The Best Tricep Exercises

What Are The Best Tricep Exercises?

As one can imagine, if you have owned a gym for 11 years, and been a personal trainer in Austin for over 20, you’re going to be asked about what the best exercise for this or that is many, many times. Another thing you can take to the bank, is that most every single man on this planet who has any interest in fitness, wants bigger arms. What always strikes me as a curiosity, however, is that those guys who want so desperately to get bigger arms, spend most all of their time working their biceps. Biceps are very important to work for arm size, as well as for many other reasons structurally, but if you consider that the triceps comprise 2/3 of the upper arm’s overall mass, it seems a rather shortsighted decision to exclude them. There are many exercises for the triceps ranging from kickbacks, presses, to overhead extensions, so what are the best tricep exercises?

The best tricep exercises, like anything else, are the ones which you can perform properly without allowing any mitigating imbalances obstruct your technique. If you have tightness in your levator scapulae, for example, your trapezius muscle on that side will be higher than it’s counterpart on the other side. If this is the case, you will certainly shrug your shoulder when you are performing most all lifts. Therefore, it is imperative to fix whatever the imbalances are before you undertake a particular exercise regimen, or best case scenario, you’ll be spinning your wheels. The worst case scenario is that you can injure yourself.

Anyone looking for the best tricep exercises should consider first, that the triceps, as the name implies, are comprised of 3 muscles. The “tri” in triceps gives that one away. What I like to do with not only my clients, when it’s appropriate, but myself as well, is to divvy up the exercises I’ve selected so I can focus on each one of the 3 muscles specifically, as opposed to just trying to blast away at them collectively. This holds true with any muscle group I’m working, or training someone on.

There are many to choose from, but the best tricep exercises, as I mentioned previously, are the ones we can perform without limitation. Assuming for the sake of simplicity that there are minimal to no imbalances obstructing your ability to perform these movements, I would start off with a thorough warm up beginning with light weights and ultimately progressing to heavier poundages with a full range of motion. From there, the best tricep exercises for you are completely dependent upon your goals, experience, and abilities. Generally speaking, however, I would start with some kind of a pulley press movement. This could be a bar, or a rope perhaps. I’d shoot for 3 to 5 sets, depending upon all of the aforementioned variables, and move the weights progressively up and the repetitions progressively down if you’re looking for size and/or strength. I would suggest working within the range of 6 to 20 reps per set and using proper form throughout. The next set should be some type of overhead extension as we want to focus on the long head of the triceps whereas a press down movement tends to focus on the lateral head. Overhead rope extensions, tricep machine extensions, etc, all fit the bill. The last movement I’d recommend is some kind of free weight exercise such as french presses, or skull crushers, if you prefer to call them that. You can vary this by using a pair of dumbbells in place of a barbell if you want to challenge yourself with a little less stability and make it a little more difficult.

No matter you choice of exercises, variation within them is essential. If you continually do the same thing, with the same weights, and for the same number of repetitions, you’ll stagnate both physically as well as mentally. Keep evolving and challenging yourself and if you stick with it, you’ll find that the best tricep exercises are all of them that you are willing to do, and capable of doing properly.

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My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
The Best Tricep Exercises
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The Best Tricep Exercises
Longtime Austin personal trainer and gym owner Andy Bruchey dishes on the best tricep exercises.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270