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All-time 15 Best Exercises for Triceps – Detailed Analysis

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7 best exercises for bigger triceps

When it comes to arm strength and definition, the triceps play a crucial role. They’re not just important for aesthetics; strong triceps contribute to overall upper body strength and function. After scouring the latest fitness resources and expert recommendations, we’ve compiled a definitive guide to the all-time best 15 exercises for triceps.

Strong arms are important for almost every upper body movement you do each day and your triceps are often the heavy lifters. The best way to build strong, firm triceps is to choose the exercises that hit all those muscle fibres from every angle. If you are a beginner and are in search of the best exercises for triceps, here I will tell you about the best exercises for the triceps

  1. Close-Grip Bench Press: Targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders. This variation focuses more on the triceps than the standard bench press.
  2. Tricep Dips: Can be done using a bench or parallel bars, focusing on lowering and raising your body weight primarily with your triceps.
  3. Skull Crushers (Lying Triceps Extensions): Involves lying on a bench and extending weights from near the forehead to overhead.
  4. Overhead Dumbbell Extension: Done by extending the arms overhead with a dumbbell, focusing on isolating the triceps.
  5. Triceps Pushdowns: Utilizes a cable machine, where you push a bar down towards your hips to target the triceps.
  6. Reverse Grip Pushdown: Performing a triceps pushdown with a reverse grip to target the triceps from a different angle.
  7. Diamond Push-Ups: Named for the diamond shape formed by your hands; this push-up variation intensely targets the triceps.
  8. Kickbacks: Involves a hinge at the hips and extending the arm backward, keeping the elbow stationary to focus on the tricep.
  9. Rope Pushdown: Similar to triceps pushdowns but using a rope attachment allows for more wrist mobility and a different muscle activation pattern.
  10. One-Arm Overhead Extension: Similar to the overhead extension but done with one arm at a time for targeted isolation.
  11. Bench Dips: An alternative to parallel-bar dips that uses a bench, focusing the work on the triceps.
  12. Close-Grip Push-Up: A push-up with a narrower hand position to increase triceps activation.
  13. Triceps Press with Barbell: Lying on a bench and pressing a barbell up by extending the arms, focusing on the triceps.
  14. Standing Barbell Overhead Triceps Extension: Executing an overhead press specifically with a focus on extending the triceps.
  15. Kettlebell Floor Press: Lying on the floor and pressing a kettlebell upwards, similar to a bench press but with a focus on triceps through the range of motion limitation.

Rather than doing all of these moves in the same workout, focus on choosing a combination of exercises that emphasize all the different areas of the triceps.

1. Close Grip Bench Press

best exercise for triceps

Close grip bench press for triceps is one of the basic and compound exercises defined as the compound exercise that is performed for the shaping of triceps muscle by lying on a flat bench and lifting a weighted barbell. This exercise is often used as an accessory movement for the traditional bench press, or as a triceps builder for arms training.

Importance of Close Grip Bench Press

  • The close-grip bench press is a great bench press variation that increases triceps strength and hypertrophy, lockout performance and can help to minimize the stress on the shoulders.
  • The close-grip bench press is an exercise that can build mass and develop triceps strength. When this triceps workout exercise is used in conjunction with the other pressing exercises, it can complete a balance pressing program that targets the shoulders, chest and triceps.

2. Triceps Dips

Tricep Dips to Build Arm Strength and Size | A Lean Life

Usually, it is asked what triceps dips? How it can be performed? is it included in the list of best exercises for triceps? Triceps Dips is one of the best exercises of triceps. This is a great bodyweight exercise that builds arm and shoulder strength. This exercise can be done almost anywhere and has many variations to match your fitness level. Triceps dips will work for all three triceps muscles, and simply must be part of any effective triceps workout or bodyweight workout.

Also read: Close Grip vs Wide Grip Dips: The Definitive Comparison Guide

Triceps Dips workout can be performed in many ways like Triceps dips on a bench or bench dips, Triceps dips with two chairs, Triceps dips with one chair, Triceps dips on the floor and Triceps dips on parallel bars. All of these types of workouts are very targeted exercises for your triceps and can be done anywhere.

Triceps Dips Benefits

  • This is one of the most effective exercises which helps to activate the triceps muscles in your upper arm. Additionally, you should activate your core when you hold your hips off the ground.
  • These triceps dips are used for pushing, and you will have to engage them in daily activities that need pushing.

Step by Step Instruction

  • First of all, you have to find a stable chair, bench, or step.
  • Now sit on the edge of a chair and then grip the edge next to your hips.
  • While doing this your figure must be pointed at your feet and your legs are extended and your feet should be about hip-width along with the heels touching the ground. Now look straight ahead with your chin up.
  • Press into your palms for lifting your body and slide forward so that your behind will clear the chair edge.
  • Now you should lower yourself in such a way that your elbows are bent between 45 to 90 degrees
  • After this, push yourself to the starting position and repeat the exercise. Control the movement with the help of a range of motion.
  • Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions and increase your reps and steps after few weeks when your muscles are built and your triceps are full of strength.

Also read: 10 All-time Best Compound Tricep Exercises for Superior Strength

3. Skull Crusher or Lying Triceps Extension

best exercises for triceps

Skull crusher is also known as lying triceps extensions is an effective exercise for anyone to build strength and size of triceps. It is an isolation exercise that is used to build the triceps muscle group in the upper arm. The skull crusher exercise for the triceps gets its name because if you use a poor form you could endanger your skull.

It is one of the best exercises for Triceps muscles. This exercise can be done with many types of equipment. That includes such things as dumbbells, barbells, EZ-bar and even the cable machine. Each may provide a better advantage for your triceps workout, but it really depends on the person doing the exercise.

Importance of Skull Crusher or Lying Triceps Extension

  • The skull crusher is an accessory movement to increase triceps strength and hypertrophy. This can also help increase injury resistance for the elbow joint and improve overall elbow extension abilities necessary for sports performance.
  • The skull crusher is a push exercise that helps the triceps brachii in isolation. It works this muscle from the elbow up to the latissimus dorsi of the back.
  • This exercise is often used to fix imbalances associated with the triceps, for injury therapy, or in body-building.

4. Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

best exercises for triceps

The overhead triceps extension is an isolation exercise that targets your triceps muscles by repetitively flexing the elbow joint against resistance. If you are a beginner start with this exercise before moving on to the skull crushers.

You can do the triceps extension standing, sitting or lying down and either flat or on an incline. You can also do this exercise with different types of weight like barbells or an EZ bar.

Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension Benefits

  • The overhead triceps extension is a strong move that targets the back of your upper arm, at the place where triceps brachii muscles are present.
  • All 3 heads of triceps muscles come together to help extend the elbow, so it’s a really effective move.
  • There are a ton of moves to sculpt your triceps, but this can challenge the stability of your shoulder girdle.

Step by Step Instructions

  • First of all, start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells present in front of you.
  • After this raise the dumbbells above your head until arms are stretched out straight.
  • Now, slowly lower the weights back behind the head, prevent the flaring of elbows too much.
  • Once your forearms move beyond the parallel to the floor, bring the weight back up to the starting position.
  • Your upper arms should remain in place throughout the movement.
  • Perform 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

5. Triceps Pushdown

best exercises for triceps

Triceps pushdown is one of the best exercises for triceps use for developing the size and providing strength to your triceps muscles. This exercise usually uses the resistance or cable machine to work all three heads of triceps brachii by extension of the elbow joint. triceps pulldown, triceps rope pushdown, and cable triceps pushdown are the other names used for this exercise.

Importance of Triceps Pushdown

  • The triceps pushdown can help to increase upper body arm size (see below), enhance general pressing strength, and ultimately improve performance of the shoulders and chest muscles as they are often the secondary muscle group for most mass-building movements like bench press, push press, pushups, dips, etc.
  • The triceps are responsible for elbow extension and elbow/shoulder/wrist stability in the extended position, both of which are necessary for a strong lockout in the bench press, overhead press, and all of the overhead loaded positions.

6. Reverse Grip Triceps Extension

Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdown 101 | Form, Benefits & Alternatives!

Triceps workout like reverse grip triceps extension is a lightweight upper body exercise that targets the forearms, triceps and upper chest. Among the list of best exercises for triceps this exercise holds the third number. Reverse grip triceps Pushdown is another name of this exercise that helps in targeting the back of the upper arm.

Importance of Reverse grip triceps extension

  • This exercise is supreme and ideal for bodybuilders, athletes or anyone who is trying to build arm strength.
  • This is an isolation exercise rather than compound motion. These isolation exercises are good for the body because it allows you to correct the muscle imbalance or provides strength to your body. You can perform reverse grip triceps pushdown if you have strong arms than your chest, this is done to compensate for the imbalance.

7. Diamond Push-up Guide:

Diamond Push-Ups

Diamond push-ups are also known as triceps or triangle push-ups. It is an advanced variation of the classic push-up. Perform these push-ups by bringing your hands too close together which form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest.

While doing this you should exercise to keep your back and legs in a straight line and push yourself off the ground. Diamond push-ups are one of the best triceps exercises that engage and work the lateral head of the 3-headed triceps muscle.

Diamond Push-ups Benefits

  • The diamond pushup is a fantastic exercise for building the overall size and strength of your triceps.
  • This provides an effective workout for three upper body muscle groups: triceps, pecs, and deltoids.

Step by Step Instructions

  • First of all, start in a plank position on all fours with your legs stretched or extended behind you and your hands fixed and stacked directly under your shoulders.
  • Now, place your hands close together and spread your fingers to create a diamond shape with the help of index fingers.
  • After this, begin to lower your chest to the floor and always remember to keep your back flat during this exercise.
  • Press back up into a full arm extension and perform 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.

8. Kickbacks:

Triceps Kickbacks are a focused, strength-building exercise that primarily targets the triceps muscles—the muscles at the back of your upper arms. This exercise is performed using dumbbells and involves a hinging motion at the elbow, where the arm extends back while keeping the upper arm stationary and close to the body.

Benefits of the exercise

  • Targeted Muscle Strengthening: Triceps Kickbacks hone in on the triceps muscles, ensuring they receive direct and effective strengthening.
  • Improved Arm Definition: Regular practice leads to more defined and toned upper arms, enhancing the overall appearance of the arms.

Step by step instruction

  1. Starting Position: Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand. Hinge slightly at the hips and bend your knees to lean forward, but keep your back straight. Bring the upper arm of the arm holding the dumbbell parallel to your body, creating a 90-degree angle at the elbow.
  2. Performing the Kickback: Keeping your upper arm stationary, exhale as you extend your forearm back until your entire arm is parallel to the floor. The movement should be concentrated in your forearm pivoting at the elbow, with the rest of your body remaining still.
  3. Return: Inhale as you slowly return your forearm to the 90-degree angle starting position. Ensure the movement is controlled to maximize the engagement of your triceps muscle throughout the exercise.
  4. Repetition: Complete your set number of repetitions on one arm before switching to the other arm, ensuring both triceps are worked evenly. Proper form should be maintained throughout to avoid injury and ensure the focus remains on the triceps

9. Triceps Rope Pushdown

Triceps rope pushdown

The Tricep Rope Pushdown is a key exercise for targeting the triceps brachii. Using a rope attachment on a cable machine allows for a fuller range of motion and helps focus the contraction in the triceps muscle at the end of the movement.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Attach a rope to a high pulley cable machine.
  2. Grasp the rope with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bending your knees.
  3. Start with your elbows bent and your forearms parallel to the floor.
  4. While keeping your upper arms stationary, push the rope down by extending your arms.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, separate the rope ends by pulling them apart to maximize the tricep contraction.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position by bending your elbows.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

This exercise emphasizes the lateral (outer) head of the triceps, contributing to arm thickness and definition when performed consistently.

10. One-Arm Overhead Extension

This exercise targets the triceps muscles by isolating them individually, which helps in achieving symmetrical arm development.

Step by Step Instructions :

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in one hand.
  2. Extend the arm holding the dumbbell overhead, palm facing inward.
  3. Slowly bend your elbow to lower the dumbbell behind your head.
  4. Extend your arm to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps before switching arms.

11. Bench Dips

triceps bench dips

Bench dips are a versatile exercise that can be performed almost anywhere, targeting the triceps along with minor engagement of shoulders and chest.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, hands next to hips, fingers pointing forward.
  2. Extend your legs forward and lift your hips off the bench, shifting your weight to your arms.
  3. Lower your body by bending your elbows until they form a 90-degree angle.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

12. Close-Grip Push-Up

Close-Grip Push-Up

Close-grip push-ups intensify the focus on the triceps compared to regular push-ups by adjusting hand placement.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Get into a push-up position but with your hands placed narrower than shoulder-width.
  2. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  3. Push back up to the starting position, focusing on using your triceps.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

13. Triceps Press with Barbell

This exercise isolates the triceps muscles by using a barbell to perform presses from a lying position.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Lie on a bench with a barbell, holding it with a close grip above your chest.
  2. Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower the barbell down to your chest.
  3. Press the barbell back up to the original position, focusing on contracting the triceps.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

14. Standing Barbell Overhead Triceps Extension

Overhead triceps extensions with a barbell effectively target the triceps, enhancing muscle mass and strength. This exercise is often incorporated into upper body workouts and can be performed at home or in the gym.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. To perform this exercise, begin by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip, placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended.
  2. Keeping your elbows close to your head, slowly lower the barbell behind your head, bending at the elbows. Continue lowering until your forearms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Pause for a moment before using the triceps to push the barbell back up to starting position. Make sure to keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back during this movement.
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of desired reps.

15. Kettlebell Floor Press

Kettlebell Floor Press

This exercise limits the range of motion to focus intensely on the triceps and chest, utilizing kettlebells for added stability challenges.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and holding a kettlebell in each hand, palms facing inwards. Keep the elbows close to your sides as you lower yourself into a traditional push-up position. As you lower down, bend your arms at a 90-degree angle and bring your chest towards the ground. Be sure to keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back.
  2. Push through the palms of your hands to return to the starting position, fully extending your arms. This will activate both the triceps and chest muscles.
  3. Hold this position for a moment before repeating the movement for 10-12 reps.

To add an extra challenge, try performing this exercise on an unstable surface such as a Bosu ball or foam roller. This will require even more core stability and control as you perform each rep.

Incorporating this triceps push-up into your workout routine will not only target the back of your arms, but also engage your core and chest muscles for a full upper body burn. Remember to always listen to your body and modify or adjust as needed. And don’t forget to stretch those triceps afterwards to help prevent any soreness the next day!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective tricep exercise?Triangle push-ups, triceps kickbacks, and dips are identified as highly effective for toning and strengthening the triceps.
How do you hit all 3 heads of triceps?To target all three heads of the triceps (long, lateral, and medial), incorporate exercises like skull crushers, close-grip bench press, and triceps dips, which work the muscle from various angles.
Is 2 exercises for triceps good?Yes, performing two exercises that target different aspects of the triceps can be effective for muscle growth and strength, as long as they’re performed with proper form and adequate intensity.
How to increase tricep size?Increasing tricep size involves performing exercises like Triceps Extension with progressive overload (increasing weight or reps over time), ensuring proper nutrition for muscle growth, and allowing adequate rest for recovery.
Should I hit triceps everyday?No, it’s not recommended to target triceps every day as muscles require time to recover and grow after workouts. Incorporating rest days is essential for optimal muscle development.
Can I play triceps everyday?Similar to above, it’s not advisable to train triceps daily due to the need for muscle recovery. Overtraining can lead to injury and hinder muscle growth.
Do pushups work triceps?Yes, pushups, especially variations like triangle pushups, effectively engage and work the triceps along with other upper body muscles.
Do triceps grow faster than biceps?Growth rate can vary individually, but triceps often have the potential to grow larger than biceps due to their larger muscle group, contributing more significantly to arm size when properly trained.


  1. Based on the search results gathered for today’s date, here is a detailed analysis on the all-time best exercises for triceps, sourced from reputable fitness websites:
  2. Men’s Journal lists the “15 Best Triceps Workout Exercises of All Time,” including exercises like Triceps Stretch, Chaturanga, Waiter’s Walk, Close-grip Bench Press, and Band Triceps. Source: Men’s Journal
  3. Athlean-X highlights three effective triceps exercises that target different heads of the triceps: Cable Triceps Pushaway for the long head, Diamond Cutter Pushup for the lateral head, and Close Grip Bench Press. Source: Athlean-X
  4. An ACE study reveals that triangle push-ups elicited the most muscle activity among subjects, making it an effective triceps exercise. Dips and triceps exercises also showed promising results. Source: ACE Fitness
  5. Bodybuilding.com presents the “10 Best Triceps Workout Exercises for Building Muscle,” featuring exercises like Skullcrusher, Close-Grip Bench Press, Triceps Dip, Bench Dip, and more. Source: Bodybuilding.com
  6. Built With Science offers a science-based triceps workout focusing on exercises like Close Grip Bench Press, Overhead Cable Extensions, and Straight Bar Cable. Source: Built With Science
  7. BarBend provides insights into the “15 Best Triceps Exercises for Building Muscle,” including exercises like Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press, Parallel Bar Dip, Triceps Pushdown, Skull Crusher, and more. Source: BarBend
  8. Verywell Fit outlines the “8 Most Effective Triceps Exercises” such as Diamond Push-Ups, Triceps Kickbacks, Triceps Dips, Overhead Triceps Extensions, Rope Pushdowns, and more. Source: Verywell Fit
  9. Men’s Health suggests “Blow Up Your Arms With These 15 Triceps Exercises,” designed to stimulate muscle growth and emphasize the isolation of the triceps muscle. Source: Men’s Health
  10. This comprehensive analysis provides insights into the top triceps exercises recommended by fitness experts and studies, offering a diverse range of workouts to effectively target and strengthen the triceps muscles.

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