Building a pair of well-developed horseshoes on the back of your arms is a goal for any guy (or girl) looking to proudly hand out tickets to the gun show. If you want to build titanic triceps—which make up roughly two-thirds of your arm mass, by the way then you need to focus on key exercises that activate the most muscle fibers during the movement to produce growth. Some movements are better than others when it comes to building muscle but research shows these exercises below yield a lot of growth as a result of the stimulus placed upon the triceps.
If you don’t see your favourite triceps exercises below then don’t worry. There is always room for it in your workout as long as you know why you are choosing that exercises in the first place and how it is working the triceps.
While this move, also known as a French press or lying triceps extension, doesn’t necessarily isolate the lateral or long-triceps head more than the other exercises, the arm position perpendicular to your body combines the activity of the two heads as they work to stabilise the gravitational pull during the lowering phase of the movement.
As the name states (skull crusher) this is a great ‘do or die’ type exercise. Let’s face it. No one wants to fail when the bar is about to crush your face. Do 3 sets for 8-12 reps
CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS
We love a compound (multijoint) exercises because they’re the best for muscle growth. Even though the three-headed triceps is a fairly small muscle group, there are a handful of multijoint movements that target it and the close grip bench press is (in our opinion) the best one for promoting maximum growth in the triceps.
It’s important to realise that with this exercises you have your hand spacing around 8-10 inches apart and also tuck your elbows to decrease stress on the chest and shoulders and shift it to the triceps. Do 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps.
SEATED OVERHEAD DUMBBELL EXTENSION
When you place your arm overhead the long head becomes the target muscle. It’s a good idea to include some kind of arms-overhead exercise in your triceps routine. This is but one of many good options, and it’s probably the easiest to get into the start position, especially when seated. If you’ve got a partner, it’s even easier if he or she hands you the weight. (You can also do a few assisted reps.) Once again, minimise elbow flare on this movement. Do 3-4 of 6-10 reps
CABLE PUSH DOWNS
Cable push-downs actually activate the lateral head of the triceps greater than skull crushers, kickbacks, or any other major triceps exercise. If you’re not doing this movement already, it’s a fairly good single-joint lateral-head movement as long as you don’t let your elbows drift from your sides. Drop sets are easy to do here which allows you to quite easily take this movement to failure. It also important to remember that you need to work your triceps from all angles. From overhead (in the shortest range of motion) to hands down slightly behind the hips (longest range of motion).
The cable push down is an awesome exercise for firing up the triceps for the big lifts to come or as a great finisher. Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.