The 6 Best Exercises to Grow Your Triceps

Arms 3 min Read

Written by

Keith Hansen

It’s important to hit your triceps in different positions for even development and maximum growth.

There are three positions that you need to focus on:

– Arms at your sides
– Arms in front of your body
– Arms overhead

You can use dumbbells, bars, and cables to hit the triceps in these positions and this list provides a nice mix of implements and positions.

1. Ez Bar Skull Crushers

Arm Position: In Front
Implement: Ez Bar

If you’re hitting arms then you should be following your EZ bar curls with EZ bar skull crushers. They go together like peanut butter & jelly. Peas & carrots. Lamb & tuna fish?

Be sure you use the inside grip that places your thumbs closer to your face than your pinkies. Keep your elbows directly over your shoulders, wrists straight, and bring the weight to your forehead. Press the bar up most of the way but not to lock out. This will keep constant tension on the triceps.

2. Unilateral Dumbbell SkullCrushers


These are similar to the first exercise, but you will use one arm at a time and focus on a big range of motion instead of heavier weights.

Lie back with a dumbbell in hand in that arm straight up in the air. Your free arm will cup your working arm’s bicep to keep it in place. Bring the dumbbell down all the way toward your shoulder (instead of your skull) then press it all the way up to lockout the tricep. Focus on the contraction at the top.

3. Standing Dumbbell French Press


These can also be done with the EZ bar but I prefer the dumbbell as it puts the wrists in a more neutral position that tends to be easier on the wrists.

Grab a heavy dumbbell with both hands and hoist it up to your shoulder. Rest the end there and open your hands up then slide them to the top end of the dumbbell to press it overhead.

Keep your elbows high and lower the dumbbell behind your head then press it back to the starting position.

4. V-Bar Pushdowns


You can do these with a rope or straight bar as well, but the v-bar is the most balanced. It puts the wrists in a comfortable position, and also provides a solid implement that allows for heavier weights.

Set your shoulders, keep your elbows glued to your sides, and wrists straight.

5. Cable Tricep Kickbacks


These are a favorite finisher. You’ve probably seen or done dumbbell kickbacks, and I want you to know those are far inferior to this version.

Cable kickbacks are superior because they provide a constant tension on the tricep throughout the motion instead of getting significantly more difficult at the end range.

Set the cable to hip height and remove whatever attachment is on. You should set the weight low, grab the ball at the end of the cable, and then hip hinge until your upper body is nearly parallel with the ground. Keep your elbow glued to your side (parallel with the ground) and perform tricep extensions.

6. Overhead Rope Tricep extensions


These are very similar to the dumbbell overhead extensions. The main difference is that you don’t have to worry about knocking yourself out with a huge dumbbell.

Use the rope attachment, keep your elbows close to your head, and perform full range of motion tricep extensions.

What about tHe REst of Your Body?

Big triceps are great. So are big biceps. But you’ll need a lot more than those two things to really look big and be strong.

For everything else you need to follow a solid strength training program.

Luckily we’ve got you covered with a free program.

Download The Seriously Strong Beginner Program

Keith Hansen

Keith was an All-State wrestler in high school and in 2007 hung up his singlet to attend Florida State University to pursue a B.S. in business management. He wasn't sure what industry he wanted to be involved in at the time, but soon realized after graduating in 2011 that fitness was the ever-constant activity in his life. Keith began studying to become a personal trainer and in 2013 earned the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainer certification. After a short stint as a big box gym trainer he realized he wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee. Keith competes in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit.