To pump the triceps, it is first important to learn how to feel your work – and for this you need to know the correct mechanics of performing exercises. For example, from an anatomical perspective, triceps exercises involve pushups — not weightlifting.

We also point out that to train your triceps you will need a barbell or dumbbells – or blocks if you are training in the gym. Unfortunately, due to the working mechanics of this muscle group, at home without equipment, only reverse push-ups can be performed – which is not enough for a full triceps push-up.

How to pump up triceps?

The triceps is the main muscle of the arms. They make up as much as 70% of the mass of the upper limbs, while the biceps make up about 30%. If the biceps are flexors and are needed to lift weights, then the triceps are extensors.

On the one hand, the triceps are easier to pump than other arm muscles – due to the characteristic burning sensation when exerted. On the other hand, the triceps are easy to overload, which negatively affects every other arm exercise (e.g., push-ups and bench presses).

In other words, when training the triceps, it is necessary to separate compound exercises and isolation exercises. For example, start by training the chest muscles and at the end of the training do 2-3 targeted triceps exercises with dumbbells – pay attention to the technique.

How many times a week do triceps exercises?

You should pump the triceps once or twice a week. The total number of sets of exercises for the triceps should be 4-6 sets – so 2 exercises in 2-3 sets or 3 exercises in 1-2 sets. The number of repetitions is 8 to 15 repetitions in each series.

In order to increase the effectiveness of the triceps training, it is advisable to change the load. First comes the easy week (i.e., light functional work with lots of repetitions), then the middle week, then the hard week, followed by a rest week.

The best exercises to build triceps

The basic exercises for increasing triceps are the reverse bench press, french bench press, and close-grip bench press. Also an important exercise is pulling the top block with a rope – one of the few that engages the side head at work. As the mechanics of the movements are similar in many ways, it is recommended not to combine the exercises presented, but to alternate them.

Reverse push-ups from the bench

Starting position – heels touch the floor, hands behind the back on the bench. Slowly lower your torso, stopping at the lowest point, then explosively push your body weight up onto the bench. The elbows point backwards. To make it harder, use extra weight by stretching your hips.

French bench press

The mechanics of the exercise is to slowly lift the weight due to the conscious engagement of the triceps. This exercise is usually performed with a bent EZ bar as it helps to keep your elbows parallel to each other. However, the French press can also be performed with dumbbells.

Close grip bench press

Exercise to work the medial head of the triceps. Lie on a bench (keep your feet firmly on the floor), grab a narrow-grip (10-15 cm) barbell or dumbbells and lift the weight. During execution, the elbows should be pressed as close to the body as possible.

Important Technical Tips

The starting position for the upper block pull-up with a rope is with the forearms parallel to the floor (arms at stomach level). This means you have to push the weight down, not just pull it with the strength of your hands. To control the technique, beginners are advised to press their elbows into the belt.

Keep in mind that when pumping the triceps, you need to feel the range of exercise correctly to achieve maximum muscle involvement without dangerous effects on the shoulder joint. To do this, it is better to use the average working weight.