Build Your Triceps With These Exercises

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Top 6 Tricep Exercises For Size And Definition

Learning the best tricep exercises for size and definition is going to be key when it comes to adding quality muscle mass to your arms. Your tricep muscle makes up roughly two-thirds of your arm and consists of three heads. These three heads are the long, lateral and medial heads. Each one will need to be hit sufficiently during a workout for the best overall tricep development. The triceps main purpose is to extend the arm and to bring the arm down towards the body.

All three heads of the tricep are worked when extending the arm whereas only the long head of the tricep is used when bringing the arm down towards the body. Now that we know a little about the tricep muscle, lets take a look at some of the best tricep exercises for size and definition. Note that these tricep exercises are in no particular order and should all be included in your routine at some point to help build muscle and mix things around a bit to avoid any signs of a weight training plateau. The top 6 triceps exercises are:

1. Tricep Extensions

Grab a dumbbell and position yourself on a flat surface, either standing or sitting. Raise the dumbbell up over your head whilst gripping it with both hands. The dumbbell should be vertical.

With the weight gripped in both hands and positioned above and slightly behind the head, lower the weight down to a 90-degree angle (where your elbows and hands are at roughly the same height). Push the weight straight up until arms are fully extended. Lower back down to the original 90-degree angle and repeat for as many times as needed.

Once you progress in weight these can become trickier as getting the weight into position can be extremely awkward when lifting heavier weight. Check the video below to see how the exercise is performed and how to get the dumbbell into position.

2. Tricep Kickbacks

Hold weights in hand/hands and position your body parallel to the floor. You should be bent over with your back straight. Position your elbows at a 90-degree angle and place them close to your sides.

Now attempt to straighten your arms out behind you. Keep the elbows still throughout the movement and return slowly to the starting position. I personally feel this is quite a tough tricep exercise so when first starting out, begin with lighter weights and build your reps/weight up overtime.

3. Skull Crushers

Definitely one of the best tricep exercises for size and definition. Lie on a bench and hold a barbell with hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart and palms facing out, up above your head. Lower the weight down bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle.

The weight should be lowered in the direction of your forehead or slightly behind your head. Whichever feels more comfortable and natural. Once the bar is lowered to around forehead level or slightly lower, push the weight back up to the starting position extending your arms fully.

You can choose to use a standard barbell, an ez curl bar or dumbbells. Again this is personal preference although many feel the ez bar can help prevent wrist pain and feels a lot more comfortable. The below video will demonstrate to you how to perform a skull crusher with dumbbells. You can choose to position your head either on the bench or slightly off the end of the bench as shown in the below video.

4. Tricep Dips

This tricep exercise can be performed on parallel dip bars, between 2 objects such as a bench or chair or some gyms even have a tricep dip machine. The machine dip is performed in pretty much the same sort of motion as a regular dip so we will look at bench dips and parallel bar dips.

Bench Dips. If your working out at home and using a chair or a bench make sure it’s strong enough to hold your body weight as we don’t want it collapsing halfway through your set. To perform tricep dips on a bench or chair stand in front of the object, with your back to it.

Place your hands on the bench/chair with your palms facing down. Hands should be slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Your legs can either be positioned at a 90-degree angle on another bench or chair or can be positioned on the floor with your legs extended out.

Lower your body by bending at the elbow. Keep your elbows pointing behind you at all times. Once the elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, stop and push your body back up using your tricep muscles.

Try not to come too far down when lowering yourself as doing so can put unnecessary strain on other muscle groups. You should try and exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down. This is one of the best tricep exercises you can perform to get that pumped feeling in your arm.

If your performing the parallel bar tricep dip you will perform it in exactly the same way as a bench dip but because your body will be elevated slightly in the air. Holding on to the parallel bars keep your chest up, look forward and tuck your legs up behind you. If your using a dip belt like in the below video then legs wont need to be as tucked.

5. Close-grip pushups (Diamond Push Up)

Get down on all fours assuming a normal push up/press-up position and place your hands either less than shoulder-width apart or next to each other where you have both thumbs and index fingers touching.

See the video below if your not sure how this looks. Extend your legs out behind you so your two hands and legs are now holding your body up. Lower your body until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle. Now push yourself back up returning to your original position.

6. Close-grip bench press

Another one of the best tricep exercises you can perform for both size and definition. In my opinion the close grip bench press and/or skull crusher should be the main staple of a tricep workout as you can use more weight on these two exercises than any other tricep exercise.
This exercise will also help you to increase your bench press as the tricep muscles are largely involved when it comes to benching so making them stronger using a similar range of motion as the standard bench press will definitely help.

The close grip bench press maneuver involves placing your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart when gripping the barbell. Lie on a bench and lift the weight up above your head like a typical bench press starting position but with your hands less than shoulder-width apart.

Arms should be extended. Lower the weight down towards the middle area of your chest. Make sure you keep your elbows tucked in and not flared out to the side as can be demonstrated in the video below.

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Ensuring the barbell does not bounce or rest on your chest (a slight brush of the chest is fine), push the barbell back up until your arms are fully extended. It may be a good idea to have a spotter on this exercise if your planning on training to failure. This is another great tricep exercise where you will definitely feel the burn and pump in your triceps when performed correctly.

So that’s my top 6 best tricep exercises for size and definition. Combine these exercises into an effective weight training routine that builds muscle and you will see some great improvements in size and definition of your triceps.

Remember to keep your diet high in protein and consume enough calories for you to be putting on weight muscle and size otherwise all your hard work in the gym is going to suffer. If your unsure as to how much protein or calories you need in your diet check out beginners’ guide on how to build muscle and how much protein do you need to build muscle.

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