You can’t get monster arms without building the triceps. While massive biceps might look like they take up more space, let’s just say you can’t show up to the gun show without bulging triceps. In fact, the triceps muscle takes up nearly 60% of your upper arm mass. So whether you’re a bodybuilder or someone just looking to get jacked, you need to incorporate the 9 best tricep workouts for men to help you build monster-size muscles on the back of your arms.
Tricep Workouts For Men - The Secret To Monster Arms
The secret to the 9 best tricep workouts for men is consistency and following a plan. Not only do you need to incorporate these workouts into your training, but you’ll need to practice them for 4-8 weeks (or how long it makes sense to incorporate into your split). Don’t forget the rest of your body! You can build monster arms with a little help from the 6 Week Strength Training Program that puts these training principals into action.
The tricep muscle is comprised of 3 heads and each contributes to the overall look of a developed tricep muscle. When all three are equally developed, you complete the horseshoe shape.
Tricep Long Head: Responsible for the majority of the mass in the triceps and can be found on the back of the arm
Lateral Head: Smaller than the long head but can be seen from the side (top of the horseshoe)
Medial Head: Least visible of the 3 heads of triceps and is important for providing stability and overall strength; found on the back of the arm near the elbow
How Do You Hit All 3 Heads Of Triceps?
Each one of the workouts in this list recruits the 3 heads of triceps (lateral, long, and medial). While you cannot isolate one head for a workout, you can focus, to some degree, with changes in hand positioning and body positioning to work one more than the other. We recommend doing the exercises with the best range of motion that you can in order to place the most resistance on the muscle so it grows. Lastly, there is a combo of body weight and weighted exercises - in order to emphasize the long head of triceps you’re going to need to train with resistance/weights rather than just bodyweight.
Best Supplements To Build Muscle Mass
Diet and exercise are unquestionably the foundation for building muscle mass and strength. But, to truly maximize your athletic performance and potential optimizing your nutrient intake is essential. Supplements are meant to be supplemental after all, and with the right ones, you can truly maximize your results and build more strength. But, with many supplements to choose from, what are the best supplements to build muscle mass and strength?
It's important to find a supplement that is transparent or proprietary-blend free and tells you how much of each ingredient is in your product. Most pre-workout powders use proprietary blends and do not disclose how much of each ingredient they use. Without knowing the amount of each ingredient your ingesting, you won’t know if you're getting enough of each ingredient to have any performance benefits.
All Swolverine products are transparent, clinically dosed, made with clinically proven ingredients, and are proprietary blend-free. We do this so that you know exactly how much and of what you're getting to get maximum results from your hard work.
9 Best Tricep Workouts For Men To Build Monster Arms
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press
You might associate bench press with only building a big chest, but by adjusting the placement of your grip you can actually use this movement to build monster arms. The close grip barbell bench press is a great triceps workout for men to incorporate into their regular training routine as a compound movement.
How To Do Close Grip Bench Press:
- Start by lying supine (on your back) on a flat bench with your legs spread and your feet planted firmly, flat on the floor
- Reach up and grab the barbell with a narrow grip, which ends up being about shoulder-width
- Straighten your wrists and dismount the barbell from the racked position
- From here, keeping your elbows nice and tight to the sides of the body, inhale as you lower the barbell to your chest
- Exhale and press the barbell back to the starting position, keeping the wrists straight and extending the elbows
Close Grip Parallette Tricep Push-Up
The elevation of the workload in close grip parallette tricep push-ups makes this movement challenging and great at developing strength and size in the triceps. The height of the parallette brings your hands higher than your feet, changing the workload, and decreases the amount of force that your upper body can rely on to push yourself back to the starting position. The big focus is on the mind-muscle connection thanks for proper form and the efficiency of the movement while keeping the elbows locked and the triceps engaged.
How To Do Close Grip Parallette Tricep Push-Up
- Get down into a pushup/plank position and place both hands in a narrow/shoulder-width grip on the parallette
- Bracing the core and keeping the hips neutral, inhale and begin to lower your body, bending the elbows and keeping the spine neutral
- As you reach the bottom of the push-up, exhale as you press through the hands and elbows, engaging the triceps and returning to the starting position
Single Arm Dumbbell Tricep Kickback
The dumbbell kickback, also known as the triceps kickback, is ranked by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as the second most effective triceps exercise. While it can be difficult to do with heavyweight, the movement is a great triceps burn out movement or for higher rep ranges. If you need to make this movement more difficult and desire to add more weight, we recommend doing the cable triceps kickback
- With a dumbbell in one of your hands, kneel over a bench and support your body with the other arm
- Your torso and upper arm should be parallel to the floor and the elbow holding the weight should be at a 90-degree angle with the dumbbell directly underneath it
- Keeping the supporting arm stationary, exhale and extend the dumbbell backward until straight
- Hold for a 2 count
- Inhale as you slowly and with control, lower the dumbbell back to the 90-degree starting position
Barbell JM Press
The tricep workout dubbed the Barbell JM Press is a crafty cross between a traditional barbell skull crusher and a close-grip bench press. The JM press was created by 4-time world bench press champion, JohnMark Blakely. However, the name was coined by Louie Simmons and George Halbert when Blakely was training at Westside Barbell, making this movement also referred to as the Blakely Press. Regardless of what you want to call it, if you’re looking for tricep workouts to build monster arms then this one is for you.
How To Do Barbell JM Press or Blakely Press:
- Start by lying supine (on the back) on a flat bench with the feet and legs rooted for stability
- Dismount the barbell with a shoulder-width grip
- Keeping the elbows high, like in a skull crusher, inhale and lower the barbell in a straight line to the upper chest/throat area. Stop lowering when the forearms make contact with the biceps, flexing the wrist
- Exhale as you press the barbell back up to the starting position
Banded Tricep Extensions
Resistance bands have a lot of functions, especially when it comes to building the triceps. It’s a variation of the tricep extension and with the resistance from the bands, you can get the muscle to completely contract, building size and strength.
How To Do Banded Tricep Extensions:
- Attach a resistance band to something stable and begin in a starting position
- Hold the sides of the bands with a neutral grip (palms inward) and lean forward slightly with a hinge in the hips
- Inhale as you extend the elbows and press through the arms into extension, almost fully locking out the arms
- Exhale and bring the arms back to the starting position in a controlled manner
Tricep Dips or Elevator Bar Dips
Triceps dips can be done with assistance, body weight, or with added weight. However, before you get into more weight, you should always focus on technique, making sure you’re getting the most from the movement. It’s important to note that you do not want to lock out the elbows at the top of the movement and you want to keep your body upright and with your elbows tucked in.
How To Do Tricep Dips:
Mount yourself onto the shoulder-width dip bars with your arms straight. The legs should be off the ground
Keeping the elbows tucked in nice and tight to the sides, keeping the body upright, inhale and lower the body until the elbows form a 90-degree angle or however far your shoulders let you go. You should feel a slight stretch.
Drive into the hands, staying upright, activating the triceps, and exhale as you extend the elbows, pushing yourself back up to the starting position
The diamond push-up is arguably one of the best solitary movements at developing size within the triceps instead of the chest. In fact, in one well-known study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) that compared the effectiveness of triceps exercises, the diamond push-up came in the first place!
How To Do A Diamond Push-Up:
- Start by getting into a push-up position on the ground. You can be on your knees or toes.
- Keep your elbows tucked to your sides and inhale as you lower to the floor
- Exhale as you push through the movement, extending the elbows, getting yourself back to the starting position
What does the Tate press work? It works the same muscles as the bench press with a heavy emphasis on the triceps instead of the chest, making it an exceptional tricep workout movement. The Tate press is also commonly known as the ‘elbows-out tricep extension’ and is a popular favorite amongst the powerlifting community to build a bigger bench and monster arms. This movement is also beneficial if your bench press stalls out mid-press. Well developed triceps are the unsung hero of building a monster bench, so make sure to incorporate the dumbbell Tate press into your training to crush those PRs.
How To Do Tate Press or Elbows-Out Triceps Extension:
- Start by sitting on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, resting on the knees
- As you lie back on the bench, kick up the DBs over your chest with arms pronated (palms facing forward) with the sides of the DBs close together/touching
- Root the heels feet into the floor, stabilizing the core
- Inhale as you flex your elbows and slowly lower the DBs towards your chest
- Hold at maximum contraction for 2 seconds with the DBs hovering over the chest
- Exhale and flex the elbows, pressing back into the starting position
Dumbbell Floor Press
The dumbbell floor press is a great movement for generating explosive power and isolating the triceps in a relatively short range of movement. It might look easier than a bench press, but trust us, when done right, this is one of the most functional triceps workouts for men looking to build monster arms. If you need to make this movement more challenging, try using a single-arm kettlebell floor press instead of using both arms with the dumbbells.
How To Do Dumbbell Floor Press:
- Start by sitting on the ground with your legs straight and the dumbbells placed vertically on the floor on either side of your body
- Pick up each dumbbell and put them in your hip crease, adjusting your grip to a comfortable position
- Slowly lay back with the dumbbells close to your chest and bringing your needs to a 45-degree angle, putting the feet rooted into the ground
- Press the weights to full extension
- Exhale and slowly lower the weight until both elbows tap the floor
- Inhale as you contract the chest and push through the elbows, returning the weights to the starting position
Best Tricep Workouts For Men: Takeaway
All in all, you can't have big arms without working on building each head of the triceps. By incorporating the best tricep workouts for men into your regular training, you'll be sure to not only build strength in the upper arms but monster size as well. Make sure you're supplementing with your clinically dosed and scientifically proven performance supplements from Swolverine and eating to get big!
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