The threeheaded triceps brachii is a small muscle, at least when compared with the pecs and back. Yet very few triceps exercises actually hit all three heads (long, lateral, and medial) sufficiently. You might think accomplishing this requires a big move with big weights—perhaps a close-grip bench press or skull crusher. But one of the best exercises for torching all three triceps heads is actually the kickback. Most guys see it as a shaping move reserved for women. Well, it’s also good for mass, and it’s time to add it to your routine.

Quick Tips

Triceps, all three heads (long, lateral, medial)

Late in your triceps workout; it makes for a great finishing move.

3–4 sets, 12–15 reps

Armed and Ready

Read below for huge kickbacks on your triceps development.

Set Up

  1. Hold a dumbbell in one hand with the same side foot on the floor and your opposite knee and hand on a flat bench.
  2. Bend over at the waist so your torso is parallel with the floor.
  3. Begin with your working arm bent at roughly 90 degrees, your upper arm parallel with the floor, palm facing in, and your elbow in tight against your body.

Do It

Keeping your upper arm stationary, contract your triceps to extend your elbow. Squeeze at the top with your elbow locked out.

Weider Principles: Forced Reps

What It Is

This is one of the best training techniques for getting bigger and stronger—provided it’s not overused. Forced reps involve having a spotter assist you in finishing a set, helping you get one or a few extra reps when you’re unable to do any more on your own.

What It Does

It allows you to extend a set past initial muscle failure so that the muscle adapts and is eventually able to complete those reps on its own. It’s almost like tricking your body into thinking it can do 10 reps when it can do only eight. Before long, you’ll actually be doing 10 reps with that same weight.

How to Use It

We advise you to use forced reps on no more than one to two sets per body part in a given workout—more than that and you’re asking to be overtrained. On chest, for example, do forced reps on your last set or two of bench press, then cut yourself off from the technique on subsequent pec moves.

Fitness couple doing a triceps workout with a bench dip exercise

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