Top 3 Exercises You Should Do To Build Triceps

If you want to make your arms look bigger, then you should focus more on your triceps than your biceps. If you didn’t know, they occupy around 60% of the upper arm. The triceps have a total of 3 major muscles. Their main function is to allow extending and bending of the elbow. Since the triceps are pushing muscles, you have to make them grow and build stronger to make your other push lifts stronger too. Below are all three heads of the triceps and one prominent exercise for each of them.


How Many Heads Do Triceps Have?

As per the anatomy of the triceps, they have three major heads — lateral, long, and medial. To make your triceps look as best as they can, you have to work on all of these heads. If you do so right, you’ll have horseshoe-looking triceps that others dream of continuously. While one can’t possibly isolate each head, they sure can do exercises that allow them to put more stress on one head than the other.

Lateral, Long, and Medial Head
Lateral, Long, and Medial Head

Lateral Head:-

The lateral head is the second biggest muscle in the triceps. It’s located on the side of your arms and contributes the most to making your triceps look like a horseshoe. This part of the triceps gets worked the most when you do any tricep movement that requires you to strictly keep your arms at your side and use an overhand grip.

Long Head:-

The long head is the biggest muscle in the triceps. It’s located on the inside of the arms. It joins the shoulder and elbow joints. Any movement that requires you to keep your arms mostly above your shoulders, with your hands maintaining a neutral grip, helps this part of the triceps get worked the most.

Medial Head:-

The medial head is the smallest of the three heads of the triceps. It’s located on the inside of the arm, just above the elbow joint, which is why it’s the least visible. Irrespective of its size, part of the triceps is very crucial. It provides stability to the elbow. Any movement that requires you to keep your hands on your side but with a supinated grip (mostly).

Now that we’ve established the position of the heads of the triceps and their function, let’s take a look at one of the best exercises to grow each head. Make sure to pay close attention to them and their form.


Top 3 Exercises For Each Head Of Triceps:-

1. Standing Rope Pushdown (For Lateral Head):-

This is probably one of the best exercises to grow the outmost head of the triceps. It’s easy to perform and the form isn’t too hard to learn. All you need to do in this exercise is a cable machine and a rope. Make sure you attach the rope a level above your head to ensure you feel the full stretch in your triceps during this exercise.

How To Perform:-

  • Stand straight and bend your back a little bit.
  • Maintain a slight arch in your back and pull your shoulders backward.
  • Grab the attachment and bring your arms to your side.
  • While keeping a few inches of distance between your hands push the rope all the way down in front of your body
  • When you’re almost at the bottom, pull your hands away from each other just a bit, not much.
  • Then bring the rope back up but with control.
  • Repeat these steps.
  • Keep in mind, that during the whole movement, you have to keep your arms at the side of your body, while also keeping your core braced.

Best Rep Range:- 8-15 reps

2. Standing Rope Extension (For Long Head):-

It’s one of the best exercises to grow the head of the triceps that connects the shoulder and elbow joints. However, you can’t lift much weight on this since you’ll be shortening the range of motion (ROM) which is crucial for the development of this head. Now, to perform this exercise, you need the same attachments as you did for the Standing Rope Pushdown.

How To Perform:-

  • Grab the attachment from the ground and turn around.
  • Stand straight and bend your back a little bit.
  • Maintain a slight arch in your back and pull your shoulders backward.
  • Bring your arms to the side of your head.
  • Start the exercise by pushing the rope up as far as you can
  • Then bring the rope to the bottom of your head slowly.
  • Repeat these steps.
  • Keep in mind, that during the whole movement, you have to keep your arms at the side of your head, while also keeping your core braced.

Best Rep Range:- 8-15 reps

3. Close-Grip Bench Press (For Medial Head):- This exercise not only puts a lot of stress on the least visible head of the triceps but also on the other heads. What you need to perform this exercise are a straight bar (or an EZ-Bar if you suffer from wrist issues) and a flat bench. Make sure you don’t ego lift!

How To Perform:-

  • Lie on the bench with a flat back.
  • Grab the bar right at your shoulder grip.
  • Push the bar up and bring it down slowly in the middle of your chest.
  • Then push the bar back up, just not all the way.
  • While doing this movement keep your core braced and your feet landed on the ground.

Also Read: What’s a drop set? Why should you use it?


Best Rep Range:- 6-10 reps

With that said, make sure you try these exercises and tell us in the comment section how you feel about them. Also, share this article with your friends and family. Have a safe workout!


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