Say Goodbye to Bingo Wings: Tricep Workouts for Firm Arms!

When it comes to achieving well-defined arms, focusing on the triceps is just as important as working on the biceps. Tricep muscles make up a significant portion of the upper arm, contributing to both strength and aesthetics. If you’re looking to tone and strengthen your arms, incorporating targeted tricep workouts into your fitness routine is key. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the best tricep workouts, techniques, and tips to help you achieve your arm goals.

Understanding the Triceps

Before diving into specific workouts, let’s understand the anatomy of the triceps. The triceps brachii muscle is located on the back of the upper arm and is comprised of three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. These muscles work together to extend the elbow joint, allowing for movements like pushing and straightening the arm.

Importance of Tricep Workouts

Strong triceps not only enhance the appearance of your arms but also play a crucial role in various upper-body movements. Whether you’re lifting weights, performing bodyweight exercises, or engaging in sports activities, having well-developed triceps can improve your overall strength and performance while reducing the risk of injury.

5 Best Tricep Workouts

Best Tricep Workouts

1. Tricep Dips

Triceps dips rank as the third most effective and challenging exercise, with difficulty varying based on foot positioning. Bending the knees makes the movement easier while extending the feet out increases intensity.

To execute this move safely, maintain close proximity of your hips to the chair or bench to prevent shoulder strain. Ensure your shoulders are kept down and away from the ears. If you experience any discomfort in the shoulders, it’s best to skip this exercise.

How to Perform a Triceps Dip:

  1. Sit on a chair or bench with hands positioned just outside the hips. Keep knees bent for an easier variation or extend legs straight out for added difficulty.
  2. Lift yourself onto your hands, keeping your hips close to the chair or bench. Bend elbows, lowering down until they reach approximately 90 degrees.
  3. Maintain elbows pointing behind you, shoulders down, and engage your abs.
  4. Push back to the starting position and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.
  5. Avoid this exercise if you feel any shoulder pain.

2. Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press activates approximately 62% of the triceps muscles. However, it also engages a significant portion of the chest, which explains why the triceps may not be as heavily targeted compared to other exercises.

Nevertheless, this exercise shouldn’t be overlooked. It can still be valuable, especially when incorporating both chest and triceps workouts in the same session.

How to Perform a Close Grip Bench Press:

  1. Lie on a bench or step, holding a barbell with hands positioned about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Start with elbows bent and the barbell positioned just above the ribcage.
  3. Press the weight directly over the ribcage, focusing on contracting the triceps muscles.
  4. Lower the weight back down and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

3. Overhead Tricep Extension

The overhead triceps extension activates approximately 76% of the triceps muscles. The key to this exercise is maintaining arm alignment with the ears while lowering the weight behind you. Ensure your abs are engaged to prevent arching of the back.

You can perform this exercise either seated or standing. Surprisingly, it feels more challenging when done in a seated position, and sitting on an exercise ball adds an additional element of core engagement.

How to Perform an Overhead Triceps Extension:

  1. Sit on a chair, bench, exercise ball, or stand with your back straight. Hold a weight in both hands and extend it up overhead.
  2. Keep your biceps close to your ears and your elbows pointing forward as you lower the weight behind your head until your elbows form approximately 90-degree angles.
  3. Straighten your arms, contracting the triceps, then repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.
  4. Maintain engagement of the abs throughout the exercise to prevent arching of the back.

4. Diamond Push-Ups

The diamond push-up stands out as one of the most challenging triceps exercises on this list, demanding considerable upper-body strength. Beginners may find it beneficial to attempt this exercise on their knees initially, gradually progressing to the toes as they build strength.

How to Perform a Diamond Push-Up:

  1. Start by placing your hands on the mat directly under your chest, with your fingers spread apart and your thumbs and forefingers touching to form a diamond shape.
  2. Straighten your legs into a plank position, or keep your knees on the floor for a modified version.
  3. Ensure your back remains flat and engage your abs as you bend your elbows, lowering your body until your chin or chest touches the mat. If you’re unable to descend that far, lower to your maximum depth and strive to increase over time as your strength improves.
  4. Maintain close alignment of your elbows with your sides at the bottom of the movement.
  5. Press back to the starting position while keeping your torso rigid, then repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

5. Bar Pushdowns

The bar pushdown, akin to the rope pushdown but slightly less effective at around 67%, is typically performed using a cable machine at the gym with a small bar attachment. However, you can also replicate this exercise at home using an exercise band and a small pole or bar threaded through the handles.

How to Perform a Bar Pushdown:

  1. Stand facing a cable machine, grasping the bar with elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees.
  2. While keeping the elbows steady, push the bar downward, engaging the triceps as you extend your arms.
  3. Return the bar to chest level without altering the position of your elbows.
  4. Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

Tips for Effective Tricep Workouts

  1. Start with a Warm-up: Begin your workout with a gentle warm-up routine. This could involve brisk walking, light jogging, jumping jacks, or calisthenics. A good warm-up increases blood flow to your muscles and raises their temperature, reducing the risk of injury.
  2. Progress Gradually: If you’re new to exercising, start with three sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercise. Use a weight that’s around 70% of the maximum you could lift for each exercise. As your fitness improves, gradually increase both the weight and the number of repetitions.
  3. Target All Tricep Heads: To ensure balanced strength development, vary your triceps routine by incorporating different exercises. Choose from the options below to target all aspects of your triceps.
  4. Include Multiple Muscle Groups: While tricep workouts focus on specific muscles, it’s beneficial to train other muscle groups too. Consider incorporating exercises for the shoulders and chest, as they often work together in functional movements.
  5. Incorporate Rest Days: Allow your muscles ample time to recover by scheduling rest days. Aim for at least two days of rest between workouts targeting the same muscle groups. This promotes muscle repair and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.


Incorporating effective tricep workouts into your fitness regimen is essential for achieving strong, defined arms. By understanding the anatomy of the triceps and incorporating a variety of exercises, you can sculpt your arms and improve your overall upper body strength. Remember to focus on proper form, progressively challenge yourself, and stay consistent with your workouts to achieve the best results.


Q1. How to target triceps?
Activities like push-ups, shoulder presses, dips, and bench presses are aimed at working the triceps. Put simply, any movements involving pushing with the upper body and extending the elbow will engage the triceps brachii.

Q2. Can I train the triceps every day?
It’s not advisable to train your triceps every day since it could result in overtraining and possible injury. For optimal growth, we recommend training your triceps 2-3 times per week, with at least 48 hours of rest between sessions.

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