Triceps exercises


Still do not know how you have to develop your triceps in your gym routines ? In this section you will learn to exercise the triceps correctly to have large and developed arms with the following factors that I will give you below.

The first thing we have to understand is that if we want to develop large arms , we have to train the triceps perfectly, this is because the triceps is 70% of the arm .

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It is very important to understand that the triceps responds very well to mono articular exercises (isolation exercises).

Triceps composition


The triceps is composed in parts:

  • Long head : · 3 actions
    • Perform a sagittal extension of the shoulder.
    • Perform a posterior abduction from an anatomical position.
    • Perform an extension of the forearm on the arm.
  • Lateral head : Main action is to extend the forearm over the arm.
  • Middle head : Main action is to extend the forearm on the arm.

The 3 head has an arrangement of 50% slow fibers 50% fast fibers.

The heads can not be isolated, you can emphasize the work in one head with respect to the other, with different exercises and grips.

2 methods to work the triceps

  • Training : ( Recommended , because it allows greater activity of the elbow extender)
    • With bars, it allows to lift more weight and allows much better progress in loads.
    • With dumbbells, greater instability and greater range of travel.
    • With body weight: it allows a lot of instability and counter-resistance.
  • Training: (It is unadvisable to work specifically with triceps machines)
    • With machines: It is demonstrated that the activation of the elbow extensors is much less than with previous training (bars, dumbbells or body weight)

Factors to consider

  • The long portion of the triceps will be inactive if we work a weight extension without weight.
  • The laterla and middle portion will always be activated when we perform an extension of the elbow, both with weight and without weight.
  • Whenever we take weight, the 3 parts of the triceps will be active .
  • The more we take off the arm of the trunk, the more the long portion of the triceps will be activated .
    • Extension of the triceps in pulley: The arm is stuck the trunk, the long portion of the triceps will be activated to a lesser extent.
    • Dumbbell extension to one hand behind the head: The arm is very detached from the trunk, activating the long portion of the triceps more.

Best Tricep Exercises

Depending on how we place our shoulders, we can perform more or less force with our triceps. The greatest force with the triceps will be performed when the shoulders are slightly closed .

The realization of the triceps exercises will have to be done with the back straight and in a safe position .

As we said at the beginning   we will have to focus on multiarticular exercises . because it allows us to train heavy, safe and much simpler to progress. We will also have to work in isolation but giving more priority to multiarticles because the isolated works make the triceps respond very well to them, without adding too much stimulus. In addition, multiarticular exercises already activate the triceps itself, it does not make sense to put too much work with isolated exercises.

Best multi-joint exercises :

  • Parallel funds with ballast
    • Faster evolution with weight being able to perform even more activation than an isolation exercise.
    • It helps improve pressures like the military press or bench press.
    • If you can not make funds in parallel, it is advisable to do it between banks.
      • Perform it with the legs elevated and that the maximum range of flexion is 100 degrees with respect to the elbow and with respect to the shoulder.
  • Flat bench press
    • It activates the elbow extensors a lot.
    • High intensity.
  • Military Press
    • Activation of the 3 heads of the triceps.

Best isolation exercises :

  • Extension with dumbbell to one hand.
  • Extension in high pulley with rope.
  • Horizontal kicks
  • French press declined bar EZ

Tips for triceps exercises

  • If you want the maximum activation point in the triceps, you have to take it to the point of maximum contraction of this, that means you do not have to block the elbow and not lose tension at all times.
  • Do not perform flexo-extension of wrists, firm wrists .
  • Elbows always facing your body , parallel and always facing forward.

Repetitions and series

Everything will depend on your goals, if you want to get strength or hypertrophy.

Example of hyperopia:

  • Multiarticular exercises: Always heavy  4 or 5 sets of 5 or 6 repetitions , greater weight greater activation of elbow extensors. If you get better in these exercises improve in isolation exercises.
    • Strength gain we would work in a heavy way.
  • Isolation exercises: Always with more repetitions,   maximum of 6 sets if we are going to work the triceps with other push exercises and a maximum of 8 sets if we are only going to work the triceps individually. Repetitions from 8 to 12 .
  • Working the exercises in isolation with weight is not recommended because working with isolation exercises in a heavy way will only lead to injuries, it is an exercise in which if you progress you will not transfer to other larger exercises, in situ improvements in larger exercises if you improve in small exercises.

Exercise speed

Muscle gain:  3/0/2/1     or    2/0/2/0

Example: 3 or 2 seconds in eccentric phase (when we raise the bar), 0 seconds up, 2 seconds in the concentric phase (when we lower the bar) and (1) or (0) seconds down.

In case of doing sports where the extension is fast (for example giving a punch) we would do the repetitions at the maximum speed.


  • Grip
  • Prone
  • Supine

Prone grasp: Greater Stimulation of the lateral head of the triceps.

Supine grasp: Increased activation of the medial head of the triceps and decrease of the lateral head of the triceps.

Neutral grip: The better grip , greater security, allows the correct stimulation of the triceps heads.

Grip width:

  • We have to grasp the bar between 20 and 25 cm of distance between the hands . (Approximately width of the shoulders), risk of injury rather minor.
  • If we open our hands more than that distance,   the more we open them, the less triceps activation .
  • The fact of using bars between 1 or 2 cm thicker than normal bars, implies that we can lift more weight  with the same perception of effort.
  • Greater stability and greater support in the hand if the grip is thicker allowing greater safety and progress more safely.


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