodybuilders, especially if you walk around town in a short sleeve shirt.

This article will discuss the best tricep exercises you should incorporate in your next workout.

1. Tricep Muscle Anatomy and Tricep Exercises For Each Head

Tricep Muscle Anatomy and Tricep Exercises For Each Head

2. Tips For Performing Tricep Exercises Efficiently

Tips For Performing Tricep Exercises Efficiently

As the triceps make up the majority of your arms’ muscle mass, they are slightly easier to grow than biceps. But just like all muscles in your body, the development of your triceps starts to slow down over time.

When the development of your triceps starts to show little improvement despite lifting heavy weights and following a nutritious diet, then you may need to get creative with your tricep workout.

2.1. Start Your Tricep Workout With Compound Movement

The best way to start a tricep workout is by lifting weights since it will help you gauge the maximum weight you can lift, improve joints and nerves, and develop the proper mindset.

Moreover, starting with compound movements helps exert several muscle groups, strengthening them in preparation for more intense workouts later.

Also Read: Best Biceps Cable Curls: Variations and Workouts

2.2. Work Your Triceps More Often

Work Your Triceps More Often

A split is the time difference between when you work out a specific muscle group. For instance, if you did a tricep workout today and plan to hit your triceps again five days later, then the split is five days.

If your triceps are not showing a lot of development, try seeing if doubling your training load will yield better results. Your triceps don’t need much time to recover, so it is possible to train them twice during the split.

Only attempt this if you are an intermediate or professional bodybuilder. Training your triceps too much as a beginner will result in muscle fatigue.

2.3. Incorporate Pyramid Sets in Your Tricep Exercises

A pyramid set is when you repeat the same exercises, starting with less weight and more reps before gradually increasing the weights with fewer reps.

Incorporating pyramid sets in your tricep workout will maximize muscle growth as you progressively increase the reps and weight, force muscle hypertrophy, and push your triceps’ limits.

2.4. Work The Long Head By LIfting More Weight

Work The Long Head By LIfting More Weight

The long head crosses the shoulder, playing a role in shoulder extension and increasing the size of the tricep muscles. Though working the long, lateral, and medial heads equally is important, focusing on the long head will increase the thickness and bulk of the muscle mass in your upper arms. If you wish to speed up the process and get results quicker, gradually increase the size of the weights you lift. Make sure that the weights you use can be plausibly lifted while still putting enough stress on your triceps.

2.5. Focus on Contractions While Doing Tricep Exercises

Most bodybuilders try to finish as many reps as possible without bending their elbows and working the muscles properly. Your triceps will only develop if you fully extend your arms so that you feel your muscles contract. Make sure to lift and lower the weights slowly to avoid accidentally dropping them or causing shock to run through your arms. At the end of your tricep workout, flex your muscles for 2-3 mins to help them relax.

Also Read: What are Drop Sets? Benefits and How to Use Them

3. How to Warm Up Before a Tricep Workout

How to Warm Up Before a Tricep Workout

An effective way to warm up your muscles before a tricep workout is by doing stretches. This will help loosen up your muscles and lessen the risk of hurting yourself when lifting heavy weights.

Listed below are some of the best triceps stretches to help improve flexibility and prevent injuries:

3.1. Overhead Tricep Stretch

Overhead Tricep Stretch

  • Lift your right shoulder and bend your elbow so that your left arm is behind your back.
  • Your left hand should be touching your back.
  • Lift your left arm and grab the right elbow.
  • Now gently push the right elbow downward.
  • Repeat on both sides.

3.2. Horizontal Tricep Stretch

Horizontal Tricep Stretch

  • Extend your right arm in front of your chest, then slightly bend the elbow.
  • Grab your right arm with your left hand and stretch it towards the left shoulder. Alternate between the arms being stretched.
  • Hold for 15-20 sec on both sides.

3.3. Push-Ups


  • Get into the plank position and lift yourself by your hands and toes.
  • Slowly lower your body towards the floor while keeping your back straight.
  • When your chin and chest are about to touch the ground, lift your body back up.
  • Repeat.

Also Read: The 10 Best Arm Workout Exercises for Building Bigger Arms

4. The Best Tricep Exercises

4.1. Close-Grip Bench Press

How to Perform Close-Grip Bench Press


A close-grip bench press is a compound exercise that works all three tricep heads. It makes it easier for you to lift heavier weights and increase tricep strength.

How to Perform

  • Lie with your back on a flat bench.
  • Grab the barbell with both hands, the arms having a slightly narrower gap than the width of your shoulders. Lift the barbell.
  • Lower the barbell towards your lower chest, making sure to tuck in the elbows.
  • When the bar is about to touch your chest, lift it back up.
  • Repeat.

Sets and Reps

  • Do four sets, each with a rep range of 12 RM-10 RM-8 RM-6 RM, and increase weight after each set.

4.2. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension

Cable Overhead Triceps Extension


The cable overhead triceps extension works the long head which helps increase the triceps’ muscle mass.

How to Perform

  • Attach a rope to the low pulley of a cable station.
  • Grab the rope handle and turn your body away from the machine.
  • Extend your arms above your head and open the pulley at the top position.
  • Contract your triceps.
  • Release the pulley until you feel a stretch in your tricep, then pull back.
  • Repeat.

Sets and Reps

  • Do four sets, each with a rep range of 15 RM-12 RM-10 RM-10 RM, and increase weight after each set.

4.3. Skullcrushers



Skullcrushers target and work the long head. If done correctly, then your upper arms will be in a locked position, with the long and lateral heads helping to lift the weight.

How to Perform

  • Lie with your back on a flat bench.
  • Grab the EZ  barbell by the inner grips.
  • Extend your arms above your chest.
  • Keep your elbows fixed and lower the bar till it is level with your head.
  • Extend your arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Sets and Reps

  • Do four sets, each with a rep range of 15 RM-12 RM-10 RM-10 RM, and increase weight after each set.

4.4. Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips


Tricep dips are compound movements that engage all three tricep heads. Besides the triceps, this exercise also works your shoulder, chest, and core muscles.

How to Perform

  • Stand between the platform and grab the bars with your palms facing inwards.
  • Lift your body until your arms are fully extended.
  • Slowly lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degrees with your body.
  • Lift yourself back and repeat.

Sets and Reps

  • Do four sets, each with a rep range of 12 RM-12 RM-12 RM-12 RM.

4.5. Tricep Kickback

Tricep Kickback


The tricep kickback is a versatile and effective way to build tricep strength and muscle mass. This exercise targets the lateral head and does not put undue stress on your wrists.

How to Perform

  • Stand with your legs apart at hip-width and grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Bend your knees and lean slightly forward at the waist until your back is parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your back straight.
  • Lock your elbows next to your ribs.
  • Push the dumbbells backward and fully extend your arms.
  • Bring the dumbbells back towards your chest before pushing them back again.
  • Repeat.

Sets and Reps

  • Do four sets, each with a rep range of 15 RM-15 RM-12 RM-12 RM. Increase weight after two sets.
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