Biceps get all the spotlight.
But if you really want the stares and admiration then it’s time to work on those the triceps.
It’s the triceps that really give the arms their bulky appearance.
And that’s good news for you because it’s a lot easier to build girth on the back of the arms than it is the front.
Since there are three heads to the triceps you need to hit them from various angles to make sure they you properly blast them to make them grow.
Here are five exercises for you to add into your weekly workout to build some attention grabbing tri’s.
Use these with caution because there are only so many hours in a day and you won’t have time to field all the questions from people wondering how your arms got so jacked and defined.
#1 Dips For Bigger Tris
Good old-fashioned dips are arguably the best drills you can ever do for your triceps.
Although they can be done on a bench, chair or box, the best way to do them is from dipping bars or parallel bars.
This way your entire body is suspended in the air and you get a lot more resistance.
Here are the details on how to pull them off.
Grab a hold of the bars firmly and lift yourself up in the air so your arms are fully extended and legs are hanging beneath you.
Bend your elbows to lower yourself down and stop when your upper arms are about parallel to the floor.
Push yourself back up in a steady and fluid motion, and squeeze your triceps forcefully for a full second. Repeat for maximum reps.
Also, be sure to keep your abs tight and elbows inward when you are doing these.
If you let your elbows flare out to the sides, it can cause excess strain on your shoulders.
Still not enough? If you need more resistance, wear a dipping belt and slide a kettlebell or some weight plates through the chain.
#2 Reverse-Grip Barbell Chest Press
You might want to get a spotter for this drill.
Especially when you start going up in weight.
Place a loaded barbell on a weight bench and lie on your back.
Grab the bar with an underhand grip and your hands about shoulder-width apart.
Press it up off the supports and fully extend your arms.
Your palms will be facing toward your head at this point.
Slowly lower the bar by bending your elbows.
Keep them in by your sides and stop the bar when it touches the bottom of your chest.
Push it straight back up until your arms are fully extended, squeeze your triceps for a full second and repeat.
#3 Rope Angled Pushdowns
The rope enables you to get a really good squeeze on your triceps from a side angled position.
Start by attaching it to a high setting on a cable machine.
Stand with your feet together and grasp the ends of the rope with the heel of your hands pressed against the stoppers.
Keep your upper body still and abs tight as you pull your upper arms in by your sides. Push down on the rope by bending your elbows and sweep your hands across the front of your body in a circular type motion.
Continue to move them out so your palms face in toward your body.
Stop when your arms are about fully extended and squeeze your triceps for a full second.
Slowly retrace the downward movement in reverse until you get back to the starting point and repeat.
#4 Extended-Arm Skullcrushers
Skullcrushers by themselves are very effective.
But this little variation takes the intensity up a notch.
Lie face-up on a bench with an EZ-curl bar resting on your chest and your hands about shoulder-width apart.
Press the bar up above your chest and fully extend your arms.
Your hands should be positioned where they are facing in at an angle.
Lower the bar back behind your head until your upper arms are about in line with your ears.
Keep your upper arms still in this position as you bend your elbows to lower the bar.
Stop when it is near the bottom of your head or the bench and push straight back out until your arms are fully extended.
Squeeze your triceps forcefully for a full second and repeat the whole drill.
#5 Dive-Bomber Push-ups
Lastly, you have another bodyweight exercise.
This is a really good finisher in a workout and it hits your tris from another angle.
Start in a front-leaning rest position with your hands directly under your shoulders and feet about hip-width apart.
You may know this is a plank position too.
Lift your butt up in the air and push your weight onto your heels. If you can’t get your feet flat on the floor, that’s totally fine.
Move your head between your arms and fix your gaze back toward your toes. Your body should form an angle at this point and you may know this as a downward-facing dog or A-frame position.
Keep your abs tight and body in this same position as you bend your elbows. Let your head move at a forward angle as you do this and keep your gaze fixed backward.
Stop when your forearms touch the floor, then push yourself back to the starting point. Repeat for a set of reps.
Again, make sure to not let your elbows flare out to the sides.
Triple Your Triceps Program
Now that you have a solid collection of drills to make your arms look good, here is a workout to put them into practice.
- Dips: 5 sets of 8 to 10 reps
- Reverse-grip Barbell Chest Press: 12, 10, 8, 6, 10, 10
- Rope Angled Pushdowns: 12, 10, 8, 6, 10, 10
- Extended-arm Skullcrushers: 12, 10, 8, 6, 10, 10
- Dive-bomber Push-ups: 5 sets to failure
Rest for about 45 to 60 seconds between each set.
For Reverse-grip Barbell Chest Presses, Rope Angled Pushdowns and Extended-arm Skullcrushers, perform sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6. Go up in weight with each set.
Then, as soon as you finish your set of 6, perform two breakdown sets of 10 reps with lighter weights and no rest between them.
For all of these exercises, know your limitations!
It is best to go lighter and get your form down. You have plenty of time to add load.
Do this workout and take two days off before doing it again. This will give your triceps plenty of time to recover.
Remember, there are two parts to the upper arms.
Don’t neglect your biceps! It’s true that the triceps give your arms a bigger look, but you want to make sure you also have balance.
Be sure to work your biceps equally. And since they are opposing muscle groups, you can easily do a triceps/biceps workout!
Or you can work your biceps on the next day. It’s really up to you, as long as you execute good form and think in terms of symmetry.