The term triceps means three heads: the medial, the lateral, and the long head. The lateral or “outer” head provides width to the arm and creates the classic “horseshoe” when the arm is extended. The most effective exercise for the outer head is triceps pushdowns using the rope. While performing rope pushdowns, to really engage the outer head, keep the elbows facing out and turn the hands out at the bottom of the movement by squeezing the triceps with your arms fully extended. As the weight comes back up, keep the elbows stationary, even if it means reducing the range of motion. Just focus on extending and squeezing.


Close-grip bench press, bench dip


The origin of the lateral head of the triceps is at the upper end of the humerus just above the radial sulcus. The lateral head inserts at the elbow on the ulna and extends the elbow, straightening the arm. Because the lateral head of the triceps does not span the shoulder joint, it’s not stretched by raising the elbow above the head as is the long head.


Rope Pushdown | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8–12

Lying Extension | SETS: 3 | REPS: 8–12

Dumbbell Kickback | SETS: 2 | REPS: 15–20