The Most Effective Way to Build Huge Triceps
Everyone wants big arms, and this typically leads them to run into the gym to hit curls. Sure, curls do a good job of growing the biceps, but that’s not the key to achieving massive arms. Massive arms are achieved by having large triceps.
While they may not seem like much being on the back of the arm, this group of muscles makes up ¾ of your total arm. They provide strength, size, and aesthetics to any physique.
Now, when it comes to hitting triceps, you must use a smart approach. This is a complex group of muscles, not just one. Therefore, to effectively grow them as large as possible, you’ll need to hit each region.
In this post, you’re going to learn more about achieving those horseshoes on the back of your arms, so let’s dive in.
What Makes Up the Tricep?
While it may seem to be just one muscle, the tricep is made of three different muscle heads. There’s a long head, lateral head, and medial head. These three muscles work in unison to extend your elbow, which you may find you do a lot in the gym and everyday life.
You use the triceps when you’re doing complex movements like bench press and shoulder press, but also when you throw a ball or hand something to someone. It’s an important group of muscles that can grow large and quite strong.
Each section of the tricep will be worked during different movements. For example, the long head of the tricep is connected to the shoulder blade, thus there is going to be more activation during something involving the shoulders such as an overhead press. The lateral head is used a ton during the bench press as well, which means you can really get a lot of work on these muscles during bigger exercises. The medial head gets most of its work along with the others, but anything focusing on extension of the elbow will bring it into play.
With this muscle having multiple heads, you need to hit them all for proper growth. This makes tricep training a little more than just one exercise!
Triceps are MOST of Your Arm
It should also be noted that your triceps make up a large part of your total arm. If you’re quick to take on the bicep curls, understand this will only work a small portion of what truly gives you big arms. Biceps are cool, but triceps are cooler. If you put more focus on the triceps, you’ll notice that your sleeves are much tighter than if you only did curls.
How to Target Each Head
Each head needs a focus to get the most out of training the triceps. So here are some exercises that can help accomplish that.
The Lateral Head
The tried-and-true tricep pushdown is an excellent way to hit this part of the tricep. It’s an isolation exercise that will help you lock in the focus on this large part of your arm. Typically, you’ll use a pulley machine to do this. The rope attachment or regular bar are just fine. Put roughly a foot or two between you and the machine before starting. Ensure that the handle is set at the top of the machine before placing it in your hands. With your feet about shoulder width apart. Pin your elbows to your sides. Pull your shoulder blades back and lock those arms out. Your hands should be at your sides, and you should be forcing that contraction. Slowly control the weight until your arm is at 90 degrees. From here start your next rep. Always make sure to avoid swinging or letting the handle travel back to the machine. Keep control and focus on your contractions for the best results here.
The Medial Head
The skull crusher is a solid movement for the medial head. This one is done lying on a bench with an EZ curl bar. The bar should have a place for a narrow grip, which is going to be best for this movement. Start with the bar locked out over your chest like a bench press. From here, lower the weight by only moving at the elbow. The bar is going to travel down close to your forehead (hence the name). From here, extend your arms and contract the triceps. This movement is awesome because you get a good stretch along with a great focus on the medial head of the tricep.
The Long Head
Like stated earlier, this head of the tricep is linked to the shoulder. Thus, doing something overhead is going to be great for targeting the long head. The overhead tricep extension is perfect. This can be done standing or seating, but only takes one dumbbell. Using both hands, grasp one end of the dumbbell. Your palms should be on the inside of the plate. Place the dumbbell overhead with fully locked out arms. Slowly lower the dumbbell until it is right behind your head. From here, extend the arms back out and squeeze. Keep control on this one and always make sure to keep your arms close to your ears. The farther out you start getting, the more you’ll focus on the should instead.
The triceps are the biggest part of the arm and play a role in a ton of bigger exercises. Thus, you’ll want to put some focus here if you look to gain strength and size. The triceps are a complex set of muscle heads that all need specific attention. This can be achieved with various angles and exercise variations. If you’re approaching this from all sides, you’ll be splitting your sleeves in no time.
Since the triceps are a bigger set of muscles, this also means they can take a lot of volume. Thus, having a variety of exercises to use is important. Use some of the recommended ones or add your own spin to them to get the most out of your tricep training!