When it comes to what weight you should be using the goal here is to complete 8–12 reps with good form, focusing on an explosive repetition before lowering the weight slowly back to the starting position. This will increase time under tension (TUT), which will breakdown more muscle fibers, and with the current nutrition will stimulate more muscle growth.
Knowing Triceps MuscleTo get bigger triceps you have to understand the biology behind this muscle group. Your triceps are made up of 3 heads:
- Long Head
- Lateral Head
- Medial Head
To effectively build your triceps you need to target each of these 3 heads to make sure they all have the potential to grow. Most pushing movements will work your triceps, but naturally there are some exercises that will focus more on the lateral head, for example, than other triceps exercises.
The Best Triceps Exercises
1. Skull Crushes
Lie down on a bench or stability ball. Lie down on your back. Hold weights straight out in front of you. Start with basic weights, such as dumbbells. Lower the weights towards the floor by bending your elbows. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering the weights down towards your face. Move back to the starting position.
Target: Long Head, Lateral Head
Sets 4, Reps 8–12
2. Rope Pull Down
Lean forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, with your arms extended up in front of you. This will be your starting position. Keeping your arms straight, extend the shoulder to pull the rope down to your thighs. Pause at the bottom of the motion, squeezing your lats.
Target: Lateral Head
Sets 4, Reps 8–12
3. Triceps Push Down
It’s a very easy transition into this exercise, all you need to do is change the attachment. Attach a straight or angled bar to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width. Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination 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 bar. This is your starting position.
Using the triceps, bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and the arms are fully extended perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement. After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the bar slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
Target: Medial Head
4 sets, Reps 8–12
4. Close Grip Push Ups
By now your triceps should be feeling fatigued and close grip push ups are a great way to fatigue them even further. Lie on the floor face down and place your hands closer than shoulder width for a close hand position. Make sure that you are holding your torso up at arms' length. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale
Perform controlled reps slowly lowering yourself down before exploding up. Really squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement and you’ll be feeling the burn!
3 sets, 8-12 controlled reps
5. Triceps Dips
This is one of the best bodyweight movements you can do and this is a seriously good finisher after a triceps workout. Try not to lean forward when performing dips, as this will switch the emphasis from your triceps and put it more on your pectoral muscles (chest). Focus on exploding up to complete a rep and slowly lowering yourself down over a period of 3 seconds to maintain TUT (time under tension).
Place your heels on the edge of the other chair and hold yourself up using your triceps. Slide forward just far enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair, then lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Slowly push yourself back up to the start position and repeat
3 sets, Reps: until failure
There are of course so many other great triceps exercises you can do, but this routine is a good starting point whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced lifter.