There's nothing more impressive than a set of well-defined arms. And when it comes to building those big, strong arms, triceps are key. Triceps make up about two-third of your upper arm mass, so if you want to achieve truly massive arms, you need to focus on this muscle group.
Fortunately, several excellent triceps workouts for men can help you achieve your goals. This article will share eight of the best exercises for building monster arms.
So whether you're looking to add some serious size or improve the overall definition of your triceps, these workouts will get the job done. Let’s dig into the triceps muscle anatomy before heading to the exercises because we feel it’s essential to learn the insides of muscles to see how exercises work them!
Triceps Muscle Anatomy
On the dorsal side of the upper arm, there is a big, thick muscle called the triceps brachii. On the back of the arm, it frequently has the shape of a horseshoe. The elbow joint extension is what you can call the primary purpose of the triceps.
Tri stands for "three" and refers to the muscle heads or places of origin of the triceps brachii (with brachii referring to the arm). These consist of the: Long head, Lateral head, and Medial head
The scapula's infraglenoid tubercle, a rough region near the inferior edge of the glenoid fossa, is where the long head develops. Its connection mixes with the glenohumeral capsule of the shoulder joint and extends somewhat above the nearby glenoid labrum, adding to the joint's stability.
Just above the radial groove on the posterior surface of the humerus, there is a small, linear ridge that gives rise to the lateral head. The lateral intermuscular septum is another source of some muscle fibers.
From the lateral aspect of the humerus, behind the deltoid tubercle, its attachment ascends obliquely. From this point, it extends medially to the insertion of the teres minor and above the attachment for the medial head of the triceps, as well as to the surgical neck of the humerus.
The lateral and long triceps heads cross over the medial head. It begins broadly along the humerus' full posterior side, below the radial groove. In more detail, its attachment covers a vast triangular region of the humerus. The triangle's base is the line that joins the medial and lateral epicondyles of the humerus.
In contrast, the triangle's apex is situated on the medial border of the humerus above the insertion of the teres major. The medial head is attached to the medial and lateral intermuscular septa on the back.
A common tendon attached to the back of the proximal surface of the ulna's olecranon connects the three muscle bellies. A band of fibers crosses the anconeus muscle inferiorly. It continues to converge with the forearm's antebrachial fascia.
Now that you know the basics of anatomy let's talk about how to hit all three heads of the triceps simultaneously with your workout. The greatest way to do this is to include a variety of exercises in your routine that target each head individually.
For example, overhead extensions are excellent for isolating the long head, while close-grip bench presses target the medial and lateral heads. By including a mix of exercises in your routine, you can be sure that all three heads of the triceps are getting a good workout.
Hitting all three heads of the triceps is essential if you want to build bigger, stronger arms. By including a variety of exercises in your routine that target each head individually, you can be sure that your entire muscle is getting a good workout.
8 Best Triceps Workouts for Men to Build Monster Arms
It's time to bulk up those triceps! Whether you're looking to add some serious mass or sculpt your arms, these 8 best triceps workouts for men will give you the results you're after.
1. Lying Triceps Extensions
Although there are numerous versions of this exercise, they all involve elbow extension. The long and lateral triceps heads appear as the upper arms are locked. Your triceps long head will be worked by adjusting the angle of an incline bench while performing the exercise on a decline bench that emphasizes the lateral triceps head.
- Straighten your arms up in the air while making an overhand grip to hold the EZ bar.
- Slowly lower the bar until it is about an inch from your forehead while keeping your elbows firmly planted and tucked in. Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor at all times.
- Slowly extend your arms back to the beginning position without locking your elbows.
2. Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press is an excellent triceps exercise that works your chest and core. Your triceps will have to work harder as a result of placing your hands closer together, which could result in new growth and increased strength.
- Hold a barbell above your sternum with your arms fully extended in an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart.
- Lower the bar straight down, pause, and then press the bar back up to the beginning position.
3. Cable Rope Tricep Pushdown
The cable rope tricep pushdown is the standard triceps workout for males and enables you to safely and effectively apply significant strain to the muscle area.
When performed correctly, this technique, which concentrates on the lateral head of the triceps, can result in progressive loading and improved muscle-building activity. Use only a little weight if you're working your triceps with this workout.
- Connect a rope to the tall pulley at the cable station.
- Keep your arms bent and your hands shoulder-width apart as you take the handle with an overhand grip.
- Your upper arms should be tucked in at the sides.
- Push the bar down so your elbows are locked, keeping your upper arms stationary.
- Repeat from your starting position.
4. Underhand Kickback
You may learn how to target the triceps by performing this workout. Select a weight that is a little difficult but still enables you to complete all the sets with the correct form and without strain.
As you build strength, progressively raise the weight of the dumbbells from 5 to 10 pounds apiece. If you don't have weights, use soup cans or water bottles as a substitute. In addition to standing or kneeling, this exercise can be performed with one arm in a split stance.
- Drop your hips back and lower your torso until it is virtually parallel to the floor while carrying a dumbbell in each hand.
- Turn your palms to face forward while keeping your upper arms close to your sides.
- Bend your elbows until your arms are parallel to your torso.
5. Banded Triceps Extensions
A version of the triceps extension exercise that targets the triceps muscles is the banded triceps extension.
To offer accommodating resistance, bands are used in the banded triceps extension. As one gets closer to a full contraction, more resistance is applied to the target muscle group.
- Stand and fasten a band to a stable object over your head.
- Hold the band with a neutral grip, palms facing in, and slant your hips slightly forward.
- Start the movement by flexing the triceps and extending the elbows.
- Pull the band down until your elbows are nearly locked out, and then gradually lower it back to the starting position while maintaining control.
- Repeat for the appropriate number of times.
6. Bench Dip
This simple exercise doesn't take a lot of strength or experience, unlike the triceps dip, but it is simple for beginners to perform incorrectly, so seek a personal trainer or coach for advice. Surprisingly, even though it puts far less stress on the body, a bench dip is still highly beneficial for your upcoming triceps workout.
An EMG study discovered that a bench dip significantly activates the triceps, demonstrating the effectiveness of even minor exercises. Grab a regular exercise bench and carry out the following actions:
- Hold the bench with both hands spread out at shoulder width as you stand up and turn away from it.
- Slowly lower your body so that your arms and forearms are at 90-degree angles. Meanwhile, keep your legs straight and extended. As you lower, keep your back against the bench.
- As you lift back to the beginning position, squeeze your triceps by pressing down through your hands.
7. Diamond Push-Ups
The diamond push-up is an excellent exercise for the triceps. All push-ups work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but working your triceps by bringing your hands closer together than usual can be beneficial. This exercise is a complex exercise that works out the entire body's muscles.
Diamond push-ups are a significant difficulty increase over regular push-ups. Instead of doing it from a wider angle, you would quickly become exhausted.
- Get down on all fours and place your hands under your sternum in a tight fist.
- Extend your arms so that your body is raised off the ground. Position your thumbs and index fingers in a diamond formation, touching. Your head should be in direct line with your feet.
- Your chest down and toward your hands.
- Maintain a flat back and avoid flaring out your elbows to the sides.
- After stopping just before your chest contacts the floor, push yourself back to the beginning position.
- Repeat as many times as needed.
8. Dumbbell Floor Press
This chest press variation favors the lockout part of the movement, which heavily engages your triceps. Additionally, your stabilizing muscles must work harder to maintain the weight in the proper position with a dumbbell than they would with a barbell due to the load's different distribution.
- Lying on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold them close to your heart.
- Keep the dumbbells locked into your chest as you slowly lie down.
- Form a stable basis by bending the knees to a 45-degree angle and placing the soles of the feet flat on the ground.
- Your elbows should be on the ground as you raise the dumbbells off your chest. To balance the weight, grip firmly. This is where you start.
- Breathe in and tighten your grip, glutes, and core.
- Keep your elbows out as you fully extend the weights upward.
- Return the dumbbells to the starting position gradually.
1. How do you make a tricep monster?
You can use a barbell, dumbbell or cables to do most of the exercises. Make sure to focus on the tricep muscles and do a lot of reps. You should also add other exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to work the entire arm.
2. What is the quickest way to build triceps?
The quickest way to build triceps is by doing compound exercises that involve the triceps muscles. Some good examples are bench dips, close-grip bench presses, and skull crushers.
3. How do I hit every tricep head?
There are three heads to the tricep muscle- the lateral, medial, and long heads. To hit each head, you'll need to use a different exercise.
For the lateral head, do a standing overhead tricep extension. For the medial head, do a lying tricep extension. And for the long head, do a seated tricep extension.
4. How many tricep exercises should you do?
If you are a beginner, try doing 4 triceps and chest exercises per session, and in the case of an advanced guy, you can do 6-7 exercises.
The Bottom Line
Though they may not get the same attention as the biceps, the triceps are an essential part of the upper arm. Not only do they give the arm its shape, but they also play a role in movements like pushing and throwing. As a result, strong triceps are essential for athletes and everyday folks. Several different exercises can be used to work the triceps, including the 8 we’ve mentioned in the article. They may have specific individual benefits, but one common thing in them is that they primarily target the triceps and make them bigger and stronger. So, do try them and see the results yourself!
- Ali, Asraf, et al. “Surface Electromyography for Assessing Triceps Brachii Muscle Activities: A Literature Review.” Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering, vol. 33, no. 4, Jan. 2013, pp. 187–95. ScienceDirect, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbe.2013.09.001.