so let’s start first with one of the best tricep exercises the close-grip bench press.
Even though this is a compound exercise that also incorporates your chest and your shoulders you’re really not going to be able to load the bar with as much weight for any other tricep exercise as with the close grip bench press.
And as with all the other muscles in your body, your triceps will respond very well in terms of growth to heavyweight.
To begin the exercise start by lying directly under a barbell and grip the bar a Little Closer then shoulder-width apart.
Your hands should wind up being about 8 to 12 inches apart from each other and the narrower your grip the more you’ll be isolating your triceps.
Next, you’ll want to Unrack the bar,
bring it either directly in line with your shoulders or slightly below them and start lowering the bar to your body in an arc-like curve.
Normally with a regular bench press, we would aim to bring the bar to our nipple line but with the close-grip bench press, you want to aim lower than that,
so aim to bring the bar to your upper abs. Your elbows should also be a lot closer to your body.
So maintain about a 45-degree angle between your elbows and your body rather than the 75-degree angle that you would have while performing a regular bench press with a wider grip.
Once you bring the weight down under your chest you want to press back up in that same Arc like motion until the bar is once again almost directly in line with your shoulders.
Some mistakes to avoid while doing this exercise is you don’t really want to place your hands closer than about six inches apart and for some of you that are taller even 6 Inches maybe too close because you’ll start straining your wrists and your elbows.
You also want to retract your shoulders and maintain the neutral Arc in your lower back, but don’t excessively arch your back when pressing the weight up.
Let’s move on to the next exercise which is probably the best exercise for isolating your triceps the dumbbell skull crusher.
To start you want to grab two dumbbells lay back on a flat bench and raise both your arms straight up until they’re locked out.
Your hands should be in a neutral position in line with your shoulders or slightly above your shoulders.
Bring both dumbbells down aiming directly to the sides of your forehead. You don’t want to bring the dumbbells too far back behind your head because then you’ll start incorporating your lats and you’ll take the tension off of your triceps.
You also want to make sure that you try to keep your elbows as tight together as possible.
You don’t want to flare them too far out because this will once again take the tension off of the muscle that you’re trying to Target.
Also, remember the whole time while your elbows are bending you want to try to keep your upper arms static and don’t swing them back and forth.
With all that said after you bring the dumbbells down to the sides of your head extend your arms until they’re locked out once again in that starting position and then repeat for reps.
You can also do this exercise at a slight incline or a slight decline to change up the angle that you’re hitting your triceps from. And you can, of course, do it with an EZ bar instead of dumbbells.
Next up are dips.
Besides the close-grip bench press, dips are one of the best compound exercises for your triceps.Stick to doing your dips on the parallel bars and avoid doing it on a bench with your hands behind your back as this will put your shoulders in a bad position.
To perform this exercise start by gripping the parallel bars, jump up and lock your elbows out so that your feet are elevated off the floor.Lean your body forward and lower yourself until your upper arm is parallel with the ground.
You can go slightly lower to where your shoulders are slightly below your elbows but don’t go too low because it’ll put excessive strain on your shoulders and elbows.
Then extend your elbows until your arms are all the way locked out and you’re back to the starting position.
While doing dips you want to avoid flaring your elbows too far out instead aim to keep your elbows about 45 degrees away from your body.
You also want to concentrate on keeping your shoulders retracted back and down rather than letting them roll forward or rise up to your ears.
If you don’t have the strength to do dips you can use an assisted dip machine or you can simply do negatives by jumping up and slowly lowering yourself down. then you would put your feet on the ground jump up and repeat.
You can also add weights to make the exercise more challenging if you advanced.
Next up we have hex presses but I have a slight variation for this one.
You would once again want to start with your arms locked out with the dumbbells slightly lower past your shoulders on a flat bench.
Hold the dumbbells together so that they’re both touching. If you were trying to Target your chest I would say squeeze the dumbbells really tight together but since we’re going for the triceps here, squeezing the dumbbells really tight isn’t as much of a priority.
Normally you would lower the weight to your upper abs but the variation here is to try to lower the weight higher up aiming for your chest. This will put more emphasis on the triceps.
Once the dumbbells come down and meet your chest extend your elbows back up until your arms are locked out and then repeat for reps.
For the next exercise, I want to incorporate some cables so we have cable rope tricep extensions.
Here you would use the rope attachment and start by standing under the cable set at a high position holding onto both ends of the rope with your hands in a neutral position.
To get a full contraction on this exercise you’ll want to lean slightly forward rather than standing straight up.
Your elbows should be bent at about a 45 to 60-degree angle at the start of the exercise and the weight stack should already be lifted slightly up with no slack on the Rope or the cable.
While keeping your elbows tight to your ribs and your upper arms fixed in place you want to extend your elbows until your arm is fully locked out. If you want to concentrate more on the outer part of your trip you can also open up the ropes at the bottom of the movement.
Then return the ropes to the starting position with your arms bent and repeat for reps. Some big mistakes that you want to avoid include leaning too far forward and turning this into more of a pushdown exercise rather than an extension.
Also, you don’t want to swing your elbows back and forth as you do reps because that’ll incorporate the lats once again taking tension off of the triceps.
Moving on we have French curls and no French curls are not a bicep exercise they’re actually one of the more effective exercises that isolate your triceps.
Some people also call these overhead tricep extensions and you can do them with an easy bar or a dumbbell.
You can also do it seated or standing. The advantage of doing them seated is that it’ll require less stabilization and allow you to lift more weight.
In either case, the exercise Remains the Same. You would start by gripping a heavy dumbbell at the head of the dumbbell with one hand overlapping the other.
As you get to heavier and heavier weights you’ll have to place the dumbbell upright on your shoulder before readjusting your hands to begin the exercise.
But once you have a good grip extend your arms so that the dumbbell is elevated over your head.
Lower the dumbbell behind your head until your forearms are parallel with the floor or slightly lower and then extend your elbows back up until your arms are fully locked out back at the top position.
While performing the exercise remember to keep the elbows close together and don’t allow them to flare out… the same way we did with Skull Crushers.
Also, remember to maintain a neutral spine and avoid making the mistake of arcing your back too far out because that can cause an injury to your lower back.
you can also throw in some variation by doing this exercise with a rope behind your head on a cable cross.
The only difference there would be instead of aiming to go over your head you’re going to extend your arms in front of you. and your elbows would also be fixed in front of you instead of above your head.
next, we have another cable exercise…. single arm reverses grip cable tricep extensions.
Here you would attach a horseshoe handle to the cable and grab it with a supinated grip in which your palm is facing you and your knuckles are pointed away from you.
you can take your other hand and put it on your hip or you can just leave it hanging straight down.You can perform this exercise by facing straight towards the cable or by turning sideways to it.
For the sake of this demonstration, we’re going to be facing forward. To begin pull all the slack out of the cable and lift the weight stack up while keeping your elbow bent at about a 45 to 60-degree angle.
While keeping your hand in that same supinated position extend your elbow by driving your knuckles towards the floor until your arm is fully locked out.
Just like with the other cable extensions you’ll want to lean slightly forward to keep the tension on the tricep the whole time and You’ll also want to keep your elbow tight to your ribs.
Don’t forget to do your reps on both sides to ensure that you don’t have one abnormally huge arm.
The last exercise that I want to go over today is the dumbbell kickback.
Now normally I would say that this isn’t that good of a tricep exercise, but I’m going to show you a variation that’ll make it much more effective.
Instead of doing the exercise like you normally would by planting your hand on a bench I want you to perform the exercise on your elbow.
Everything else is the same. You would place one knee and your elbow that’s on the same side as that knee on the bench.
Your other foot should be on the ground for support. By getting into this lower position on your elbow instead of your hand you’re able to effectively put a lot more tension the tricep throughout the whole exercise.
Your starting position should look like you just completed a dumbell row. So you want your elbow pulled back towards the ceiling and you really want to try to get your upper body lower than your hips.
While keeping your upper arm fixed and your elbow tight to your ribs extend your arm until it’s locked out behind your hips.
Then bring the dumbbell back down until your elbow is at a 90-degree angle and then repeat for reps.
So those are my 8 favorite tricep exercises for bigger thicker arms.
Now you wouldn’t really want to do all 8 in one tricep workout, because you’re triceps don’t need that much volume for growth. 12 sets with heavy weight is more than enough.
So you can just take 4 of these exercises and perform 8 to 10 reps for 3 sets of each, and then do the other 4 on another day of the week.
Make sure you finish all 3 sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. If you’re advanced one of my favorite things to do for triceps is supersets.
I know many people like to superset triceps with their biceps and you can do that, but I like to superset my triceps with more triceps.
A simple example of this would be to do skull crushers with an EZ bar loaded with heavyweight and then immediately grab lighter dumbbells and go for a superset with a higher rep count like 12 to 15 reps.
If you structure your tricep workouts like that trust me your triceps will be toast. Well, that about wraps it up.
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