Missing your bench press is never something you want to do. A lot of us have power off the chest but lack the tricep strength to lockout the weight. If this sounds familiar, add these four tricep blasting exercises to your routine.

Chain Resisted Close-Grip Bench Press

This should be a staple of any serious bench presser’s routine. The closer your grip, the more you activate your triceps in the bench press. On top of that, the added resistance on the lockout (from the chains) forces to recruit your triceps like crazy. Put these two modalities together and you have beautiful symphony of triceps activation and recruitment.

How To:

Load the bar around 70% of your conventional bench 1RM and then put on chains that add somewhere between 40-80lbs at lockout. Move your grip in 2” on both sides to perform the close grip bench press. Any narrower than that and the exercise no longer has a high rate of transfer to the competition bench. Next, simply perform a bench press. Make sure to lockout each rep! No partials! Start out by doing 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

Band Resisted Triceps Extension

Tricep Extension, skull crushers, whatever you want to call them, just make sure you are doing them. The tricep extension is an old school, classic tricep isolating exercise. It has been around forever and used by some of the strongest pressers of all time.

How To:

Grab the EZ Curl bar and a flat bench. Put your weight on the bar and then put a band around one end, run the band underneath the bench and connect to the other side of the bar. Make sure you start out with a skinny band, these are tougher than they look! Keep your elbows tucked in and lower the bar to forehead level and back up to locked arms. Make sure your elbows don’t flare out and try to keep your humerus angle constant throughout the lift. Start out by doing 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

4 Elbow Friendly Moves for Bigger Triceps

JM Press

This movement is a combination of a close grip bench and skull crusher. It is very important to control the negative and explode on the positive. This movement was popularized in the 1990s by top bench presser, J.M. Blakely. This exercise builds size and strength in any pressing movement. Once you are comfortable with the movement, you can go heavy.

How To:

Place hands about 18” apart on the bar. Lower the bar in a straight line towards the bottom of the sternum. Stop 3-5” from your chest and pause for a second then explode the weight straight up. Start by doing 5 sets of 5-8 repetitions.

Dicks Press

World-class bench presser Paul Dicks popularized this exercise. This one directly hits the triceps but allows you to use much heavier weight than a traditional skull crusher.

How To:

Start in the locked out position of a close grip bench press, take the weight down to the chest (like a close grip bench press), lift the weight two inches off your chest and rotate the shoulders back and touch the bar to your chin. Finally, bring the bar back to the starting position and forcefully press the weight up. Start by doing 5 sets of 6-15 repetitions.

If your bench is stalling and your tri’s aren’t growing, give these exercises a shot and watch your bench skyrocket.