It’s easy to ignore your triceps, but building them up can make a huge differences. Aside from adding more power when you push and pull, triceps balance out the overall look of your upper arms. Here are some effective triceps workouts for mass and building tone.
- Place a bench behind you, perpendicular to your body. Hold the edge of the bench with your hands shoulder width apart, arms kept straight. Keep your legs stretched forward and bent at the waist. This is considered your starting position.
- Bend at the elbows to slowly lower your body. Inhale as you lower yourself down, keeping your elbows close and your forearms always pointed down.
- Lower yourself until your elbows are at slightly less than a 90-degree angle.
- Using your triceps, lift yourself back up to your starting position.
- For a more challenging variation, prop your legs on a chair or another flat bench in front of you.
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
- Lying on a flat bench, grip the bar in a close grip, about shoulder width apart. Raise the bar from the rack, holding the bar with your arms straight and locked.
- Inhale as you slowly bring the bar down to the middle of your chest. Unlike a normal bench press, try to keep your elbows closer to your body to give your triceps more of a workout.
- Pause for a second. Exhale as you raise the bar back to your starting position using your triceps. Lock your arms in this position, holding for another second before bringing it back down slowly. You should spend about double the time going down as you do coming up.
- Make sure you have a friend or trainer to spot you. If you can’t find a spotter, be more conservative about the amount of weight you put on the bar.
EZ Bar Skull Crusher
- Lie back on a bench. Hold the EZ bar in a close grip with your elbows in. Lift the EZ bar up so that your arms are locked and straight up, perpendicular to the floor. This is your starting position.
- Inhale as you lower the bar to your head by bending at the elbows. Your upper arms should be completely stationary. Stop once the bar reaches just above your forehead.
- Pause for a second when the bar reaches your forehead. Exhale and raise the bar back up by extending your elbows until your reach your starting position.
Seated Triceps Press
- Sit at a bench with lower back support. You can perform this standing up, but this can put strain on your back if you’re using heavier weights or have existing back problems. For your starting position, hold one dumbbell with both hands over your head with your arms extended. The palms of your hands should be facing inward.
- Keep your elbows in with your upper arms perpendicular to the floor and close to you head. As you inhale, bring the dumbbell down behind your head until your biceps touch your forearms. Only your forearms should be moving.
- As you exhale, use your triceps to raise the triceps back up to the starting position.
- You can also perform this with an EZ or straight bar, in which case you will hold the bar with your palms facing up in a close grip (your hands should only be about 5 inches apart).
One-Arm Dumbbell Kickback
- Hold a dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing inward. Bend at the waist to bring your torso slightly forward, almost parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Keep your head facing forward.
- Your forearm should be pointed down to the floor while your upper arm is about parallel with the floor and in line with your torso. Keep your upper arm close to your body. Your elbow should form close to a 90-degree angle.
- With your upper arm stationary, bend at the elbow to bring your forearm back until your whole arm is extended back, parallel with the floor. Your forearm should be the only thing moving.
- Pause for a second before slowly lowering the dumbbell and your forearm back to the starting position.
- Switch arms and repeat.
- Start by lying face down on the ground in a plank position. Support the entirety of your body weight on your forearms and toes. Keep your back straight. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Turn your wrists so that your palms are pressed flat and firm to the ground. Raise your body up by extending through your elbows until your arms are straight. Keep your torso rigid. The only thing that should actually be moving is your forearms.
- Flex your elbows to slowly lower your forearms back to the ground.
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
- Lie back on a flat bench. Hold a weight in each hand directly in front of you. Your arms should be extended straight up, perpendicular to the floor. Hold the weights so that your palms are facing inward. Keep your elbows in.
- While inhaling, bend your elbows to slowly lower the dumbbells until they are near your ears. Your upper arms should be almost entirely still.
- Pause and then bring the weights back up by activating your triceps. Keep your upper arms stationary and make sure your elbows are in. Exhale as your raise the weights.
Cobra Triceps Extension
- Lie prone, stomach to the floor. Keep your elbows bent and your hands parallel to your torso. Your elbows should be pointing back, not to the sides.
- Extending your elbows, push up to lift your torso and hips off the ground. Your legs should be in contact with the floor at all times. Exhale as you lift yourself up.
- When your arms and elbows have extended fully, lower yourself back down by bending your elbows. Exhale as you lower yourself down.
After performing triceps exercises, make sure you stretch your arms out or massage yourself using a foam roller to reduce tension and ensure proper healing.