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Let’s get something out of the way up front. If you want to build bigger, stronger, better looking triceps, the various compound pushing exercises in your workout routine will play the largest role in making that happen.

Why? Because the triceps muscle is involved during any exercise where your elbows extend.

This includes all of the usual “extension” type isolation exercises this article will talk plenty about, as well as all chest and shoulder compound pressing movements. This means all forms of flat, incline and decline presses, push-ups and dips, and any sort of seated or standing overhead press.

The triceps are heavily involved in all of it, and these exercises are what will be responsible for the majority of the triceps strength and size you gain.

With this fact in mind, some wonder if they should bother doing any direct triceps training at all.

Do The Triceps Need More Than Compound Exercises?

We can’t stress enough the importance of great triceps in your quest for overall arm development. Making up an enormous percentage of your upper arms, thick triceps separate the men from the boys. More times than not, when we marvel at someone’s arms it’s 75% because of how dedicated he has been to his tri’s. Have you balanced your triceps and biceps training? If not, let’s turn that trend around. Here’s a workout that’s certain to get your triceps truckin’ and up to speed with your bis.

Category 1: “Elbows-At-Your-Sides” Exercises

In this first group, we have some of the most commonly seen triceps isolation movements. Examples include:

Cable Pushdowns with a straight bar (overhand or underhand).
Cable Pushdowns with a v-bar.
Cable Pushdowns with a rope.
Single Arm Cable Pushdowns (overhand or underhand grip).
Single Arm Cable Pushdowns with a rope (neutral grip).
Dumbbell Kickbacks.
Cable Kickbacks.

Category 2: “Elbows-Above-Your-Body” Exercises

Now for the second group…

Skull Crushers/Lying Extensions with a barbell or EZ curl bar.
Skull Crushers/Lying Extensions with dumbbells (neutral grip).
Skull Crushers/Lying Extensions with various cable handles/grips.
Skull Crushers on a decline bench (with any of the above equipment).
Overhead Extensions with a barbell or EZ curl bar (seated or standing).
Overhead Extensions with one dumbbell held in both hands (seated or standing).
Overhead Extensions with one dumbbell single arm (seated or standing). [example]
Overhead Extensions with various cable handles/grips (seated, standing, single arm).
Overhead Extensions with a rope in the vertical plane (seated or standing).
Overhead Extensions with a rope in the horizontal plane.
Lying Triceps Extension (Skullcrusher).
Body Weight Triceps Extensions with TRX (or something similar).