4 Exercises that Target Your Triceps

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The triceps brachii, often called simply the triceps, is the muscle on the backside of your upper arm. It’s responsible for extending your elbow, and strong triceps are key for pushing movements, improved posture, and that coveted horseshoe shape.

Here are 4 exercises that target all three heads of the triceps for a well-rounded workout:

Diamond Push-Ups

This modified push-up variation places your hands close together, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers. This positioning places more stress on the triceps compared to a standard push-up. If you’re new to push-ups, start on your knees until you build upper body strength.

Overhead Tricep Extensions

This exercise can be done with dumbbells, a barbell, or cables. Hold the weight overhead with your elbows close to your head. Keep your upper arms locked in position, and lower the weight behind your head until your forearms nearly touch your biceps. Then, press the weight back up to starting position.


Dips are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that works not only your triceps but also your chest and shoulders. Find a set of parallel bars and grip them with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself down until your elbows bend to a 90-degree angle, then press back up to the starting position. You can make dips easier by performing them on a bench or chair.

Tricep Pushdowns (Rope or Bar)

This exercise isolates the triceps for targeted development. Attach a rope or straight bar to a cable machine. Select a weight that challenges you for 8-12 repetitions. Keeping your upper arms stationary by your sides, push the cable down until your elbows are fully extended. Squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement, then slowly return to the starting position.

Remember to focus on proper form throughout these exercises to maximize results and prevent injury. Choose a weight that allows you to maintain good control for all repetitions. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight or the number of sets and repetitions.

In addition to these exercises, don’t forget about compound movements like close-grip bench press and overhead press, which also incorporate tricep activation.

With a consistent workout plan that includes these exercises, you’ll be well on your way to stronger, sculpted triceps!