Training for better triceps doesn’t have to be complicated. These three triceps exercises will get the job done.
By Roger Lockridge
The triceps are very involved in your major pushing movements so it’s a good idea to make sure that they are prepared accordingly. Now that doesn’t mean you have to do more of those big, power moves like bench and overhead press. Simply devoting a little time to isolating the triceps will go a long way in maximizing your pushing potential.
Fortunately, you can do this without taking up the entire weight room or by doing a bunch of fancy moves. All you need is access to a cable station. These three exercises can help you take your triceps to a new level of development.
Single Arm Cable Extension
Take a single handle attachment and place it on a high pulley. Take a palms-up grip of the handle and pull the weight away from the stack. Keep your upper arm close to your side. It shouldn’t move much during this exercise.
Contract your tricep and straighten your arm until it’s fully extended and your tricep is flexed. Slowly allow the handle to raise back up until the pinned weight is close to touching the rest of the stack. Repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch arms and perform the same exercise to train that side as well.
Cambered Handle Triceps Pressdown
Attach a cambered handle to the high pulley. Grab it with both hands using an overhand grip. Pull the handle so the pinned weight is away from the stack. Bring your upper arms to your sides and keep them there. Nothing above the elbow should move.
Using force in your triceps, push the handle straight down until the triceps are fully contracted. Don’t lock out your elbows but your arms should be close to straight. Slowly allow the handle to come back up until your forearms and upper arms are around 90 degrees. Then push back down for your next rep.
The cambered handle is easier on the wrists but if you prefer you can also use a straight handle attachment here.
Overhead Rope Extension
Place a rope attachment on the bottom pulley of a cable station. Grab the rope with both hands. Turn around and press the rope overhead until your arms are straight up and the pinned weight is away from the stack. Stand straight and tall and tighten your core.
Keeping your upper arms vertical, bend at the elbows and allow the rope to go down, stretching the back of the arms while doing so. Don’t try to force the stretch any more than necessary as it would risk injury. Once you feel the stretch, use force in your triceps to press the rope back up. Separate the ends of the rope at the top of the rep to get a greater contraction. Slowly the rope back down and repeat.
Putting This Together for Better Triceps
You can split these up by doing one exercise as a warm up for your triceps before doing your heavy pressing work while using the other two as finishers. If you’d rather do all three exercises at once, you can either do so at the end of your pressing workout or as its own workout on another day of your training cycle.