Best tricep workouts for mass, the gym and at-home: Supercharge your strength training (2024)

Best tricep workouts for mass, the gym and at-home: Supercharge your strength training (1)

It’s arm day. If you’re taking a guided workout on an app like Peloton or AppleFitness+, you’ll likely be instructed to work your triceps. If you’re into working out and bodybuilding, you may wonder about the best triceps exercises for mass. Even if you’re not, a tricep workout is important — and not simply to look ripped.


  • Triceps 4-1-1: What to know about this important muscle group
  • Best tricep workouts for mass and functional strength

Working the arms builds strength, allowing us to lift items and move our upper body without pain. Though guided workouts tend to include tricep work, the muscle group can take a backseat to the more visible biceps. The fact that there seem to be endless variations on the bicep curl doesn’t help.

However, you won’t want to forget to work on the other major muscle in the arm, the triceps. Unsure where to get started? Here are the best triceps workouts.

Best tricep workouts for mass, the gym and at-home: Supercharge your strength training (2)

Triceps 4-1-1: What to know about this important muscle group

Knowing why you’re performing tricep exercises may make you more inclined to finish that one last rep. Here’s a primer on where the muscle does and how the triceps play a critical role in your day-to-day life — even if you don’t notice.


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Where are the triceps, and what do they do?

The triceps begin at the shoulder’s top and run down the back of your arm to the elbow. The triceps take up two-thirds of your arm, making them bigger than the biceps. They’re considered the primary upper arm muscle. Pretty big deal, right?

You bet. The triceps play significantly important roles, including:

  • Elbow extension.When you contract the triceps, you straighten your elbow. For this reason, “tricep extensions” are popular moves in a tricep workout. You need this function to get dressed, push yourself up, and reach for something on a high shelf.
  • Healthy spine indicator. The triceps have a distinct reflex. The forearm will involuntarily extend if the tendon is hit close to the bottom (near the elbow). When a person has this reflex, it’s a sign of a functioning spine.
  • Shoulder mobility.The triceps start at the shoulder, aiding arm extension behind the body.

Why should you strengthen the triceps?

Doing tricep gym workouts — or exercises at home — has numerous benefits, including:

  • Elbow function and mobility
  • Shoulder function and mobility
  • Ability to press and push up (needed for building additional strength in the gym and functionally)

Additionally, weight training more generally has numerous benefits, such as:

  • Blood sugar management
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Better balance and decreased fall risk
  • Improved mobility
  • More flexibility
  • Reduced pain performing day-to-day tasks
  • Improved mental health

These benefits are significant as you age, lose functional strength, and are at an increased risk for chronic disease and falls. You can’t stop aging altogether but can slow its effects with a strength training regimen that includes tricep exercises.

Best tricep workouts for mass, the gym and at-home: Supercharge your strength training (3)

Best tricep workouts for mass and functional strength

Ready to get stronger? Try these tricep exercises.

Tricep kickbacks

A classic. These can be done with body weight but are typically done with dumbbells.

  1. Hold dumbbells in each hand with palms facing the thighs.
  2. Slightly bend the knees. Hinge forward at the waist, keeping the spine straight.
  3. Keep your upper arms tucked in and close to the body as you straighten your elbows.
  4. Pause for a moment.
  5. Bring the weights to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10-15 times.

Bench dips

A popular element of tricep gym workouts, bench dips can also be done using a stair.

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms, keeping your hands behind you on the bench facing away from you.
  3. Push up and off the bench. Squeeze your shoulder blades.
  4. Lower down. Stop if you feel less tension in your mid-back or if your elbows go higher than shoulder height.
  5. Extend the elbows and engage the triceps by squeezing them as you return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Hand release push-ups

No equipment is needed for this one, making the move one of the most accessible tricep exercises.

  1. Assume a high plank position. Shoulders and wrists should be in one light.
  2. Lower your body until your chest is on the floor, keeping elbows at a 45-degree angle from your torso.
  3. Pick your hands up a couple of inches off the floor.
  4. Return palms to the floor.
  5. Push back up to a high plank.
  6. Repeat 10-20 times.

Tricep pushdown

This exercise requires a cable and is typically done at the gym.

  1. Face the cable machine.
  2. Take the horizontal cable bar or rope attachment using an overhand grip. Ensure the bar or rope is at chest level (adjust if needed).
  3. Stand with feet less than shoulder-width apart.
  4. Position your elbows so that they’re tucked by your sides.
  5. Push down as you bend your knees slightly. Using core strength, prevent yourself from bending over.
  6. Stop when your elbows are fully extended but not locked (or straight). They should remain close to the body.
  7. Return to start slowly and with control.
  8. Do 10 reps.

Diamond push-up

Another at-home and accessible workout, the diamond push-up doesn’t require equipment to get a good tricep workout.

  1. Get into a high plank position.
  2. Create a diamond with your thumbs and index finger, positioning the shape at the center of your chest.
  3. Do a push-up.
  4. Return to start.
  5. Repeat 10-20 times.

Overhead extension

You’ll need one dumbbell for this tricep exercise.

  1. Stand with one foot slightly behind another in a narrow split stance. Keep weight evenly distributed throughout this exercise.
  2. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, with your palms facing the ceiling.
  3. Lift the dumbbell overhead, keeping the head and chest in one line. Shoulders should remain relaxed and not bunched up by the ears.
  4. Extend the arms and lower the weight with control, keeping the chest and hips in one line. Do not arch the back.
  5. Return to start.
  6. Repeat 10-15 times.

Bench press with dumbbells

Another mainstay in gym workouts this bench press swaps the barbell for free weights.

  1. Grab a set of dumbbells.
  2. Lie back on the bench with a weight in each hand by the chest.
  3. Lift the arms until they form a right angle with the chest.
  4. Stop when the elbows are straight.
  5. Lower the arms with control.
  6. Repeat 20-30 times.

A personal trainer can help you customize a workout plan for you.

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Best tricep workouts for mass, the gym and at-home: Supercharge your strength training (2024)


What tricep exercise builds the most mass? ›

The most effective tricep exercise for building mass is the Triceps Extension because it allows us to perform it with either dumbbells or a barbell, allows for progressive overload directly to the triceps and is easier on the wrists and elbows if you use an EZ curl bar.

Should I do 3 exercises for triceps? ›

Is 3 tricep exercises too much? You should aim to do 3-5 tricep exercises per triceps workout, making sure to choose exercises that hit all 3 heads of the triceps, put the long head of the triceps on stretch, and hit overlapping strength curves.

Is 3 exercises enough for biceps and triceps? ›

In general if you are new to training, you don't need as much volume to break down the muscle fibers for growth. 2 to 3 is all you need to get your muscles adapted and grow. If you are an advanced lifter, you may need 4 to 5 exercises for each muscle group and you may be following a 4/5 day split.

What is the number 1 tricep exercise? ›

Best Triceps Workouts

Diamond push-ups: This exercise emphasizes all three heads of the triceps muscle and is the most effective move for that. Kickbacks: This move also targets all three heads of the triceps, but not quite as much as the diamond push-up.

What exercise hits all 3 bicep heads? ›

The Weighted Chin Up is the best biceps exercise for hitting all three functions (elbow supination, elbow flexion and shoulder flexion) of the biceps with overload. This exercise will help you build strong arm muscles as well as build muscle mass and should be a mainstay in all your upper body workouts.

Do pushups work triceps? ›

While it's often thought of as a chest exercise, it also works the triceps, anterior deltoids, and core muscles, as well as the pectoralis major and minor. Notable benefits of performing push-ups include building upper body strength, reducing the risk of cardiac events, and improving body composition.

How many tricep exercises should I do? ›

Two exercises are probably enough to work all three heads of your triceps. A good combination is a pressing exercise (like the bench press) which works your lateral tricep heads and an overhead tricep extension (like the lying tricep extension) which works your long and medial tricep heads.

How to build triceps fast? ›

The long head of the triceps makes up two-thirds of the overall size of the muscle. So, if you want to get big triceps, you need to prioritize this area. Exercises like Overhead Triceps Extensions, Lying Triceps Extensions, and Triceps Pushdowns with a rope attachment can help you target the long head.

Is it OK to work triceps everyday? ›

Training your triceps every single day is not recommended, as it can lead to overtraining and potential injury. For maximum growth, we suggest training triceps 2-3 times per week, allowing at least 48 hours of rest between sessions.

How can I bulk up my arms? ›

8 Best Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms
  1. Bicep exercises.
  2. Concentration curl.
  3. Cable curl.
  4. Barbell curl.
  5. Chinup.
  6. Tricep exercises.
  7. Triangle pushup.
  8. Tricep kickback.
Nov 25, 2019

How can I build my arms at home? ›

Try some of these challenging arm exercises to improve your results.
  1. Chin-Ups. Chin-ups use your bodyweight to create one of the most challenging upper body exercises. ...
  2. Diamond Push-Ups. ...
  3. Lying Tricep Extensions. ...
  4. Curls with Bar. ...
  5. Reverse Curls with Bar. ...
  6. Bench Press. ...
  7. Underhand Kickbacks. ...
  8. Standing Dumbbell Fly.

How to get big triceps? ›

Now we've answered a few common questions on how to build bigger triceps, it's about time we gave you the best exercises for bigger triceps:
  1. Overhead Tricep Extension.
  2. Tricep Dips.
  3. Skull Crushers.
  4. Tricep Pushdown.
  5. Close-Grip Bench Press.
  6. Diamond Press-Ups.
Jun 30, 2019

What exercise builds triceps the fastest? ›

Using bands or chains on the close-grip bench press is a fantastic way to maximize triceps involvement. Since the close-grip bench press is a multi-joint exercise, you are able to maximize the amount of stress you place on the triceps (more weight = more growth).

What is the best tricep pushdown for mass? ›

The tricep pushdown is a good exercise for building the tricep muscles, and the best variation is with an underhand grip (or the Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown) because it keeps the elbow adducted and tucked into the side which allows more extension at the shoulder.

How do you build insane triceps? ›

How to do it:
  1. Hold the bar overhead with an overhand, shoulder-width grip, and lie back on the floor. ...
  2. Press the bar overhead, then reach back over your head, bending your elbows slightly.
  3. Continue until you feel a stretch in your lats, then pull the bar back over your chest, flexing your triceps as you go.
Apr 21, 2023

How do you grow insane triceps? ›

5 Intense Exercises To Help You Build Monster Triceps Like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
  1. 1) Close Grip Bench Press.
  2. 2) Skull Crusher.
  3. 3) Pulley Pushdown.
  4. 4) Overhead Extension.
  5. 5) Bench Dips.
Jul 6, 2020


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