It is easy to overlook the triceps when all the love goes to the biceps in building up massively looking arms. We’ve often associated bodybuilders as doing the very familiar biceps curl, that’s why there is the misconception that big arms equate to bulging biceps.
But do you know that bulging biceps are in fact smaller compared to the triceps? And that the triceps are actually more useful than biceps? In fact, the triceps make up more than two thirds of the mass of the arms, so there is no questioning the reason why you should give more focus to this group of muscles.
The truth is that many fitness experts agree that developing strong triceps is essential in upper body training. Without strong triceps, you would have a difficult time training other parts of the body like the shoulders and chest. The triceps also do much of the work in common exercises like bench presses and military presses. The bottom line is that if you don’t target the triceps as much as you do the biceps, then you may not have the arm strength to adequately perform these common upper body exercises.
That said, here are some of the best exercises you can do to make your triceps more prominent and more importantly, stronger.
Simply find a solid chair where you can sit on the edge. Make sure that your knuckles are facing forward and not on the side of the seat. You may have another bench where you can put the back of your ankles, or on the floor. Either way, the point is that your buttocks will be suspended in the air as you perform this exercise.
Slowly lower your buttocks until you arms make a 90 degree ankle. After that, gradually push your body back to the original position without locking your elbows. You can do this exercise as long as your arms have the strength to allow you to.
Unlike dips, you would need a gym equipment—cable and pulley machine—for this exercise. Stand straight and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees must be a bit bent as you hold on to a bar that is connected to a high pulley. Your palms should be facing down.
The arms should be close to the sides of your torso. Then bend your elbows and push down the bar until the forearms are parallel to the ground. This is the starting position. Now pull down the bar until you fully extend your arms but make sure you don’t lock your elbows. Then slowly return to the original position.
Reverse One-Arm Triceps Extension
Again, you would need a cable and pulley machine for this exercise which focuses on the medial head. With this exercise you can add length to your triceps and build up the muscles around the elbow joints.
Find a cable and pulley machine with a single-arm handle attachment. The handle should be placed as high as possible. Your arm and elbow should be tucked tightly into the side of your torso. Remember that your upper arm should never move throughout the entire exercise.
Get hold of the handle with an underhand grip, meaning your palm is facing upwards. Then bend your elbows and contract your triceps hard for a second or so. Slowly raise the cable handle back to its original position. Repeat the movement.
Single Arm Pullover
Simply lie down on a bench with your feet together on the end of the surface. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, the elbow of which should be pointed towards the ceiling. Your free hand should hold the inside of the elbow of the weighted arm, in a way stabilizing the motion.
Extend the weighted arm until it points straight up. Then slowly lower it near your face. Repeat this eight times.
Close Grip Bench Press
This variation of the popular bench press exercise can also do a lot of wonders to your triceps. In this exercise, your hands should be a lot closer to each other. You would have to lower the bar to your chest (as in any regular bench press) but this time your elbows should be close to your body. This way, the triceps would be working harder instead of the chest. Push the bar back so that the arms have become fully extended, contracting the chest and triceps along the way.