The Best Exercises to Build Triceps

Your triceps are the muscle that gives your arm its size, as about 2/3 of your arm muscles are triceps. While the biceps are the more visible muscles, the triceps will be handy in your every day life. They are the muscles that give you pushing power! Here are the 5 best exercises to build your triceps:

Parallel Bar Dips

This is an exercise that uses just your body weight, which means that you can do it just about anywhere. You’ll want to use parallel bars if you can, but you can do it between two chairs, between your kitchen counters, or anywhere else where you can support your weight on your arms.

Make sure to avoid bending your arms too much, as that will cause hyperextension of the triceps muscle. Always dip until your elbows are just past a 90 degree angle, and don’t go too low in order to avoid injuring yourself.

Skull Crushers

Holding the barbell close together will help to isolate your triceps muscles, and you’ll find that you can only use very little weight when you do this movement for the first time. There are few isolated triceps exercises that will be as effective as this one, so do it right.

It will take time to get used to holding your elbows in position, but avoid the temptation to move them just to lift the weight. If you keep yourself in position, it will help to isolate the muscles — guaranteeing proper muscle and strength growths!

Seated Overhead Triceps Extensions

Posture is very important with this exercise, as it will isolate the muscles you want to use. Start out light at first, and slowly go increasing your weight load as your muscles can handle it. This exercise will be one of the best ones to build and define your triceps, so do it right!

It’s better to grip your weight with both hands than to do it with just one hand at a time. You’ll get better leverage with two hands, and you’ll be able to expend greater force on the weight. The more force you can expend, the more strength you will build. Hold the weight tightly in one hand, and keep your elbows close to your head as you lift.

Cable Pushdowns

You’ll need a cable machine for this exercise, so it may not be practical to do at home. However, it’s great for isolating your triceps muscles, and it will give them an excellent workout!

Keep your back straight as you do the exercise, and lean forward slightly. Avoid using your shoulders to push the cable down, as that will be cheating and reducing the strain on your triceps. Make sure that your arms are the only thing moving, and keep your elbows locked by your sides in order to ensure that the triceps are isolated.

Diamond Pushups with Clap

Pushups are some of the best body weight exercises to do for your chest and triceps, and you’ll find that this one will focus more on your triceps than your chest. It’s going to be very tough, but get the hang of it and you’ll see amazing growth in your arms.

You’ll probably only be able to do 5 to 10 at first, but work up to doing more. Once you can build up enough strength to push yourself off the floor, clap, and catch yourself without falling, you’ll have amazing triceps strength!



  • For strength gain, do 4 to 6 reps per set.
  • For general fitness, do 12 to 15 reps per set.
  • For endurance and weight loss, do 20 to 25 reps per set.


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