By now you likely know that if you want bigger arms then you must give triceps the most attention. This is because they take up the majority of the space in the upper arm. You also understand that if you want more pressing power then the triceps must be focused on.
By Roger Lockridge
For all of this to be possible, you must not only train the triceps hard but properly. That means you need to work all three heads. While it’s almost impossible to completely isolate one area of the triceps, you can make sure each head does the majority of the work on each exercise. These three movements will help you place emphasis on all three heads so you can be assured you have a complete workout for the back of the arm.
1. Reverse Grip Pressdown
The medial head of the triceps is the area that is the least visible because it’s the smallest part and is mostly covered by the lateral and long heads. The best way to target this area is with a reverse grip movement. Cable pressdowns are very effective because they isolate the triceps and can help warm up your elbows before heavier work. You perform reverse grip pressdowns as you would any other version except you hold the handle with an underhand grip so your palms are facing up. It’s best to use a straight handle attachment here, but if you prefer the cambered version that will work too. 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps will serve you best here.
2. Close Grip Bench Press
This is the meat and potatoes exercise for the triceps. All three heads will definitely be joining the party, but the lateral head will be the one that takes on the greatest load. That’s the visible part of the triceps you see when you flex them.
You don’t have to lock the elbows out completely at the top but you should press as high as you can before reaching that point. Remember that you’re not working on the chest but the triceps. That top portion of the rep is the most important. Don’t forget to lower the weight slowly to keep tension on the muscles and not let momentum take over. 4 sets of 6-8 reps here will be heavy enough to work on power but also assist in hypertrophy.
3. One Arm Overhead Extension
Finally, there’s the long head of the tricep. This is the only part that connects to the shoulder. It assists in shoulder flexion. That means to best target this area you need to focus on an overhead exercise. By now you’ve done two exercises where both arms are working together so now you should shift the focus to each arm individually. Start with the weaker arm first. Complete all the reps before switching arms. Don’t forget to feel that stretch at the bottom of the rep but don’t try to force it because it isn’t worth an injury. 3 sets of 12 reps with a moderate weight will be a great way to finish this session.
Triple Threat Triceps Workout
- Reverse Grip Pressdown – 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
2. Close Grip Bench Press – 4 sets of 6-8 reps.
3. One Arm Overhead Extension – 3 sets of 12 reps.
*Rest for 45 seconds between sets.