The triceps, the muscle responsible for extending the elbow and straightening the arm, consists of three individual heads, the anterior, medial (the innermost part above the elbow), and lateral (the outside edge). Tricep exercises work all three muscles equally, but specific movements will isolate each one’s strength.
Here are the five best triceps isolation exercises for bigger, stronger triceps:
1. Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks
Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks are part of Tricep Muscle building workouts, one of the best tricep exercises that will help strengthen your muscle mass and get bigger triceps. To do Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks;
- Stand up tall with a weight in each hand, palms facing your thighs.
- Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your shoulders.
- From here, straighten your arms behind you, and squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement.
- Reverse the motion and slowly lower the weights back to your shoulders. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Dumbbell triceps kickbacks are a perfect exercise for correcting imbalances in your triceps. It puts an emphasis on the long head of the triceps, giving that part of your arm more strength and size. This is a great exercise for building muscle and strengthening the top portion of your arm.
2. Cable Rope Tricep Pushdown
The Cable Rope Tricep Pushdown requires a cable machine and a rope attachment. This exercise focuses on the triceps, more specifically the long head and medial head of the triceps. Here is how you do a Cable Rope Tricep Pushdown;
- Choose a weight that you can comfortably handle and attach the rope to the cable machine.
- Step back from the machine and grip the rope with your palms facing down.
- Straighten your arms and extend them down towards the floor.
- From here, slowly push the rope downwards until your arms are fully extended.
- Pause for a second and then slowly bring the rope back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps. Remember to keep your core engaged and shoulders down throughout the entire exercise.
The best part of cable rope pushdowns is that they fatigue the triceps much more than standard pushdowns do. It’s because you have to maintain a constant grip on the rope, so your muscle fibers never get the chance to fully relax. They’re always in a state of slight tension, which means more growth for your triceps.
3. Dumbbell Tricep Skull Crushers
The Dumbbell Tricep Skull Crushers is a barbell exercise that targets the triceps brachii muscle, specifically the long head. This muscle is located on top of your upper arm and when trained can help with improving your arm size. Here is how you do a perfect dumbbell Tricep Skull Crushers;
- Lie on your back on a bench with a weight in each hand, palms facing your thighs.
- Slowly lower the weights towards your head, keeping your elbows close to your head.
- Pause when your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, then press the weights back up to the starting position.
The dumbbell tricep skull crusher is a fun exercise that works a lot of the muscles in the arm, including the forearms, biceps, and triceps. The three-way motion of lifting up, to your forehead, and then back over will help you build these muscles but also engage many more in specific ways. This exercise is not too difficult to learn and you can feel the way it challenges your arm strength as you do.
4. Overhead Cable Rope Tricep Press
The overhead cable rope tricep press is a great exercise to improve your triceps (your triceps make up two-thirds of the muscle in your upper arm). The cable provides constant tension on the muscle and allows you to use less weight. To do Overhead Cable RopeTricep Press;
- Start by adjusting the cable pulleys to the height that is appropriate for you.
- Grab the rope attachments with your hands and hold them at arm’s length above your head, with your palms facing each other.
- From here, slowly lower the ropes down and behind your head.
- Keep your elbows close to your head as you do this.
- Pause for a second and then press the ropes back up to the starting position.
Overhead Cable RopeTricep Press is a great addition to your workout regimen. The overhead position of these cables forces your shoulders to function at an angle where they will be forced to support more weight than if the overhead position were in a straight line with the arm. This exercise is excellent for strengthening and defining triceps while building up their size as well.
5. Cable Tricep Kickbacks
Cable Tricep Kickbacks are a classic exercise for bettering your arm strength. The cable machine has become a staple in almost any gym, but it’s not only for the back, chest, and legs. This piece of equipment can be used as an all-over body developer. By extending the arms outwards and bending backward slightly on the cable kickback, you are forcing your triceps to work. It’s changing the angle of the cable to force your arm to bend at a different portion, of the muscle which replicates a different workout. Cable kickbacks are also a great method for developing arm definition. Here is how you do cable tricep kickbacks the right way;
- Adjust the cable pulley height so that when your arms are fully extended they are at shoulder height.
- Step forward a couple of feet so that the weight stack is pulling straight back and not downwards.
- With your palms facing down, grab the handle with your right hand and, keeping your back straight, extend your right arm back until it is straight.
- Pause and then slowly return to the start position.
- Repeat with your left arm.
The Cable Tricep Kickbacks is a great way to get your triceps lifting with compound movements. They will give you that pump that allows you to gain width and thickness in this important muscle group in your upper arm.
Wrapping it up
Tricep isolation exercises are a great way to target your triceps without feeling too tired by the end of your workout. If you’re looking to add a few steps to your workout routine, consider adding these exercises to your routine and see how much stronger you feel as a result.