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tricep anatomyTop Tricep Exercises

There is a lot of confusion on what are the top tricep exercises to develop a great set of triceps. These are important muscles for many reasons, the primary two being aesthetics and functionality. You want your arms to look good, but you also want them to function well. To do that, you need to exercise the muscle so that all 3 heads are hit with equal amounts of stress. To do this, you must understand the anatomy of the triceps and the different heads. The long head(inner) is located close to your body and is the largest of the 3 heads. The medial head is between the long head and the lateral head, going straight down the arm. The outside of the arm, furthest from the body is the lateral(short) head. To exercise the triceps in the most efficient manner possible, you need to know what exercises work each part. This way, you can mix it up and find the exercises that give you the most bang for the buck.

Inner (long) Head

The best way to stimulate this head is to make sure the tricep works from a fully stretched position. The best choices of exercises are the ones that make the tricep work from an overhead position. The following list will give you some choices that effectively involve this head. You might want to start with one of these exercises for a few reasons. 1) It targets the largest part of the triceps, therefore affecting the most muscle fiber while the triceps are fresh. This also affects the other two heads as the muscle fires in an all or none fashion.

  1. Dips
  2. Prone(lying) triceps extensions
  3. Overhead extension 
  4. Pushdown w/Narrow Grip and Straight Bar
  5. Close-grip Bench Press 
My main man Kai

My main man Kai

Medial (middle) Head

Many of the exercises that stimulate the long head affect the medial head as well. This list will be redundant in some ways, but they hit the two heads very nicely. You get the elbows above your head or straight in front of you.

  1. Dips
  2. Prone(lying) triceps extensions
  3. Overhead extension 
  4. Reverse Grip Pushdown
  5. Pushdown w/Narrow Grip and Straight Bar
  6. Close-grip Bench Press 

Tricep Workout

The lateral head

Training from the the long head, then the medial head, then working down to the lateral head, seems to make the most sense. This is all trial and error because all three heads work in unison, remember the all or none principal. Some exercises zero in better, stressing one head more than the others. Here are some top triceps exercises that zone in on the lateral head:

  1. Rope extensions
  2. Kickbacks
  3. Pushdowns
  4. Dips

Putting It All Together

The best way I have found over the years to make my triceps grow is to stick to the basics. I respond best to a bit more volume versus just trying to push a ton of weight in a haphazard manner. It takes a game plan to fully develop muscles. This is a little overview on how to choose, mix and match exercises to get max benefit out of each and every tricep workout. I would choose the exercises that I get the most benefit out of and the least amount of issue with my joints. Everybody needs to find the exercises that work best for themselves. This list should help hone it down to develop a great set of arms. I like using Liquid Labs Intrafuse to maximize my gains and my pumps. You can find it only at Mind and Muscle