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6 Best Tricep Exercises For Building Mass

One of the most common goals for many weightlifters is to gain mass in the arms. The reasons will vary, but it’s often the experience and more properly balanced trainers that are doing it for the right reasons. Knowing why and how to increase the mass in the arms is superficial by itself, but it’s still an important lesson for anyone to learn whom is interested in weight training.

If you’re looking for bigger arms, it’s important to train your triceps. While most people believe that the biceps are the most important factor, they are not – as they only make up 1/3 of the total upper arm muscle. The triceps make up the other 2/3 of upper arm muscle tissue. Want bigger arms? Do the top 5 exercises triceps for building mass.

1 Ezy Bar Skullcrushers (4 Sets x 6-8 Reps

Tricep Exercises for mass description:

1. Lying on a flat bench with your body and feet planted and secure and with your arms extended above your head holding onto the ezy bar in a narrow grip which is inline with your head.

2. Keep your elbows in position and arms stable, lower the bar until it reaches your forehead or you can stretch past your hairline. – don’t change your elbow angle.

3. Focus on your elbows, engage your triceps and extend the bar back to the starting position.

Tip: Once you reach the top of each rep, don’t fully lock your elbows out, keep the tension on the muscle by stoping just short of lock out. You should always feel your triceps working on the eccentric and concentric part of the movement. In fact this rule should apply to any tricep exercise!

2 Dips
Sets and Reps: 5 x 12-15 reps
Because you’re lifting your entire bodyweight, your triceps have to work against a much heavier load than they would in a triceps-isolating exercise, according to Ian King, owner of King Sports International.

1. Hoist yourself up on parallel bars with your torso perpendicular to the floor; you'll maintain this posture throughout the exercise. (Leaning forward will shift emphasis to your chest and shoulders.)

2.Bend your knees and cross your ankles. Slowly lower your body until your shoulder joints are below your elbows. (Most guys stop short of this position.)

Tip:Push back up until your elbows are nearly straight but not locked. If you have shoulder issues, skip this move.

3 pushdowns Sets and Reps: 5 x 12-15 reps

Triceps pushdowns performed using a cable machine is a great way to target the lateral and medial heads of the triceps!

They are considered a key exercise in giving the muscle that desired ‘horse shoe’ look.

While using a straight or v-bar attachment will allow you to use slightly more weight, the rope attachment helps to isolate the muscle more and receive a much better contraction.

This is not an exercise to go heavy on – pick a moderate weight.

1.Standing upright, bend the top of your torso slightly forward and hold. Grab either side of the rope handles with a normal grip, so that your palms are facing each other – be prepared to exhale during the following movement.

2. Holding concentration in the triceps throughout the entire move, pull the rope down so that it splits, bringing the handle of each side down to your thighs.

3. Tuck your arms right into your side and remain like this at the end of every rep to eliminate any momentum or help from your back and ensure the triceps are doing all the work. The forearm should be completing the movement.

4.After holding the position for 2 seconds, slowly raise the rope back to the beginning, inhaling as you move your arms back up.

Tip:At full extension of the arms, by turning the wrist away from the body and pulling the ropes apart you can get a great contraction in the triceps.

Visualize the rope as a Christmas cracker and try to pull them as far away from each other as possible whilst keeping the elbows tight to the body.

4 Dumbbell Overhead Extensions Set and Reps: 3 x 12-15 reps

A reason many people fail to fully develop their triceps is because they don’t know how to properly target the long head of the triceps.

The long head gets under stimulated when it acts as an elbow extensor when the shoulder is adducted or extended, therefore the long head needs to be hit with overhead work.

Dumbbell overhead extensions can be done single handed one arm at a time or two handed on a single dumbbell.

Tip: when looking to add mass to the arms would be to use the double handed variation as you will be able to use more weight whilst still safely getting a good stretch on the eccentric portion of the movement.

This is one of the tricep exercises that can be performed sat down for more balance or stood up.

a) Standing/sitting shoulder width apart, hold a dumbbell with both hands before slowly lifting it over your head, extending both arms out straight.

b) Slightly move the weight between both hands to comfortably allow it to rest in the palm of your hands with thumbs reaching around the bar – your palms should be facing the ceiling. Prepare yourself to breathe in during the upcoming movement.

c) Concentrating on holding your triceps next to your head with elbows tucked in, begin the lower the dumbbell straight down to the floor, feeling the tension in your upper arms when your forearms squeeze against your biceps.

d) As you exhale, squeeze the triceps and slowly lift the dumbbell back to the original starting position. Repeat.

Tip:This exercise can be done with the elbows pointing outwards, however keeping the elbows pointing straight in front of you will put a much greater emphasis on the triceps and allow for a better stretch.

 5 Standing Triceps Extension (SMITH MACHINE) 5 Sets x 15-20 Reps

1. Stand infront of a smith machine with the bar inline or just below your chest place your hands in a narrow grip similar to ezy bar skullcrushers. The more upright you stand the easier the load and the more lower and closer you stand the harder the arms will have to work.

2. Slowly lower yourself to the bar so your head reaches the bar, or you can stretch even further so the bar is behind your head.

3. Once fully stretch push-away from the bar to your starting position – keep your elbows inline the whole time!

Tip: Focus and control the triceps through this whole movement. Slowly lower yourself past the bar, hold the stretch don’t switch of your triceps at all, then think pushing and squeezing away with only your triceps – Do not rush this movement at all.

6 Kettlebell Floor Press 
Set and Reps: 3 x 12-15 reps
This variation of a classic bench press favors the lockout portion of the lift, which recruits your triceps to an extreme degree, says Gentilcore.

And since the load is distributed differently with a kettlebell than a barbell, your stabilizing muscles have to work harder to keep the weight positioned correctly.

1. Grab a kettlebell with each hand and lie with your back on the ground. Hold the kettlebells overhead, the bell hanging on the outside of your wrists.

2. Bend your arm to lower the kettlebells. Touch your elbows to the ground, pause, then press them back up.