The Best at-Home Tricep Workouts for Bodybuilding

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Creating a well-defined horseshoe shape on the back of the triceps brachii muscle is essential in bodybuilding. The triceps brachii muscle consists of three heads: the long head, lateral head and medial head. Because the triceps are a smaller muscle, they can easily be trained at home using a combination of body-weight and dumbbell exercises to target all three heads of the triceps.

Body-weight Triceps Dips

Body-weight triceps dips are a compound exercise that primarily target the lateral and medial heads of the triceps brachii, but also use secondary muscles in the shoulders, chest and back. Sit on a sturdy chair with your heels on the floor extended out in front of you and your palms at the edge of the chair. Extend your arms, and slide your body forward until your hips are just in front of the chair. Lower your hips until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. Straighten your arms and raise up to starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps for two to three sets, resting 30 seconds between sets.

Close-Grip Pushups

Close-grip pushups are another body-weight compound exercise that primarily target the triceps muscle. Close-grip pushups are performed like traditional pushups, but instead of your hands positioned directly underneath your shoulders, they are positioned closer together. In the downward position, elbows should be pointed toward your feet instead of out to the side. Perform two to three sets of 12 to 15 pushups, resting 30 seconds between each set.

Overhead Triceps Extensions

Overhead triceps extension is an isolation exercise targeting the triceps brachii. Sitting in a sturdy chair, grasp one dumbbell over your head with your arm straight. Slowly bend your elbow back so that the dumbbell is behind your head. Your upper arm and shoulder should remain stable throughout the entire movement. Slowly extend your elbow back to starting position and repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions on each arm for two to three sets. The rest period between sets should be minimal because you are alternating between arms.

Bent Over Triceps Extensions

Finish your workout with a tri-set of bent-over triceps extensions. A tri-set is three exercises performed right after the other with no rest in between. Bending over, grasp a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing toward your torso. Elbows should be pointed to the back and bent at 90 degrees to start. Slowly extend your arms until they are straight, while keeping elbows close to your body. Pause for a moment before returning to a starting position and repeat. During your tri-set, only change your hand position in the bent-over triceps extension exercise for each set. Changing the hand position increases the intensity of the exercise and targets all three muscle heads. For the first set use the standard position; second set, rotate your palms downward to target the long head; third set, rotate your palms upward to target the medial head. Perform each set for 10 to 12 reps. Rest for one to two minutes before repeating the tri-set again.