By: Joshua D. Denton
August 31, 2017
Arms are probably the first thing that the average person notices about someone who works out. Everyone wants to have gnarly arms. Most people think that the key to getting bigger arms is lots of bicep curls – and those are great – but the most important thing to know if you are trying to improve the overall thickness of your arms is that the triceps make up about two-thirds of the upper arm, with your biceps accounting for roughly one-third.
To put it concisely, work your triceps properly using these 6 exercises, and you will see dramatic increases in the overall lean muscle mass in your arms.
I do want to point out that when targeting any specific muscle group for growth, or shredding, the concept of proportionality is key. Big arms and cut triceps look fantastic, but keep in mind that what makes an individual aesthetic and athletic in appearance is body proportions as near to perfection as possible.
With that introduction here is a killer triceps exercises to give you those coveted, sexy arms. You can do each workout with 4 sets of 8-12 reps if you are short for time or trying to shred, or if you like spending a longer amount of time in the gym, or need to bulk up, you can always do 5 sets of 6-10 reps. Happy exercising!
Exercise 1: Diamond push-ups
How to perform: Assume a normal push-up position, but instead of normal hand placement (shoulder-width) bring your hands together and touch your thumbs and pointer fingers together creating a diamond pattern. If you’re good at push-ups, elevate your feet, if you’re super at push-ups, try putting your feet on an exercise ball. If push-ups aren’t your forte, you can do them with your hands on a bench.
Exercise 2: Dips
How to perform: Grasp the handles of a dip machine, and raise yourself up. Lower yourself with control until your forearm is roughly at a 90 degree angle to your triceps (or parallel with the dip machine bars), focusing on your muscle-mind connection. Once you hit the bottom of the rep, push yourself back up explosively to the starting position. Many gyms have assisted dip machines so if you have trouble doing regular dips, use a machine. This is probably the overall best triceps exercise there is, so you should definitely be incorporating it into your routine!
Exercise 3: Cable pushdowns
Reps: 8-12 each arm
How to perform: When you grasp the cable handle it should be roughly about chest level. Take a big step back from the cable machine. Push your elbow up and slightly back and lock your elbow to your side. I like to imagine that my elbow is literally pinned to the side of my rib-cage. Make sure your chest is up and your shoulders are pushed back. Slowly push the cable handle down until your tricep is fully extended. Resist the urge to allow your elbow to slide forward. If you cannot push the weight down without keeping your elbow in place, your chest out, and your shoulders back, then lower the weight until you can do so. Remember you control the weight, the weights should never control you. Make sure to focus on the triceps and make them perform the work necessary. Many times, I see people using their traps to push the weight down rather than targeting the tricep heads.
Exercise 4: Overhead cable triceps extensions
How to perform: For this exercise, if you are using a machine, you can use a bar, or a handle and simply alternate arms. I like to use a bar if I am using a machine. This exercise can also be done with a dumbell. These are all variations of the same exercise. The exercise is simple. Stand with your back to the machine and hold both arms out at a 90 degree angle to your torso, with your elbows pointed straight in front of you. Then simply extend your arms straight out in front of you. Be sure to keep your elbows in, they will naturally want to flair out, but must be kept in to isolate the triceps properly.
Exercise 5: V-Ropes extension
How to perform: The concept of this exercise is similar to to cable pushdowns. At the beginning of the exercise, your hands should be together grasping the ropes. Again, as with the cable pushdowns, you should take a big step back from the cable machine, then stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent. Push your elbows up and slightly back and lock your elbow to your side. Make sure your chest is up and your shoulders are pushed back. Push downward and as you continue the downward motion slowly pull the handles of the ropes apart across your lower thighs. At the top, starting position of the movement, your hands should be together, at the full contraction, your hands should be spread apart, creating an upside “V” shape with the ropes. Make sure to do these slowly and with full control.
Exercise 6: Dumbell triceps extension
How to perform: This exercise is identical in motion to the overhead cable triceps extension, except this time you will be using a dumbell and standing. Grasp the dumbell and slowly lower it behind your head, then press upwards and lock out your triceps. Try to keep your elbows as far back as possible, and try to keep them from flaring out to much.
That’s it guys, hope you found this workout helpful!