5 Best Tricep Exercises!

Within this article, I will be talking about my 5 best tricep exercises. As always with this series, I will be including why I chose these exercises, their benefits and how you can implement them within your program/routine! Let’s talk about my top tricep exercise!

Number One Triceps Exercise:

Kicking off our list, we have the close-grip bench press. Its compound nature and ability to be trained heavy is great for laying the foundation of our training. Also, considering it is performed in a bench press fashion, we also get some good work done on the chest as well.

With the nature of this exercise in mind, we know its great for applying progressive overload, which of course is crucial to our progress. This exercise can also serve as a beneficial variation exercise to the bench press to help work on tricep strength.

As far as implementing this exercise goes, it will typically be done as a primary triceps movement. Or, implemented as an assistance exercise to the bench press. As a triceps hypertrophy exercise, I would suggest working in the 6-10 rep range for the majority of your sets. For an assistance exercise, it is quite relative to your needs, however, training it heavier to get an overload effect on the triceps can be beneficial.

Number 2 Triceps Exercise:

My second tricep exercise and one of my favourites is the skull crusher. No, don’t mind the name, it won’t crush your skull as long as you don’t let the bar go. In fact, if you’re doing the exercise properly there really won’t be much of a concern. This because the bar should be travelling past your head to get a full stretch on the tricep, and the lockout should also be slightly behind your head so there is still tension on the tricep at that point.

One of the main perks with this exercise is its ability to be trained somewhat heavy even as an isolation exercise, and with it being an isolation exercise it really allows you to target and feel your triceps working. Also, seeing as this exercise elevates your arms overhead, this will influence the long head of the tricep because of its origin point.

When talking about implementing this exercise, it can definitely be your primary triceps movement. Progressive overload would typically come from increasing reps/volume with the occasional bump in weight/intensity. This because you will typically be training this movement for hypertrophy, so increasing reps/volume is more relative to that, and it is more difficult to increase through weight as well.

Number 3 Triceps Exercise:

Number 3 on our list, we have the classic triceps push down, a great exercise for isolating the triceps, with the capability to really focus on the mind muscle connection. There are also many “techniques” you can do with this exercise, such as slow eccentrics, focusing on the squeeze, drop sets, etc.

Some benefits of this exercise include its ability to really isolate the triceps. Also, although it’s not the easiest movement to apply progressive overload to, you can do so somewhat easily with reps. All in all, the triceps pushdown is a classic exercise that is great for getting in some good volume and really focusing on and isolating the triceps.

When thinking about implementing this exercise, it will typically be one of our last or finishing triceps exercises. I like to lighten the exercise up and perform it in the 12-15 rep range, really focusing on utilizing my triceps. I will use drop sets on this exercise from time to time as well. I also use this exercise on my lower volume arm days with a slow eccentric. I find this isn’t too physically demanding, while still receiving some good “bang for my buck”.


Number 4 Triceps Exercise:

Next up on the list, we have the crush press, an extremely versatile exercise with a couple of different benefits. A great exercise to really target the triceps while performing a pressing movement. Seeing as it is a pressing movement, we can train it pretty heavy which is always a benefit as well.

Being able to train this exercise heavy makes it so we can apply progressive overload relatively easily, and with it being a compound pressing movement this exercise can be used as a primary triceps exercise. However, it is extremely versatile as it can be a great finisher for your triceps as well with a high rep set! Not only this, however, this exercise gets in some strong secondary work on your chest, which is also beneficial.

We have many options where we can implement this exercise, whether it’s as our primary triceps movement (mine currently), or as a finisher exercise to get a lot of blood flow in. When being used as a primary movement, I like to perform it in the 8-12 rep range. In the 20+ range is advisable when using it as a finisher exercise.

Number 5 Triceps Exercise:

To close out our list we have the diamond push-up. A great option for a bodyweight movement to target your triceps, with a couple of different applications. Also, you can perform this exercise in a close grip push-up fashion if the diamond version places too much stress on your forearms and wrists.

It’s always nice to have some bodyweight options in our training for the application of different training techniques and variation. They are also a form of training in themselves for those who don’t have access to gym or equipment or prefer this style of training. Bodyweight exercises are not to be underestimated and can definitely be challenging if you perform them in the right manner.

If you’re purely callisthenics training, this can serve as a great option for a main triceps movement. However, if you’re using this exercise in addition to weight training I would suggest using it as an exercise to help finish off your triceps. I often times like to do this in a mechanical drop set fashion.

Concluding Remarks:

Whew, well I have now given you 5 tricep exercises that you can take into training with you. Not only can you take them into training, but you will know why you’re doing so, their benefits and how you can actually implement them.

Good luck on your next triceps training day and I look forward to you being able to benefit from the use of these exercises! I thank you for taking the time to read this article and as always if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!


Until Next Time,


Kohl Johnson

Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.

Support is much appreciated if you benefited from this:

Kohl Johnson

I am a 16-year-old fitness fanatic! I have learned nothing but quality training and nutrition information from the utmost well-respected individuals in the field. Now, my only focus is to share this knowledge with you for your benefit, in the most honest way possible. We are all in this together! LET'S GO!

2 Responses

  1. This is a very helpful post and full of great information. It is obvious you have spent a lot of time and training. Are you recommending that a person do all 5 of these tricep exercises at the same workout or should one be done a day? Your article makes me want to go to the gym and try them out! I have no doubt that anyone using these exercises have triceps of steel! Again, thanks for your help in sorting out what exercises are best. 

    • Hi there, no I would not suggest doing all 5 of these tricep exercises at once. This would likely be too much volume for most people and likely not needed or even optimal to do in one training session. I would pick 2-3 (they can be ones outside of this list as well). I would then suggest starting with a heavy compound, then one to perform in a moderate rep range. If you do 3 exercises, consider finishing off with one you can do easily with high reps or drop sets to burn out your triceps. 

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