If you want bigger and stronger arms, you better be doing more than curls. Remember, your triceps make up the bulk of your upper-arm size and contribute greatly to your real-world strength. And you need more than triceps pulldowns with a little rope to build them!
Check out these exercises to enhance the size, strength, and function of your triceps:
1. Close-Grip Bench Press
It’s probably the single most “value for time” exercise to build bigger and stronger triceps. A close-grip bench allows you to maximize mechanical tension, and more mechanical tension means more strength and size.
Keep your elbows tight to your body to better isolate the triceps. Heavy lockouts or pin presses work great, too.
This is a foundational upper-body exercise every serious lifter should do. The dip works extremely well to build the pecs, anterior delts, and triceps.
To focus more on the triceps, try to keep your legs straight and in front of your body. If you want to take your dips to the next level, add additional resistance with weight or bands and prioritize the full range of motion each rep.
3. Standing Barbell Skull Crushers
It’s not a popular skull crusher variation, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. Make sure to lower the bar down slowly near your forehead and then aggressively punch the weight up. Get your head through at the top of each rep. This feels great on the triceps and works tremendously well as an accessory movement to strengthen your overhead press.
4. Bodyweight Skull Crusher
This absolutely lights up your triceps. It’s deceptively challenging. You can modify it as needed simply by breaking at the hips and knees slightly or raising the height of the bar.
Be sure to bend at the elbows while keeping as much of your body weight as possible leaning forward.