The man who wants better tricep muscle cannot live on pressdowns alone. Too often, we see guys in the gym and maybe you’re one of them working his triceps to death at the cable pressdown station. Ten sets, 15 sets… whatsoever it takes to get them sore. But what the pressdown-happy masses don’t seem to realize is that this exercise emphasizes the lateral head of the tricep muscle. 

There are other forms of this favorite you can use, plus a few exercises and techniques that you are probably neglecting, that will help your cause. Here, you’ll find a comprehensive plan—boiled down into five tips—that can help you build balanced, thick tricep muscle in no-time flat.

Building Tricep Muscles


If you must do pressdowns, at least do them properly. Too many guys hold the bar like motorcycle handlebars. This causes you to thrust with the fingers, which not only places stress on the hands and wrist, but it reduced the amount of force you can apply to the bar. The key is to push with the heel of the palms. You’ll know when you have this method down as you won’t even have to wrap your fingers around the bar. You’ll also realize how much more weight you can do on pressdowns. And greater overload equals—you’ve got it—more tricep muscle growth.


tricep muscle

The flipside to the above advice is to literally do just that—flip your grip and take an underhand grip to pull the weight down when doing triceps pressdowns. Though the overhand version places the greatest stress on the lateral triceps head, the underhand version better stresses the oft-neglected medial head. Meanwhile the only way to maximize overall triceps mass is to maximize the mass of all three triceps heads, you need to devote time to the medial head as well. Attempt the reverse-grip pressdown using an EZ-bar attachment with a rotating collar, which will eliminate the stress form your wrists.


The more the arms are placed in forward-facing of the body and overhead, the more the long head is highlighted. When you do skullcrushers on a flat bench, the arms are perpendicular to the body and so both the long head and lateral head are fairly equally involved, with even a good bit of involvement from the medial head. When you do them on an incline bench, the arms move more overhead, which places greater emphasis on the long head.


tricep muscle

Subsequently the close-grip bench press is a multi-joint exercise, you are able to maximize the amount of stress you place on the tricep muscle. When you press the bar off your chest during the close-grip bench press the triceps involvement rises the higher the bar moves. Since bands and chains increase the resistance as the range of motion increases, using them on the close-grip bench press places maximal stress on the triceps, while reducing the stress son the chest and delts, which are used in the lower half of the range of motion


tricep muscle

We advise you only do drop sets on the last set or two of each exercise to avoid overtraining. Drop sets work to boost muscle growth by taking the muscle to the point beyond muscle failure. This can help to increase growth hormone release, which stimulates muscle growth.

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