9 Best Triceps Muscle Building Exercises

45 Minute best tricep exercises
Some movements are better than others when it comes to building tricep muscle. If you want to build titanic triceps—which make up roughly two-thirds of your arm mass then you should check out the 45 minute tricep exercises plan. It's the best for building solid back-arm mass.

Do you want to have a pair of sleeve-stretching arms? In order to build huge arms, some people zero-in exclusively on biceps… But that’s a wrong approach as the triceps make up roughly 66% of your arms. The right approach for building titanic size arms is through tricep workouts. Big triceps are the secret! Well-developed biceps can make your arms pop in the front but lag in the back. Triceps are what fill up shirtsleeves. Sleeve-stretching arms or not, triceps are the passport to well-developed muscular arms.

Building great muscles is the main aim of most gym-goers. They put in hours and hours of efforts each day, but alas many of them just see lackluster growth. Activity is not a sure shot ticket to achievement. Poor exercises choices can take you nowhere and usually are the primary reason for lusterless results. So let’s be absolutely clear: Certain movements give better results than others when it comes to gaining muscles. If you want to build gigantic triceps – which as much as make up roughly two-thirds of your arm mass – then check out our 10 best exercises for building titanic triceps, in no order of ranking! They’re the best for building solid back-arm mass.

These 9 chosen best tricep exercises do not make up your complete tricep workout; but nonetheless they will direct you to the right approach.

Criterion For Selecting Best Tricep Workouts

Recommended Best Exercise For Triceps
Tricep Anatomy – Triceps Comprise Of Lateral Head, Medial Head And Long Head

The key factors we considered were mainly EMG studies, which measure the electrical activity of working muscles. Other factors considered were like how difficult a movement is, how easy it is to overload, how distinctive it is compared to other movements, and where it fits best into your workout.

Triceps Anatomy

The triceps has three muscle heads. They are:

(i) The lateral head – This is the head responsible for the horseshoe shape of the triceps.

(ii) The medial head.

(iii) The long head – the largest of all three.

It’s crucial to make sure that you include exercises that target all three of these heads to completely develop the back of your upper arm. Simply carrying out exercise for one or two heads will only give you dismal results.

Training Day

In the earlier days of bodybuilding, the builders trained triceps on the same day as chest. In fact, many trainers still follow this approach. But, this old-school practice does not give the optimum results. The reason for this is that when you workout triceps after chest, you’re unable to use peak weights for overloading the triceps, as they’ve already been partly worked as part of your chest routine. So, our recommendation is to allow your triceps is to keep a gap of at least one day from the chest day, so that you give full focus to triceps by targeting them with heavier weights while they’re fresh to achieve the best results.

What Are The Best Tricep Workout For Mass?

1. Skull Crusher: This is one of the best overall triceps activation exercise. Basically it’s a triceps isolation exercise that doesn’t necessarily isolate the lateral or long-triceps head more than the other exercises, but the arm position perpendicular to your body combines the activity of the two heads to catapult this movement to the top of our list.

How To Do Skull Crusher?

(i) Using a close grip, lift the EZ bar using desired weight and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on a flat bench. Keep your upper arms perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.

(ii) Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower down the bar directly over your forehead by bending at the elbow. Inhale as you perform this part of the movement. Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead. Raise the bar back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) Place this exercise first or second in your triceps workout routine.

(ii) Do 3 sets of up to 12-15 reps.

2. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press: If you’ve read any of our earlier best-exercise articles, like those for chest and shoulders, then you must already be aware that compound exercises are great for muscles growth. Even though the three-headed triceps is relatively a small muscle group, we recommend multi joint movement exercises that target it.

The close-grip barbell bench press is one of the best compound workout for triceps. This is supported by the fact that most trainers have been doing this exercise since old days, and they’re known for having titanic triceps. One of the earlier EMG studies on pressing angles and muscle recruitment found that flat bench with a close grip activates the long head of the triceps to a larger extent than an inclined bench.

How To Do Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press?

(i) Lying back on a flat bench, use a close grip (around shoulder width) for lifting bar from the rack and hold it straight over you. This will be your starting position.

(ii) While breathing in, lower the bar slowly until the bar is on your middle chest. Unlike a regular bench press, you should maintain the elbows close to your torso during the movement so as to target triceps.

(iii) Pause for a second and then raise the bar back to the starting position – pushing the bar using your triceps muscles as you breathe out.

(iv) Hold for a second and then begin coming down slowly again. For best results, it should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up.

(v) Repeat the movement for the prescribed number of sets and repetitions.

(vi) When finished, put the bar back in the rack.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) Do this exercise towards the start of your triceps routine.

(ii) Do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.

(iii) By a close grip, we mean keeping your hands around 10 inches apart. Going with a narrower grip than this will not put any more stress on your arm, but it will increase the strain on your wrists.

(iv) Tuck your elbows to lower the amount of tension on your pecs and shoulders while torching your triceps more.

(v) Keep your elbows just short of lockout during the pressing portion of the exercise. This helps keeps stress on the triceps during the exercise.

(vi) Variations: This exercise can be performed in flat, incline, or decline positions. Up to 25 degrees of declination or inclination is recommended.

Also, beware of letting the bar drift too far forward. You want the bar to fall on your middle chest and nowhere else.

Total Fitness TIP: Keep your hands about 10 inches apart. Bringing your hands too close together increases the strain on your elbows and wrists.

3. Parallel Bar Dips – Triceps Version: Dips are one exercise that work all three heads of the triceps muscles at once. Often called the “upper body squat,” dips are a must for any triceps muscles building program. This is a compound exercise for triceps – especially weighted which works better than bodyweight dips for building mass. Attaching a belt around your waist with plates increases the resistance to make sure that you fail within the target rep range of 8-12 ideal for muscle growth.

To make your dips recruit the triceps, keep your body as vertical as possible—don’t lean forward, which targets your chest—and keep your elbows tucked to your sides.

How To Do Parallel Bar Dips – Triceps Version?

(i) Stand between a set of parallel bars.

(ii) Grab both the bar with your hands and then take a small jump to help you balance yourself with locked elbows. This is your starting position.

(iii) Lower your body slowly by bending your arms until your arms break 90 degrees or until your shoulders are a little below your elbows at the bottom. While descending, avoid swinging, and maintain straight posture.

(iv) Lift your body back up to the starting position by straightening your arms. Balance yourself with your shoulders over your hands. Lock your elbows.

(v) Repeat for the desired number of sets and repetitions.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) To target triceps mass, aim to remain as upright as possible. Leaning forward will incorporate the pectoral muscles more, taking some of the workload off the triceps.

(ii) As this is a compound exercise involving high degree of muscles recruitment, it can be a front line exercise in your triceps routine. But if you like you can push it later in your workouts. Start your triceps day by lifting big weights with presses, and then perform dips in the middle of your routine to flush those arms with blood.

(iii) You can put on dip belt with desired weight to aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps!

4. Bench Dips: Bench dips is a medium-intensity exercise that uses your own body weight to strengthen your triceps. EMG studies showed that there’s considerable triceps muscles recruitment in the course of a bodyweight bench dips. You can pump your triceps even more by jacking up the load with added weight! By enhancing mechanical load, the metabolic and mechanical stress on to a muscle fiber are bumped up too and thereby occurs a corresponding increase in the recruitment of repair proteins than that normally present. Add bench dips to your tricep workout routine if you’re looking for new ways to strengthen and tone up your arms.

How To Do Bench Dips?

(i) Place a bench behind your back, so that the bench is perpendicular to your body.

(ii) While looking away from it, hold on to the bench on its edge with both hands at shoulder width and arms fully extended. The legs will be extended forward, bent at the waist.

(iii) While keeping your legs perpendicular to your torso, place your legs on top of another flat bench in front of you with your feet propped up on this second bench.

(iv) Slowly lower your body as you inhale by bending your elbows until you lower yourself far enough to where there is an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Keep the elbows pointing backwards and as close as possible throughout the movement.

(v) Using your triceps to slowly straighten your arms and lift your torso back up to the starting position. Your legs should remain still. Once you’ve reached the starting position, you will have completed one repetition of a bench dip.

(vi) Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets.


(i) Do bench dips in the middle or end of your workout.

(ii) If you are feeling super fatigued, we recommend that you may skip this exercise, because your shoulders may end up in a compromised position rounding forward.

(iii) Take care to maintain keep your shoulders back and squared. The shoulders will tend to roll forward, but this puts them at risk for injury.

5. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension: Once your arms go overhead, the long head gets engaged, so to develop triceps all around it’s recommended to include some form of arms-overhead exercise in your triceps regime. Out of many good options, it’s perhaps the easiest to get into the start position, especially when seated. Once again, minimize elbow flare on this movement.

How To Do Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension?

(i) Sit down on a 90-degree bench with back support, holding a dumbbell with your both hands above your head at arm’s length. If you are using a very heavy dumbbell ask somebody to hand it over to you. Take care to secure the dumbbell by holding it with both palms facing upward. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. This is the starting position.

(ii) Keeping your head up and eyes facing forward and your upper arms close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps (or as far as possible) moving only at your elbow joints. The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.

(iii) Pause for a second, and then slowly go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.

(iv) Repeat for the desired number of sets and repetitions.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) Do it after the multi-joint triceps exercises, generally towards the second half of your triceps workout routine.

(ii) Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

(iii) Don’t “rest” at the top of the movement by locking your elbows out.

(iv) Focus on keeping your body as still as possible, moving only your forearms.

(v) Don’t let your elbows flare out as you move the dumbbell.

6. Triceps Pushdown With Rope Attachment:

Boeckh-Behrens and Buskies of the “gold standard” training book of EMG found that the cable push-downs in fact propelled the lateral head of the triceps greater than skull-crushers, kick-backs, or any other major triceps exercise. So to strike an all around development of your triceps, we recommend that you include this single-joint lateral-head movement exercise in your triceps routine. One common mistake that many trainees make is to let their elbows drift too far forward, so make sure not to allow your elbows drift from your sides. One advantage is that you can do drop sets as they are easy to do here!

How To Do Triceps Pushdown With Rope Attachment?

(i) Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley and facing the pulley grasp with a narrow overhand grip (palms facing each other). Position elbows to side.

(ii) Standing upright with the torso upright and a little inclined forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the rope with the palms facing each other. This is your starting position.

(iii) Using the triceps, press the rope down as you bring each side of the rope to the side of your thighs until your arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your upper arms always stationary next to your torso and only move the forearms. Exhale as you perform this movement.

(iv) Pause for a second at the contracted position, and then slowly bring the rope slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.

(v) Repeat for the desired number of sets and repetitions.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) This is an isolation exercise, so preferably do it towards the end of your triceps workout routine.

(ii) We recommend 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

(iii) Keep your posture straight during this exercise. Avoid rounding your back or leaning forward.

7. Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension: This exercise targets all three heads of your triceps muscles. Although there are many triceps exercises, but we have included this in our top 9 as this is sure to firm up the back of your arms fast. But in order to reap its benefits you must pay meticulous attention to its form. To achieve better concentration on each muscle, we recommend that you perform this exercise with one arm at a time. One common mistake we must avoid is to let this exercise turn into a lat movement. Remember not to employ a pullover motion while extending the forearms. This you can prevent by making sure your arms remain vertical always, using the only movement coming at the elbow joint.

How To Do Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension?

(i) Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the end of a flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your thighs.

(ii) Lie back on the bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbells directly in front of you with your palms facing inward (neutral grip) and your arms fully extended at a 90-degree angle from your torso and the floor. The dumbbells should not be touching and you should be using a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and the elbows should be tucked in. This is the starting position.

(ii) As you breathe in and you keep the upper arms stationary, slowly lower the dumbbells down beside your head until they are about level with your ears.

(iii) Pause for a second and squeeze the triceps. While keeping the elbows in and the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position as you breathe out.

(iv) Repeat for the desired number of sets and repetitions.

Total FitnessTips:

(i) With this exercise you need to be very careful when selecting the weight. Too much weight may cause disordered movement and you could be having injured elbows.

(ii) Remember to keep your elbows stable, and don’t let them flare out as you lower the dumbbells down.

(iii) Keep the repetitions timing slow and control the weight throughout the set.

(iv) You can do 3 sets of 12—15 reps. each.

(v) You can also perform this exercise with one arm at a time.

8. Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown: Great for isolating the medial and outer heads of the triceps. You can do this exercise with both hands by using a straight bar. Some trainers perform this exercise with one arm at a time using single handle. This will let you isolate the triceps in a better way.

The reverse grip triceps pushdown exercise is the reverse version of the triceps pushdown exercise that helps isolate the triceps muscle.

How To Do Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown?

(i) Start off standing in front of a cable machine and attaching a bar ((straight or e-z) on a high pulley machine.

(ii) Facing the bar attachment, grab it with a palms up grip at shoulder width, keeping your elbows in at your sides and your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.

(iii) Slowly pull the bar down towards your thighs until your arms are fully extended by your sides, isolating the triceps and hold this position for a second.

(iv) Slowly, return back to the starting position.

(v) Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) You can do 3 sets of 12—15 reps. each.

(ii) You can also perform this exercise with a single handle using one arm at a time.

9. Close-Grip Pushups: This pushup version specifically torches your triceps. Add this move to your arm workout and watch your progress soar. As against traditional push-ups that usually place the hands just outside of shoulder width with a decent amount of humerus flaring, this is performed by bringing your hands in and tucking your elbows. A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise showed that this type of push-up is one of the most effective exercises for your triceps.

How To Do Close-Grip Pushups?

(i) Get down on all fours and position your hands closer than shoulder width. The closer your hands are together the harder the exercise and the greater the emphasis will be on your triceps. Make sure that you are holding your torso up at arms’ length. Don’t sag your torso to the floor or push your hips up. This is your starting position.

(ii) Bend your elbows, keeping them firmly at the sides of your torso, and lower yourself toward the floor until your chest almost touches the floor and your upper arms are nearly parallel to the floor as you inhale.

(iii) Using your triceps and some of your pectoral muscles, push your self back up to the starting position, breathe out as you perform this step. Imagine as if you are pushing the floor away from you, and keep your body straight as a plank the entire time.

(iv) Repeat the movement for the desired number of sets and repetitions.

Total Fitness Tips:

(i) Do this as a finishing exercise.

(ii) Perform 3-4 sets for as many reps as you can.

(iii) For a greater challenge, perform close-grip push-ups with your feet raised on a bench or on a stability ball.

(iv) You can also try with desired amount of weight on your back.

If you don’t see your favorite triceps exercise on the above list, don’t get disheartened! We urge you to give your feedback in the comments section below for any other input you may have!


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