Tip: The Best Exercise Order for Triceps

Build your tri's and avoid elbow pain by using this sequence for triceps training.

Think about your triceps training. You're probably thinking about what exercises you do and maybe the sets and reps. But have you thought about the order of the exercises? It can make a big different, especially when it comes to elbow health. Here's what to do.

Lifters often complain that lying triceps extension (skull crushers) shred their elbows. I agree, as it's happened to me, too. So always begin your triceps training with a pushdown – rope pushdowns are the best – and get blood into the area.

Rope Pushdown

By getting your triceps and elbows warm and full of blood, you should be able to do lying extensions later in the routine, without the accompanying pain that's so prevalent.


I like to go heavy on these, so for safety and injury prevention, it's probably a good idea to do these movements second in the routine.

Up to this point, your exercises have all been about flexing hard and moving heavy weight. Now that your arms are wobbly, it's time to move in for the knockout. Here's where lying triceps extensions are ideal.

Apart from keeping the joints healthy, it's great to finish with a movement that "stretches" the target muscle out. There are many different extension variations you could have in your arsenal:

EZ-Bar Incline Triceps Extension

Angled L-Extension

This is the best sequence for triceps growth and for keeping your elbows happy. Give it a shot.