Arm Exercises

Trick Out Some Killer Triceps

If you really want to fill out your shirtsleeves, you'll need to do more than just barbell curls.

Trick Out Some Killer Triceps


Target: Triceps

In another compound move for the triceps, the shoulder-width grip allows for more stress to be placed on the tri’s than during a standard bench press. Be careful not to go too narrow with your grip to avoid undue stress on the wrists without putting any additional force on the triceps. The key is to keep your elbows in close without allowing them to flare out. The beauty of the Smith machine is that it provides a defined path of motion, so once you find the plane that hits your triceps best, you can stick to that path through-out the set.

Start: Lie faceup on a flat bench placed inside a Smith machine with your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the bar with a narrow (about shoulder-width) overhand grip. Rotate and press the bar up slightly to unrack it, then hold it above your chest with your arms extended.

Action: Lower the bar to your lower chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Don’t bounce the bar off your chest; rather, when it approaches an inch or so away from your chest, pause and press it back up to the start position. Squeeze your triceps and chest at the top.


Target: Triceps
(emphasis on long head)

The overhead extension is awesome for building size and thickness in your triceps. By raising your arms overhead, you stretch the triceps’ long head, meaning it can contract more strongly than when your arms are fixed by your sides. While you can do this movement one arm at a time, here you use both hands and go heavier with only one dumbbell. Start with the weight on one knee, then kick it up to your shoulder before pressing it overhead to begin the set. At the end of the set, reverse the sequence, coming down to your shoulder and then to your knee.

Start: Sit erect on a low-back bench, feet flat on the floor or on the footpads. Grasp the inner plate of a dumbbell with both hands and hold it overhead at full arm extension, keeping your elbows alongside your ears. Wrap your thumbs around the bar. Keep your head straight and your lower back pressed into the backpad.

Action: Bending only at your elbows, lower the weight behind your head until your arms form 90-degree angles. Hold for a brief count, then press back up to full arm extension and squeeze your triceps hard at the top.