Exercises to Get Your Triceps to Pop
The triceps pop is a look coveted by many a gym-goer. You can bust your tight bum in the gym, but if your tris don’t pop, you’re left looking like a work in progress.
So, if you’re stopping by to figure out how to get your triceps to pop—you’ve come to the right place, fit friend. We’ll give you the exercises to make em’ pop– and the science behind why it will work.
Yeah, you know we like to get all up into some education. You stretch that brain? Good…It’s about to get a workout.
Let’s get to triceps training.
The Anatomy of Triceps
Triceps literally means three-headed muscle. That’s important to know because understanding the anatomy can help you understand what exercises will best accomplish your tri endeavors.
Triceps have three heads to the overall muscle: lateral, medial and long.
As you can see from the image:
The lateral head is located on the outer part of your arm
The medial head is located in the middle of both heads but closer to your ribs.
The long head is located on the back of your arms.
Types of Triceps Exercises
There are two types of exercises for triceps training: isolation/contraction and extension.
Isolation exercises are movements where the triceps are pushing, such as reverse-grip press downs or dips. These exercises target the lateral and medial head and usually involve the arms being at your sides for the duration of the exercise.
Stretch exercises are movements where the triceps are extended, like overhead extensions. These exercises target the long head.
Ok, now that you have a little visual under your belt, let’s get to the best exercises to make your tris pop.
A dip is an isolation movement, while it requires most of the work from the lateral and medial, it does use all three heads.
If you’re already a dipper, try adding weight to up the triceps ante.
2. Dumbbell Kickback
Dumbbell kickbacks are often overlooked by men. That’s a big mistake. It is a phenomenal isolation exercise to add detail to your tris. Aside from dips, this exercise results in the highest levels of muscle fiber activation.
3. Skull Crushers
Skull crushers is an extension and will target the long head. Try it flat, or with an incline/decline.
4. Overhead Cable Extensions
Overhead cable extensions are a stretch exercise that target the long head.
5. Overhead Dumbbell Extension
The overhead extension is a stretch exercise and will target the long head of your triceps. Do it with both hands or just one.
6. Tris Push-down
The tris push-downs targets the lateral head and is a popular and fruitful triceps isolation exercise. Mind your grip, though. You can get a better burn if you overhand grip, but don’t squeeze. It’s more of a cupping of the bar to activate the lateral head. You can reverse your grip to hit the medial head through reverse cable extensions. Both are highly effective.
7. Close-Grip Bench Press
The close-grip bench press is an isolation move but will call into action all three heads, with the major focus on lateral and medial. Reverse your grip to target the lateral.
So, there you have it. Seven top of the line triceps exercises that target all three heads of your tri muscle. For variety, change up your grip positions (width) and vary underhand/overhand where applicable. Be careful and don’t overdo it. It can lead to injuries that can take a long time to heal.
For more fuel for your fire, go here.