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Much like the best biceps exercises kicked off with a body-weight move, the same thing’s happening when talking triceps.
The dip is a much underrated triceps-builder, as it’s often more thought of as a chest exercise. By using a narrower grip on the dip bars, and keeping your torso in a more upright, vertical position, however, you transfer all the load onto your triceps.
If you’re a dip aficionado, however, then try adding weight by wearing a dipping belt around your waist, do your reps with slow five to 10 second negatives, or simply increase the reps.
2. Close Grip Bench Press
By making one simple tweak on the bench press, and narrowing your grip, you can turn it from a chest-builder into a triceps torcher.
Look to have your hands roughly 12 to 18 inches apart. Any closer and you’ll put excess strain on your wrists, and too wide and the chest will still do the majority of the work.
For even more triceps activation, try the reverse close grip bench press, performed with your hands turned 180 degrees. Be warned, however - you don’t need too much weight with this one.
3. Crush Grip Dumbbell Press
Just as you can turn bench presses into a triceps move with one small change, the same can be done with dumbbell presses. Turn your palms so they’re facing each other and press the plates of the dumbbell together. Lower them down to your chest, making sure the weights stay in contact with each other all the time. Pause briefly, then push back up.
Again, you’ll need less weight on these than you’d use for a regular dumbbell presses, and they can be adjusted to be performed on an incline or decline bench too.
4. Overhead Extensions
One of the main problems with many triceps moves is that they don’t hit all three heads of the triceps. You’ve got three triceps head – the short, medial, and long, and most exercises focus on the medial and short heads. Overhead extensions, however, do get these, but also emphasize the long portion.
The key is to get a stretch in the muscle in the relaxed position, using a full range of motion, then squeezing as you hit the contraction.
When training to build your arms, pick two to three exercises and perform each twice a week, alongside exercises for the rest of your upper body. Aim to increase the weight or reps each session over the course of four to six weeks, then switch to a couple of new exercises, and repeat the process again. Mix up your rep ranges so you’re working with both heavy weights in the six to 10 rep range, and slightly lighter weights for 10 to 15 reps.