Tricep Exercises

Below you will find gifs of the most popular and effective tricep exercises.

Barbell Exercises

Close Grip Bench Press

  • Have the elbows out to hit the Lateral Head.
  • Keep the elbows in to hit the Medial/Long Heads.
  • Straighten the arms each rep to hit the tricep fully.
  • Lower it slowly under control.
  • Try a pause at the bottom of the movement.

French Press

  • The French Press hits the Long Head of the tricep.
  • To make it easier on elbow and wrist joints, use an E-Z Curl Bar.
  • Palms face forward, lower behind the head and extend to straight arm.
  • You can also do this from a standing position.

french press

Skull Crushers

  • This works all three Tricep Heads.
  • Lower it behind the head for a fuller range of motion.
  • Come back to straight arms every rep to hit the triceps.
  • Best for higher rep work (10-15 reps) with 2 mins rest or less.
  • Try a false grip (don’t wrap thumb round bar).

Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbell Kickback

  • The dumbbell kickback hits the Lateral Head of the triceps.
  • Full extension is important, so don’t go too heavy.
  • To increase the contraction, hold at full extension for 1 second.
  • Keep the elbow high for all reps.
  • If you have access to a cable machine, that is a better alternative.

Dumbbell Tricep Extension

  • A variation of the French Press.
  • This can hit all three Tricep Heads.
  • You can also do this exercise from standing.
  • For added focus, try the movement with one arm.
  • Extend the arms straight overhead, keep the body stiff.

PJR Pullover

  • This hits the Long Head of the Triceps.
  • Rest the upper back on a bench, keep the core tight.
  • The movement comes from shoulder extension, not the elbows.
  • Don’t lower too far as the back will hyper-extend.

Single Arm Dumbbell Extension

  • This can hit all three Tricep Heads.
  • You can also do this exercise seated.
  • Keep the core engaged.
  • Lower behind the head and return to full extension.

Body-weight / Other Exercises

Bench Dips

  • This primarily hits the Lateral Head.
  • To make it harder, place a weight in your lap.
  • To make it easier, use straight legs and place them on the floor.
  • Keep the back straight.

Cable Kickback

  • This hits the Lateral Head of the triceps.
  • Full extension is important, so don’t go too heavy.
  • Pause briefly when the arm is fully extended to make it more effective.
  • Keep the body tight and initiate movement through the elbow.
  • This can be done standing or with a forward lean
Image Credit: @PJPTPerformance

Cable Kickback

  • This hits the Lateral Head of the triceps.
  • Full extension is important, so don’t go too heavy.
  • Pause briefly when the arm is fully extended to make it more effective.
  • Keep the body tight and initiate movement through the elbow.
  • This can be done standing or with a forward lean
Image Credit: @PJPTPerformance

Cable Tricep Pushdown

  • This primarily hits the Lateral and Medial Heads.
  • Initiate the movement with elbow flexion and extension.
  • Make sure you straighten the arms fully to hit the triceps best.
  • Good finisher exercise to end a session.
  • Keep elbows at the side, abs tight, body upright.

Cable Tricep Pushdown (Reverse Grip)

  • This primarily hits the Long and Medial Heads.
  • Elbows in but slightly in front of the body. Slight forward lean.
  • Use a lighter weight as there is more elbow stress.
  • Pause at full extension.
  • This is a good finisher with 15-20 reps.
Image Credit: @PJPTPerformance

Dip Machine

  • The dip machine hits All Three Heads of the tricep.
  • Make sure the arms go fully straight.
  • Hold for a count of one with arms extended.
  • Focus on feeling the triceps working.

dip machine

Tricep Dips

  • This works all three Tricep Heads.
  • Watch this to understand how to hit the triceps more.
  • Avoid too much forward lean, as that hits chest more.
  • Lower until shoulders are slightly below the elbow.
  • Head in line with spine.

Thanks for reading!