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Exercises To Build Triceps
Exercises To Build Triceps

Ronnie Coleman is already a bodybuilding legend and there’s hardly a muscle on his body that he hasn’t developed to a legendary size. In this article we present to you what he does to build up his triceps using only dumbbells, and taking advantage of the specific benefit they offer in that they allow you to better isolate and stimulate the three separate triceps heads to such a degree that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve with cables or an ordinary barbell.


This exercise is almost equal in efficiency as the close grip bench press, French curls, both seated and lying and dips when it comes to adding pure muscle mass. It’s a very unique movement in that it allows you to isolate the upper part of the three heads of the triceps and increase their strength and size. Since your arms will be restricted in their range of motion, you won’t be able to cheat.

Do the exercise seated on a bench or if you prefer with the back positioned against an upright bench. Cup one of the ends of the dumbbell with your hands. Raise it above the head at arms’ length. Let the elbows be pointed in a vertical position during the exercise as you are lowering the dumbbell behind the head.

Strive to give the triceps a good stretch at the bottom position, and then raise the dumbbell again to its starting position above your head at arms’ length, while getting a peak contraction. As you begin to get close to muscle failure and cannot get a full contraction, proceed with doing some presses in an explosive manner and ensure you do them every rep with a full range of motion.
Do four sets in a pyramid scheme of ascending and descending reps. Start the first set with 15 reps and try not to go lower than 8 reps.


The execution form and the positioning in this exercise are very similar to the previous exercise but the purpose of it is pretty different. Dumbbell extensions done with both arms are meant to add strength and size in the triceps bellies. This movement, on the other hand, server to build the inner triceps head and isolate it from the other heads in the triceps muscle.

Extend the arm as high as you can and try to reach a good peak contraction at each rep. Do it in a full range of motion too.

Do four sets in a pyramid scheme of ascending and descending reps for each arm. Start the first set with 15 reps and try not to go lower than 10 reps.

Read More: Best 5 Chest Supersets To Build Large,More Powerful Pecs


Even though the other popular name for this movement is “kickbacks”, do not under any circumstance try to “kick” the dumbbells. It’s the same as trying to swing the dumbbell by using acceleration. Instead of doing this, bend your waist at around 90 degrees; brace yourself with the free arm on a bench or some other piece of equipment.

With the free hand, grab a dumbbell and try to stabilize that upper arm against your side. Also, keep it pressed into it. With only the elbow bent, pull the dumbbell forward until you reach a full contraction in your arm, and then press it backward until you fully extend it. Try to keep tension whilst pushing and pulling.

Remember to always think in the terms of pulling and pressing, instead of kicking and swinging. Do 4 sets per each arm with 8-12 reps per set. After trying out these 3 exercises you will the benefit that dumbbells can provide to your triceps workout program.

Dumbbell Extensions with two arms – 4 sets x 8-15 reps.
Dumbbell Extensions with one arm – 4 sets x 8-15 reps.
Dumbbell Pressbacks – 4 sets x 8-12 reps.


Sets: 4
Reps: rep out to near-failure on the first two sets; go to failure on the last two sets

If you haven’t mastered the bodyweight dip yet, here’s a reason to give it another try because this is one of the greatest compound upper-body pressing exercises that strengthens the shoulders, chest and triceps, and it can powerfully propel your triceps growth.

Grab the parallel bars, squeeze your core muscles and lift yourself up until your arms are locked out. For maximum triceps activation, keep your torso upright. You can cross your legs and bend your knees for better stability, but make sure to keep your head up and look straight ahead. Lower yourself down until your triceps are parallel to the floor, keeping your elbows at your side at all times. Explode back up and repeat.


Sets: 3
Reps: 10-12

Lying triceps extensions are a remarkable isolation exercise with a big range of motion that allows you to fully stretch and maximally activate your triceps, while also providing the additional benefit of improved trunk stability.

Lie on a flat bench with an EZ-bar placed on the floor behind your head. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and raise it in front of you at arm length so that your arms are perpendicular to the torso. Keeping the upper arms stationary, slowly lower the bar toward your forehead and perhaps let it lightly touch it, but avoid flaring your elbows out. Squeeze your tri’s hard to push the weight back up to the starting position and repeat.

As long as it doesn’t wreck your form, go as heavy as you can on this one.


Sets: 3
Reps: 12-15

Unlike free-weight versions of triceps extensions, cable overhead triceps extensions provide continuous tension on the triceps – even in the final position – so you can really feel your tri’s working overtime on this one.

Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the machine and grasp the rope with both hands using a neutral grip. Extend your arms above your head until they are perpendicular to the floor, keeping the elbows neutral. Without moving your upper arms or your torso, slowly lower the rope behind your head until your triceps are fully stretched. Pause for a second and give your tri’s a hard squeeze, then return to the starting position.


Sets: 2
Reps: go to failure, rest for 15 seconds, then rep out to failure again

Just like the traditional version, the triceps push-up primarily targets the pectorals, delts and core muscles. However, research has shown that due to the narrow hand position, the triceps push-up is also one of the most effective exercises for exhausting your triceps, and you want to make sure you reap that benefit!

Get in a plank position with your hands closer than shoulder width. Keeping your elbows tight to your sides, tighten your abs and slowly lower your body down until your chest gently touches the floor. Engage your triceps to push yourself back up and repeat.

It would be a bit pretentious to say that this is the only triceps workout you’ll ever need, but believe us, it’s pretty close to that!

Like any other muscle group, the triceps should be trained directly twice per week on nonconsecutive days. Keep in mind that your triceps are also getting work on the days you train chest and shoulders, so plan your workouts accordingly.

Perfect your form and keep blasting your triceps until you get the desired horse-shoe shape at the back of your arms.