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Best Triceps Workout Routines

Updated on February 1, 2015

Training The Triceps Muscles

Just about every guy who lifts weights regularly wants more muscle size in their upper arms. The biceps are one of the easiest muscles to show off so many of them focus most of their efforts on building the biceps rather than the triceps. However, the triceps actually make up more upper arm muscle size than the biceps. Because of this, it's very important to train the triceps with a lot of intensity to help build bigger and thicker arms. You also need to strengthen these muscles with intense training.

The triceps will get plenty of work from assisting on major chest and shoulder exercises. If you're strong on exercises for those muscles, you'll likely have strong triceps as well. Of course, building strength in the triceps with direct exercises for them will also help make you stronger on major chest and shoulder exercises. If you follow the best triceps workout routines, you will see more arm size and strength.

Best Exercises For The Triceps

For the best triceps workout routines, you need to perform certain exercises. You should do compound exercises like close-grip bench presses and exercises that target the triceps more directly such as triceps extensions and cable pushdowns.

The close grip bench press is one of the best exercises for building the triceps. It's done the same way as a normal bench press, but with the hands placed about 6 inches apart. This puts more of the focus on the triceps rather than the chest, though you may still feel it in the outsides of your pecs. When you do close grip benches you may be better not lowering the weight all the way to your chest because you may be putting too much stress on your wrists if you do.

An excellent alternative to the close-grip bench press is to bench press with a reverse, underhand grip. Reverse grip benches don't seem to put as much stress on the wrists and you'll really feel the triceps working when you do them. Reverse-grip benches do take some getting used to so you should make sure not to go too heavy at first.

Triceps extensions are another great exercise to perform during the best triceps workout routines and can be done many different ways. To do them while seated or standing you hold a weight overhead with your arms straight, then lower it behind your head and raise it using your triceps. To do lying triceps extensions, or "skull crushers" you lie on a bench with a weight held over you chest, then lower the weight to your forehead and lift it back up. Standing and seated tricep extensions can be done with a barbell, EZ curl bar, dumbbell, or cables while lying triceps extensions are best done with a barbell or EZ curl bar.

Cable pushdowns done with a straight bar, EZ curl bar, or rope are all great triceps exercises to do towards the ends of your workouts. Cable pushdowns will allow you to get a strong contraction in the triceps at the end of a rep. If you want to get some extra reps, you can cheat a bit by using your abs.

An excellent exercise for finishing off the best triceps workout routines is the close-grip push-up. It mimics a close-grip bench press, though you should be able to get more reps while doing them. A couple of high rep close-grip push-ups will burn your triceps out.

Triceps Workouts

The best triceps workout routines should be performed during the same workout as you train your chest and shoulder muscles. Do chest, followed by shoulders, and do the triceps last. When you train these "pushing" muscles together you'll give them plenty of time to recover before you train them again. You also won't have to do as many warm-up sets for the triceps when you get to them since they'll already be warmed up from chest and shoulder exercises. You can also perform your triceps workouts after you do shoulders and biceps for an arm workout day. If you do this, you'll get some padding from your pumped biceps when you do your triceps exercises..

Start your best triceps workout routine off with a compound exercise like close- or reverse-prip bench presses. After this, you should perform some triceps extensions exercises with free weights. Lying triceps extensions or seated dumbbell extensions are both excellent choices. When you get finished with triceps extensions, try some cable work by doing straight bar or rope pushdowns. Finish off your triceps workouts with a couple of drop sets or supersets to end with a pump.

To avoid hitting a plateau and to target both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers you should try a triceps routine where you have a lighter weight, higher rep workout, a medium weight and rep workout, and a heavy weight, low rep workout.

Sample Triceps Workout Routine

Light triceps workout (15-20 reps per set)
1-2 sets of close or reverse grip bench presses
1-2 sets of standing, seated, or lying triceps extensions
1-2 sets of different triceps extension exercise
1-2 sets of cable triceps pushdowns
1-2 sets of rope pushdowns
1-2 drop sets

Medium triceps workout (12-15 reps per set)
2-3 sets of close or reverse grip benches
2-3 sets of triceps extensions
2-3 sets of different triceps extension exercise
1-2 sets of cable triceps pushdowns
1-2 sets of rope pushowns
1-2 drop sets

Heavy triceps workout (8-12 reps per set)
2-3 sets of close or reverse grip benches
3-4 sets of triceps extensions
2-3 sets of different extensions exercise
2-3 sets of cable triceps pushdowns
2-3 sets of rope pushdowns
2-3 drop sets


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    • profile image

      Marnie 3 years ago

      What a joy to find sonmeoe else who thinks this way.

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      Gracelyn 3 years ago

      I litraelly jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this!