10 Best Tricep Workouts For Mass

Tricep-workouts-for-mass

If you have small arms, here’s the solution.

Direct triceps training.

Because 75% of the makeup of your arm, is the tricep. 

That’s over 2/3 of your arm!

Which is why, if you want to grow your pipes, you need to follow these tricep workouts for mass so you can begin filling out those shirt sleeves…

And even have some eye-popping horseshoes poking out the back. 

Before diving into the training, let’s go over the tricep itself… 

tricep-workouts-for-mass

The tricep muscle is a powerful extensor of the elbow…

Meaning, it helps extend the elbow.

The tricep (if you couldn’t tell by the name), is made up of three muscles… 

The long Head (this is tied for the most visible muscle of the triceps).

Pro Tip: If you really want your arms to POP… exercising the long head of the triceps is a good place to start.

The lateral head is the other superficial monster in this three-headed beast.

And lastly, the medial head, which is located deep in the center of your upper arm. 

All coming together to form the aesthetic horseshoe guys train their butt off for.

tricep-exercises-for-mass

However, follow these tips and you won’t waste time in the gym or at home building the back of your arms.

Simply Add These 10 Tricep Workouts For Mass To Your Routine For Some Serious Arm Development

But first, lets break down 10 different tricep exercises you can use for your workouts.

We’ll split it up…

5 bodyweight triceps exercises and 5 weight lifting triceps exercises.

Let’s start with bodyweight tricep exercises for mass.

1 – Skull Crusher

Level of difficulty: Beginner

The skull crusher is one of my favorite mass builders for the back of the arms.

For one, it sounds hardcore.

When someone asks you, “hey, what’d you do today?”

And you reply with, “oh nothing, just crushed some skulls today”… you sound pretty tough.

Yet all “toughness” aside, this one movement will thrash you arms if you do it right. 

(Check out my video demo below)

You’ll really feel this one in your core muscles as well…

Especially in your abs. 

If your core is weak it may hinder you from doing the movement correctly

I recommend starting with your knees close into your chest and progressively moving your knees back as you become comfortable with the exercise.

By the way… you can also perform the bodyweight skull crusher standing.

Which will be slightly more challenging.

Check out the video below… (start at 2:10) 

2 – Inverted Bench Dips

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

This one is a classic.

And was used back in the golden era of bodybuilding.

Even King Arnold added this exercise in his routine to build some massive triceps. 

triceps-mass-workout

(What happened to these kinds of physiques, anyway? Bodybuilding has morphed from classic, aesthetic physiques to becoming mutant sized mass monsters).

My opinion: I like the classic physiques better.

Anyway, back to triceps. 

You can perform this exercise with your feet elevated as Schwarzenegger is doing (this is a more advanced bodyweight mass builder)…

Or, if you consider yourself a beginner, simply place your feet on the floor when performing the bench dip.

Here’s a video of how to perform the ladder… 

3 – Hanging Dips

Level of difficulty: Advanced

Important note for this tricep exercise… 

When most people perform the hanging dip, they lean forward. 

This takes stress OFF of your triceps and places the emphasis on your chest and front delts. 

Which, if you’re trying to grow your arms, is a big muscular miscommunication

Pro Tip: Instead, position yourself completely upright and perform your dips with very little, to no forward lean. 

This will place the majority of the work on your triceps instead of other muscle groups that are stealing your tricep gains. 

This video gives some more awesome tips so you don’t sabotage your tricep growth ever again.

4 – Bodyweight Tricep Extension

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Not many people know about this move. 

It’s deceivingly challenging. 

Despite having a small range of motion… this one will have your triceps feeling on fire from the second or third rep.

Actually, yesterday was the first time I’ve ever tried this exercise. 

I was pleasantly surprised. 

And I think you’ll enjoy it to. 

My favorite part, no irritation in the joints.

The stress was all on the tricep muscles. Right where you want to feel it. 

(Here’s how to perform this exercise)

By the way, this is another one of those exercises that requires significant core strength. 

If you’re going to do a majority of these bodyweight exercises, be sure to strengthen up your abs. 

My article on Isometric Exercises for Abs (that aren’t planks) may be helpful. 

Or the Covert Planking For Abs Navy SEAL Workout. 

I recommend taking a look at one of the articles after you finish this one.

I know you’re here for tricep workouts for mass. But a strong core will help you in the long run.

5 – Tricep Push-up

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The secret sauce to this one is keeping your elbows tight against your rib cage.

Your hands don’t have to be in some fancy diamond shape.

Simply keep your hands just inside shoulder width and you’ll be fine.

(I made this demo for you to get a better idea)

If you want to make this movement a bit easier, perform this push-up while on your knees.

Okay. Now that you have the top 5 mass building bodyweight tricep exercises, let’s add in some weight lifting movements that will add inches to your arms…

Horseshoe Carving Tricep Exercises For Mass Using Weights

6 – Close Grip Bench Press

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

You can do this with dumbbells or a barbell. 

The close grip bench press is very similar to the close stance push up.

Keep your elbows tucked to your body. 

And arms slightly inside your natural shoulder width.

The dudes at Colossus Fitness have a KILLER video breaking down the proper way to do this exercise…

(Watch the entire video – Josh & Kyle will show you other cool techniques and exercises to help you prime your triceps for this movement for max gains.)

By far the #1 mistake I see guys make with the close-grip bench press, is they bring their hands too close together to the center of the bar. 

This displaces a lot of the pressure on your wrists and elbows… shifting the focus away from the bulk of the tricep muscles. 

Which forces you to lift less weight than your natural potential. Decreases the stability of the bar. And fractions your range of motion.

Pro Tip: Your goal during the close grip bench (just like the close grip push up) is to have your elbows directly under your wrists.

(Here’s a few other mistakes you’ll want to avoid with the close grip bench press)

By the way, if your gym has a Swiss neutral grip bar like the one below… use it.

The grip is most natural.

Less pressure on the wrists.

And the tension is efficiently placed on your triceps for some serious gains…

tricep-workouts-mass-building

7 – Reverse Grip Cable Tricep Pressdown

Level of difficulty: Beginner

This one was my bread and butter back in the bodybuilding days…

For one, I had an insane mind-muscle connection to my triceps during this movement. 

I also enjoy using less weight than the traditional overhand tricep press-down, which felt great on my elbow joints

Plus the cracking feeling I’d get with the overhand tricep press-down was downright annoying. Which led me to switch to the reverse-grip in the first place. 

Glad I did. 

(Here’s how to do this one at the gym)

Pro Tip: most gyms have a single cable attachment which allows you to work one arm at a time. 

This gives you the option of performing forced reps and negatives… using your other hand as a “spotter”.

Using this intensity technique will help you maximize muscle growth and place a big-time mass building load on the back of your arms

(Here’s a picture of natural legend Jim Cordova using the one arm cable pulley)

8 – Close Grip Overhead Press

Level of difficulty: Advanced

What I’ve found to work best with this exercise is pre-exhausting your triceps before doing this movement.

It helps keep the mind-muscle connection on your triceps, instead of on your shoulders.

You can also use less weight while still blasting your triceps in a mighty way.

Be sure to follow the same principles as the close grip bench press. 

Arms should be naturally shoulder width apart. 

Tuck your elbows in. 

And press the bar in an up and backward movement. 

(Here’s a solid demo from the T-Nation channel)

9 – Tricep Kickbacks

Level of difficulty: Beginner

I feel this one more using a cable pulley. 

However dumbbells will work just fine.

I notice with a dumbbell, I feel some minor displacement on my front delts. Probably because of the pull of gravity on the dumbbell.

I’d prefer to keep all my focus on the tricep.

Here’s what the movement looks like with a cable system:

(By the way – this isn’t the best tutorial out there – however, I want to highlight the position of the cable pulley. Notice how it’s parallel with your shoulder)

Here’s a better tutorial of the movement…

This time with a dumbbell.

Overall, this is one of my favorite movements.

Try both variations and see which movement you feel a greater mind-muscle connection and contraction in your triceps and go with that one.

10 – Tricep Rope Pressdown

Level of difficulty: Beginner

In my opinion, this exercise is more of a mass primer than a mass builder. 

Meaning, the triceps rope press-down will help you fill the muscle with blood and create a powerful mind-muscle connection to have kick-butt tricep workouts for mass. 

Here’s what else I love about this move…

The rope, unlike a bar, allows you to get a full extension

A bar cuts your range of motion short once it reaches your legs. 

The rope gives you the opportunity to go past your legs and get a full-blown triceps extension…

Pro Tip: I recommend using this exercise before the close grip bench press or the close grip overhead press as a pre-exhaust intensity technique.

Especially if you have joint pain in your elbows and don’t want to lift heavy on compound exercises like a pressing movement.

Now that you have these exercises down pat, it’s time to break out the workouts.

10 Best Tricep Workouts For Mass

I’m going to break these workouts down into bodyweight tricep workouts and weight lifting workouts…

Starting first with these bodyweight mass building workouts for the back of your arms:

Mass Building Workout #1

Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds per exercise:

  • Skull Crusher
  • Inverted Bench Dips
  • Bodyweight Triceps Extension
  • Tricep Push-up
  • Repeat Once More

Mass Building Workout #2

  • Inverted Bench Dips – 25 reps
  • Hanging Dips – 25 reps
  • Repeat 4x

Overall, you’ll complete 100 reps per exercise

Mass building Workout #3

  • Hanging Dips – 5 reps
  • Close Grip Push-up – 10 reps
  • Bodyweight Tricep Extension – 15 reps
  • Inverted Bench Dips – 20 reps
  • Repeat x3

Mass Building Workout #4

The century workout…

  • Chose one of the bodyweight tricep exercises above and perform 100 reps in as little time as possible.

Mass Building Workout #5

  • Bodyweight Tricep Extension – 30 reps
  • Close Grip Push-up – 20 reps
  • Inverted Dips – 10 reps
  • Work your way back up the ladder.

dumbbell-tricep-exercises-mass

Mass Building Workout #6

  • Tricep Rope Pressdown – 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press – 3 sets, 12 reps

Mass Building Workout #7

  • Single Arm Reverse Tricep Cable Pressdown (R) – 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Single Arm Reverse Tricep Cable Pressdown (L) – 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Tricep Kickback (R) – 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Tricep Kickback (L) – 3 sets, 10 reps

Mass Building Workout #8

  • Reverse Tricep Pressdown – 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Close Grip Overhead Press – 3 sets, 12 reps

Mass Building Workout #9

  • Close Grip Bench Press – 5 sets, 8 reps
  • Close Grip Overhead Press – 5 sets, 8 reps

Mass Building Workout #10

The century rep workout…

  • 100 reps of any of the above tricep building exercises.

There you have it. 8 horseshoe carving, tricep building workouts you can do at home or at the gym to build a big pair of guns. Follow two of these workouts per week for max-results…

Yet what’s a massive set of triceps without an attention-grabbing and powerful chest? Nada. Which is why I know you’ll like this free no-load chest building guide, which gives you the top bodyweight chest building exercises so you can growth your pecs for the ultimate power-physique. Simply click on the banner below and download your FREE bodyweight training guide to a massive chest.