Top Ten Best Exercises for Your TricepsEveryone thinks having large biceps is what makes your arms look bigger but that is only half the equation. The fact is, that when you flex your arms in the traditional pose, you end up seeing more of your triceps than your biceps so the apparent size of your arms are based on more factors than biceps alone.
Your biceps have 2 heads (bi=2) while your triceps have 3 heads (tri=3) which means that your triceps have the potential to be a larger and stronger muscle group. In fact, working your triceps can be the one of the biggest factors regarding the overall size of your arms. In addition, the triceps function to push things away from you (or you away from things) which can be every bit as important in life as pulling things toward your body (the role of the biceps).
Below are the ten best exercises for your triceps to increase both the size and strength/power of the forgotten arm muscle.
The Top Ten
This one can be bodyweight or weighted (if using weights, place a medicine ball or weight bumper on your lap) making it both very effective at targeting your triceps and very versatile. Make sure you don't internally rotate your shoulders so you can keep the burn in the triceps.
Grab a bar or dumbbells with your hands directly over your shoulders while laying on your back on the floor or a bench. Without lowering your upper arm more than 45 degrees, slowly lower the weight (s) over and behind your head. Raise the weights back up but only to a 20-30 degree position to keep tension on the muscle. Don't raise your arms back up to vertical or you'll lose that tension.
Sit on a bench or chair gripping both hands on a dumbbell over your head. Without moving your arms from shoulder to elbow, bend and lower the weight down behind your head and back up to vertical.
Just like a regular pushup but move your hands close together (even as close as to touch). Do a pushup as normal without letting your elbows flare too far out to the sides.
Just like a regular bench press but you rotate your hands to face the opposite direction on the bar so your palms face your head. Lower the amount of weight for safety.
Stand or sit, lean forward, and grip a dumbbell at your side with a straight arm. Bend your arm so your elbow forms a 90 degree angle then, leaving your upper arm stationary, extend your hand/weight out behind you till your arm is straight. For some extra intensity, rotate your hand at the end of the motion (when your arm is straight behind you) so your palm faces up.
Either laying flat or inclined on a bench, grip dumbbells in each hand and lower then by bending at the elbow till the dumbbells touch your collar bones. Slowly raise them back up. This will work the tendons in your elbow specifically which will in-turn allow your triceps to be more supported.
You'll need a pulley or something rigged for this one but it's worth the effort. Stand with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbow with your elbow touching your waist. Grip the weight with palms facing the floor (or the ceiling for a reverse) and slowly straighten your arms - leaving your upper arm pinned to your side and stationary. Be careful not to cheat by using your body or your shoulders/traps.
Everyone knows this one but most people do it inefficiently. instead of lowering your body down and taking the brunt of the load in your shoulders, try to lower your body so your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle (no cheating for the sake of numbers) but instead of leaving your forearms vertical, try to bring your elbows back so your forearms are at a 45 degree angle to the floor.
I like to work these in after my round of skull crushers for the extra burn. Regular pushup but have your hands closer together. You'll feel it if you do it right.