When it comes to getting that beach body, the arms are one of the big time players. As I walk the gym, one of the most common exercises I see is the bicep curl. While the bicep muscle is very important when it comes to having great looking arms, the tricep muscle needs to be worked significantly, maybe more, than the bicep muscle. The triceps muscle makes up a larger portion of the arm than the biceps muscle, so in order to get bigger, more defined arms, you'll need to make sure your working your triceps muscle adequately on arm day. This article will talk about some of the best tricep exercises for mass. These exercises will work all three heads of the tricep muscle - the lateral head, medial head and long head. Before we get to the best tricep exercises for mass, let's talk a little bit more about the differences between each head.
- Lateral Head - The lateral head of the tricep is on the outward facing side of the humerus and is responsible for the curvature of the arm when looking from the front view.
- Long Head - The long head of the tricep runs along the bottom of the humerus and is the largest of the three heads. This is a very important muscle to hit when training the triceps for mass.
- Medial Head - The medial head of the tricep runs along the inside of the humerus and provides definition more towards the elbow.
Now that you have an understanding of the three heads of the tricep muscle, let's get to the good stuff - the best tricep exercises for mass! These exercises will hit all three heads of the tricep, giving you an arsenal of exercises that will promote big time muscle growth while sculpting your triceps evenly. These three exercises are a must for anyone trying to turn heads with a pair of bad ass arms!
1. Tricep Dips
Tricep Dips are a staple for any good arm workout. When done correctly, dips hit all three heads of the tricep muscle, promoting maximum growth. Tricep Dips are easy to progress or regress. Depending on your goals, you can use an assisted dip machine or bench to rep out high volumes, attach extra weight with a belt to build strength, or make it a plyometric dip to train for power.
To Perform the Perfect Tricep Dip:
- Assume a comfortable position on the Dip bars. 2. Begin the exercise by slowly lowering your body by pushing your elbows back (not out to the sides which leads to more shoulder stress) with a slight forward tilt of the torso. 3. Lower your body until your upper arm is parallel to the ground. 4. Begin the ascent back up by pushing your hands down into the Dip bars. 5. Stop just short of a locked out arm position to keep tension on the tricep muscle.
Tip: Perform the exercise in a controlled manner on the eccentric and concentric portions of the exercise. Focus of keeping the tricep muscle under tension the entire time. In other words, do not drop down without resisting gravity and do not accelerate up through the lift.
Skullcrushers are another awesome tricep exercise for hitting all three heads of the muscle. They have a great range of motion and can be altered slightly by utilizigin a flat bench or an incline bench. You can also change it up by using a barbell, EZ Bar or Dumbbells.
To Perform the Perfect Skullcrusher:
- Assume a shoulder width grip on the bar or DB with arms extended out in front of the shoulders.
- Begin the exercises by slowly lowering the weight towards the top of your head while preventing the elbows from flaring out to the sides.
- Lower the weight to just above the top of your head.
- Begin the ascent by pushing up on the bar through your hands maintaining equal effort on both hands.
- Stop just short of a locked out arm position to keep tension on the triceps.
Tip: Perform the exercise in a controlled manner on the eccentric and concentric portions of the exercise. Focus of keeping the tricep muscle under tension the entire time. In other words, do not drop down without resisting gravity and do not accelerate up through the lift. Keep the elbows in tight, avoiding any flaring out of the elbows. If you can't keep the elbows in, get a spotter or reduce your weight.
3. Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press is a unique tricep exercise in that you can push much more weight than other exercises for the triceps. Being able to move more weight will lead to larger muscle growth within the tricep.
To Perform the Perfect Close Grip Bench Press:
- Assume the starting position with hands at roughly shoulder width or just inside shoulder width.
- Lower the bar (or DB) towards your chest, keeping the elbows tight to the sides of your body.
- Begin the ascent back up by pushing up with the triceps.
- Stop just short of a locked out arm position.
Tip: Keep the elbows in tight to the body. In other words, avoid flaring out the elbows. As with any barbell bench press, try to avoid overextension of the wrist. The wrist is in a vulnerable position when it is overextended. This can be dangerous with heavier weight.
There it is! Three of the best tricep exercises for mass. Perform these exercises with various weight, reps and order and you'll start to see improvements in your arm size and definition. By utilizing all three heads of the tricep muscle, you'll get the most out of your arm workouts.