What are the best triceps exercises you can do in the gym? Follow Depor Trainer 's recommendations to develop big triceps. We have a lot of experience in weight training and only recommend the best exercises. We know what exercises have worked for us to make muscles grow.

The importance of triceps exercises

The triceps is the muscle that occupies most of the arm. Therefore, if you want your arms to look big, you will need to develop a good triceps. Don't worry, as this muscle usually responds very well to training. The triceps is not a muscle that most of us use a lot in our day to day life, unless we work pushing objects. Therefore, this muscle gains strength and grows quickly. However, you must include the appropriate exercises in your arm routine.

You can add quite a few inches to your arm girth with big triceps. Don't forget this muscle, as it will make the arm stick out a lot from the shirt, especially in profile view. Learn the  most important exercises for triceps.

French press or skullcrasher for triceps

This is perhaps the best known free weight triceps exercise in every gym. For us, without a doubt, this exercise is the most important to build strong triceps. In addition, the French press will help you improve in other movements such as the bench press and the military press. To execute it, you need a bench and ideally an EZ bar. 

French press exercise for triceps

1. Lie face up on the flat bench gripping the EZ Bar at shoulder width (or whatever grip is most comfortable for you; some people prefer a closer or more open grip). In the basic version, the palms of your hands should not face your face. Start with arms outstretched.

2. Take a breath and lower the bar, bending your elbows to bring your hands almost to your forehead. The back of your hands should almost touch your forehead. Hold the air.

3. Push your forearms explosively, exhale, and fully extend your arms again. You will have completed one repetition of this triceps exercise.

For hypertrophy, do several sets of 6 to 20 repetitions.

Do you have discomfort in your elbows?  Some people experience pain in their elbows when performing this exercise (we don't recommend closing the grip too tight). This is a shame, as you lose out on the benefits of this great exercise. If this is your case, you can experiment with the next version.

You can do the exercise with your head slightly off the bench. This version of the movement is called the Over French Press. Here, the arms will not be straight, but slightly inclined towards the head. The bar will not be brought to the forehead either, but behind the head. With a video, you will understand this exercise for triceps much more clearly:

Close grip bench press, an exercise for triceps

We have always known that the bench press was invented mainly to give work to the pectoral muscle. However, the triceps are heavily involved in this exercise. We can further favor the intervention of the triceps if we use a more closed grip than usual. One mistake is to do the closed press with an extremely close opening hand. No need to force the grip so much! Grabbing the bar at shoulder width will already be enough to work the triceps. This grip already differs from the conventional bench press (whose grip is greater than shoulder width).

 Close grip bench press; exercises for triceps in the gym

1. Lie down on the bench, grab the bar shoulder-width apart, take a deep breath, and lift the bar out of the rack. Start with your arms fully extended and your shoulders back (press your shoulders hard against the bench).

2. Take another breath and lower the bar until it touches your chest. Remember that your elbows go towards your body and not out.

3. Extend your arms again to return to the starting position. Release the air. Focus on pushing the load with your triceps.

Another way to do this great exercise is the Smith or Multipower machine . In this case, we like to give the bench a slight incline. This exercise will burn your triceps.

Close Grip Incline Bench Press on Multipower for Triceps
We recommend this version on a Multipower machine with a slightly incline bench.

For hypertrophy, do several sets of 6 to 20 repetitions.

Cable triceps extension

The cable triceps extension is the most popular machine triceps exercise. It is one of the best exercises for triceps brachii. This muscle isolation movement will help you pump and fully stretch the muscle. The basic version is made with a small straight handle. The triceps extension can also be done with a rope.

 Pulley triceps extension exercise

1. Go to a high pulley machine and set the straight grip. Approach the pulley, grab the bar at shoulder width, and take a deep breath.

2. Contract your abs and keep your body as one block. You can lean forward a bit. Take a breath and lower your forearms to extend the triceps. Try not to move your elbows too much during the execution of the movement. In the final part of the concentric phase, try to keep your arm completely straight. Breathe out as you extend the triceps.

3. Raise your forearms again in a controlled manner until the backs of your hands point toward your chest. Take another breath to do the next repetition.

Another way to do this exercise, which allows you to lift more weight, is to do a triceps pushdown instead of an extension. This will be like doing a press exercise. Use it when you are advanced or stuck with the weights. In addition, this way of doing the exercise prevents elbow pain. Watch minute 5:09 of the following video to see how it's done:

Pulley Rope Triceps Extension
Another way to do the triceps extension is to use the rope on the pulley.

Do several sets of 10 to 30 repetitions to hypertrophy. Pulley triceps isolation exercises are generous at high reps.

Dips in parallel bars, calisthenics triceps exercises

Dips on parallel bars have typically been done to gain strength and size in the pecs. However, as with any pushing exercise, the triceps are involved in the final part of the movement. Dips are one of the calisthenics triceps exercises. This encompasses all exercises that are done with one's own body weight. 

It is recommended that the parallel bars be at shoulder width to engage the triceps more in the movement. When the bars are further apart, the pectoral is worked more. In any case, the triceps will always have to make an effort.

Dips for triceps on parallel bars

1. Get on the parallel bars with your torso perpendicular to the ground; hold this position throughout the exercise (as you lean forward, the work will shift to your chest and shoulders).

2. You can bend your knees and cross your ankles to be more comfortable. Inspire. Lower your torso in a controlled manner until your shoulder joints are below your elbows (most men stop in this position). Ideally, the upper arm and forearm form a 90º angle.

3. Push yourself up until your elbows are almost straight, but not locked. Breathe out as you push off.

If you have shoulder problems, you can skip this exercise for now. When you get high reps, you can use a belt, chain, and weight to make this exercise more difficult.

Not strong enough to do a triceps dip on the parallel bars? In this case, try using a bench. It's very easy: stand with both hands on the end of the bench, legs straight and heels on the ground. Take a breath, bend your elbows and lower your torso until the buttocks almost touch the ground. Push yourself up and exhale to raise your torso until your arms are straight. You can place a weight plate on your legs to complicate this exercise.

Bench dips for triceps

Do sets of 6 to 20 repetitions of triceps dips to increase your muscle mass. Use weights when your body weight alone is not a challenge.

Make your triceps routine with the proposed exercises. Personally, we like to do them in the order listed, but you can change the order depending on how you feel. As an example, you can select three of the exercises and do a routine with 3 sets for each one; Or you can use all four exercises and do 2 sets of each.

Triceps routine for gym 1 :

- French Press: Three warm-up sets of 15, 10 and 5 repetitions.

Top sets: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-12 reps

1 x 8-12 reps

- Close grip bench press:

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-12 reps

1 x 8-12 reps

- Pulley triceps extension:

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-15 repetitions

1 x 8-15 repetitions

Triceps routine for gym 2 :

- French Press: Three warm-up sets of 15, 10 and 5 repetitions.

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-12 reps

- Close grip bench press:

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-12 reps

- Pulley triceps extension:

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-15 repetitions

- Triceps dips on parallel bars or bench:

Top set: maximum repetitions

1 x 8-15 repetitions

These are the best exercises for each part of the triceps . You can do them in your  arm routine at the gym . One idea we quite like is to train the triceps along with a large muscle group on the same day. We recommend working triceps and back or triceps and leg.

If you want maximum strength on each set, alternate one exercise from each muscle group. An example would be exercises in the following order: squat, French press, leg press, rope triceps extension, lying hamstring curl, Multipower close grip press, quad extension, straight grip triceps extension, and lunges .

With this distribution, your triceps will be fully recovered in each exercise so that you can lift your maximum load.

Dumbbell triceps exercises

The best thing about dumbbells is that they will help you do triceps exercises at hom . You will not need machines or a rack to place a bar. Some dumbbell triceps exercises require a bench. Learn the main movements and make your arm routine at home. 

One-arm dumbbell triceps extension

This is one of the  best triceps exercises and one of the easiest to do. When doing your triceps workout, don't forget that this muscle has three parts: the lateral head, the medial head, and the long head. That last part doesn't always get the attention it deserves, unless you do exercises like the dumbbell triceps extension regularly. Doing an overhead triceps stretch serves to isolate the long head.

 Triceps exercises; one arm dumbbell extension

1. Take a dumbbell. Raise the dumbbell above your head keeping your elbow up and your core tight.

2. Take a breath, bend your elbow, and lower the dumbbell to your upper back. Keep your chest compact and shoulders in place.

3. Lift the weight by fully extending your arm. Stop at the top of the movement and squeeze the triceps. Expel the air.

This triceps exercise strengthens the long head, which will give your arm a bigger size. Do sets of 8 to 20 repetitions on this exercise to gain muscle hypertrophy.

Two-arm triceps extension with dumbbell or triceps cup

In this dumbbell arm exercise, you have to grip the weight with both hands. It's similar to the one-handed triceps extension. This exercise is also known as the triceps cup. Since you'll be using the strength of both arms, you can use a heavier dumbbell than the one-handed version. You can do this exercise standing up or sitting on a bench .

Two-arm dumbbell triceps extension

1. Sit on a bench and grab a dumbbell. With both hands, form a diamond-shaped grip on top of the dumbbell.

2. Raise the dumbbell over your head keeping your elbows up and your core tight.

3. Take a breath and lower the dumbbell to your upper back, bending your elbows. Keep your chest compact and shoulders in place.

4. Raise the weight until your arms are fully extended. Stop the dumbbell to squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement.

Use a dumbbell that you can do between 8 and 20 repetitions with and gain muscle volume in the triceps with this exercise.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

The dumbbell kick is one of the internal triceps exercises that we recommend because it works all three heads of the muscle. It's a muscle isolation move that won't allow you to use a lot of weight if you want to do it correctly. To be more comfortable, you can lean on a bench. You don't need to pick up a very heavy dumbbell in this exercise. Use a weight that you can control. 

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

1. Rest one arm on a bench or platform and lean your body forward. With the other arm, grab the dumbbell.

2. Begin with the upper arm with the dumbbell in line with your body. Bend the elbow so that the dumbbell is below the torso. Take a breath.

3. Deliver an explosive "kick" with the forearm back until the arm is fully extended. Expel the air when you do this movement. Bend the elbow again to return to the starting position.

Double triceps kickdown exercise with dumbbell
You can do this exercise with two dumbbells at once (double dumbbell kickout). This will be more difficult because you will not have support.

You should feel a burn in your triceps with each rep. Do sets of 8 to 20 repetitions to get hypertrophy.

Dumbbell french press

The triceps skull crusher can also be done with dumbbells, which will work each arm unilaterally. This is one of the dumbbell tricep exercises that requires a flat bench. Let's see how it's done.

French press with dumbbells, one of the best exercises for triceps

1. Begin the French press by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lie down on a flat bench and fully extend your arms.

2. Without moving your upper arms, take a deep breath and lower the dumbbells, bending your elbows toward your head.

3. Pause for 1 second when the dumbbells are almost touching your forehead.

4. Breathe out and extend your elbows to push the dumbbells back to starting position until your arms are fully extended; hold this contraction for 1 second.

You can do 3-4 sets of about 8-20 repetitions.

Strengthen each tricep separately by using the dumbbell French press, where each arm has to move the weight on its own. Also, in this triceps exercise, the grip is changed from the barbell French press, as the dumbbells will be held with a neutral grip.

With just a pair of dumbbells, any girl can do these exercises for women at home that will stop flab and tone her arms.

3 other triceps exercises

Finally, here are 3 other well-known triceps exercises for the gym. One with a machine, another with a pulley and another without material.

Exercises for triceps with a press machine

You must be lucky that there is a triceps press machine in your gym. The inclination and angle of the machine change depending on the model. On some machines, you'll have to push horizontally, while on others you'll push your arms down (as if you were doing triceps dips). In any case, this is a good exercise.

Triceps press machine exercise

1. To start on the triceps press machine, adjust the seat and sit down. Select the desired weight.

2. Hold the handles, take a breath and push the load until the arms are almost completely locked. Release the air.

3. Control the weight as you bring your arms back to the starting position. This completes one repetition. Come back to take a breath for the next repetition.

Perform 3-4 sets of 8-20 repetitions. This exercise is great to finish an arms routine in the gym. Use the machine as the last exercise to gain a big pump and burn in your triceps. Make them grow with this strategy.

Overhead cable triceps extension

Another of the best-known triceps exercises in the gym is the overhead pulley extension. You will need to locate a machine with a high pulley. We like to do this exercise with the "V" grip, although many people prefer to use the double rope. 

1. Hold the handle with your palms facing forward. Step back a bit from the triceps pulley and lean your body forward. With the handle in your hands, bend your elbows and place your hands behind your head. Step forward and flex one leg for support and balance. This is the starting position.

Overhead cable triceps extension exercise

2. Look straight ahead, fill your lungs with air and move the handle over your head until you achieve a full extension of the triceps. Try not to move your elbows too much. Release the air when you make the effort.

3. Bend your elbows again to bring your hands behind your head for the next repetition.

Overhead Triceps Extension Pulley V-Grip Exercise
This movement is easier with the "V" grip.

Grip or maneral "V" for triceps
"V" grip for triceps exercises.

If you want, you can use the  triceps cable with the rope to do this movement, but the exercise will be more difficult. For hypertrophy, do 3-4 sets of 8-20 reps.

Diamond push-ups, exercises for triceps without material

Those who are looking for triceps exercises without equipment can do this fantastic style of pushup on the floor. It's like a normal push-up, but with your arms much closer together. Your triceps will burn with this exercise! Also, you can use it to finish your arm routine. The best thing is that you can do it at home because it does not require materials.

 Diamond push-ups, bodyweight exercise for triceps

1. Get into a plank position on the floor. Place your hands together under your chest in a diamond position. Make both forefingers and thumbs touch. Keep your legs straight and your arms fully extended.

2. Take a breath, bend your elbows and lower your torso until you almost touch the ground. Don't bend your legs!

3. Push your torso back up and exhale. Come up with your arms fully extended.

Is it too much effort for you to place your hands in a diamond shape? So, try simply placing your hands shoulder width apart. This arm position won't be as open as a conventional push-up and will also allow you to focus on the triceps (however, it won't be as difficult as the diamond push-up).

You can do sets of 10 to 30 repetitions to achieve a great muscle pump. Do triceps pushups at home or to finish your gym routine.

How to do the triceps stretch

Accompany the triceps exercises with an adequate stretch. Stretching before exercise helps you have more strength. Stretching at the end of training causes micro-tears in muscle fibers and favors hypertrophy. Perform a correct triceps stretch by following these steps:

1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Raise and bend your other arm until your hand is in the middle of your upper back.

2. Grab your elbow with your other hand and pull gently.

3. Hold the position for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Correct form and breathing pattern

Release all tension from your body by keeping your back straight and your neck and shoulders relaxed. Exhale (breathe out) during the stretch and inhale (breathe in) when you release the stretch. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, maintaining a natural but slightly deeper breathing pattern.

Benefits of triceps stretching

Stretching the triceps muscle improves mobility and range of motion. After an upper body workout that involves pushing or crunching movements, it's important to stretch your triceps to prevent soreness and muscle tension. Stretching exercises are often overlooked, but they are very important for maintaining muscle tone and health.

Stretch demonstration

Triceps Stretch Example

Triceps Stretch Exercise

Intensity and duration

Stretch the muscles by slowly pulling in the elbows and extending the triceps. Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds, then switch sides. Avoid stretching beyond the normal range of motion of the arm, and do the stretches at the end of the exercise while the muscles are still warm.

You already know the 4 best exercises for triceps and the way to stretch this muscle. You just need to follow a good eating plan and work this muscle weekly. Contact Depor Trainer to show us your results or answer your questions about these exercises!

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