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The Ultimate Guide to Tricep Workouts: Build Strong and Toned Arms

October 24, 2023 4 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Tricep Workouts: Build Strong and Toned Arms-VPA Australia

Strong and toned arms are the envy of many, andtricep workouts play a crucial role in achieving this goal. The triceps make up a significant portion of the upper arm and are responsible for arm extension and stability. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the besttricep exercises for muscle growth andstrength,as well as somebeginner exercises andthe recommendedsets and reps for muscle growth. 

BestTricep Workouts for More Muscle 

The triceps brachii, commonly referred to as the triceps, comprise three heads:the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. Developing the triceps is essential for balanced arm growth and contributes significantly to overall arm size. Here are some of the besttricep exercises for muscle growth: 

Close-Grip Bench Press

  • A compound movement that targets all three heads of the triceps, with an emphasis on the medial and lateral heads. 

  • Performed like a regular bench press but with a narrower grip. 

Image source: Inspire USA Foundation

Tricep Dips

  • It can be done on parallel bars or on a bench. 

  • The bodyweight version primarily targets the lateral and medial heads, while a forward lean canemphasise the long head.

Image source: Burn the Fat Inner Circle

Skull Crushers (Lying Tricep Extensions)

  • Performed with a barbell or dumbbells, while lying on a flat or slightly inclined bench. 

  • Primarily targets the long head. 

Image source: Burn the Fat Inner Circle

Overhead Tricep Extension

  • It can be done with a dumbbell, barbell, EZ curl bar, or cable. 

  • The overhead position stretches andemphasises the long head of the triceps. 

Image source: Inspire USA Foundation


  • Using a cable machine, you can employ various attachments like ropes, V-bars, or straight bars. 

  • Primarily targets the lateral and medial heads. 

Image source: Inspire USA Foundation


  • A push-up variation where the hands are placed close together to form a diamond shape. 

  • Engages the triceps heavily. 

Image source: Inspire USA Foundation

Tricep Kickbacks

  • Performed with a dumbbell, this exercise isolates the triceps, especially the lateral head. 

  • Ensure a full contraction for maximum muscle activation. 

Image source: Inspire USA Foundation

For optimaltricep development, it's essential to incorporate a mix of compound and isolation exercises. This ensures that all three heads of the triceps get adequate stimulation. As with all muscle-building efforts, use proper form, progressively overload, ensure sufficient recovery, and maintain a supportive nutritional intake.

Importance of Proper Form 

Maintaining proper form throughout each exercise is crucial to targeting the triceps effectively. It is important to avoid swinging or using momentum tolift weights. Start with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise in good form. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. 

What Sets and Reps are Recommended forTricep Strength Training? 

The sets and reps you should use fortricep strength training will depend on your specific goals (strength, hypertrophy, or muscular endurance) and where you are in your training journey (beginner, intermediate or advanced). Here's a general guideline: 

For Pure Strength: 

  • Reps: 1-6 per set 

  • Sets: 3-6 sets 

  • Rest: 2-5 minutes between sets 

  • Weight: Heavy (around 80-90% of your 1 rep max) 

This rep range primarily targets the fast-twitch muscle fibers and results in neural adaptations that enhance muscular strength. 


For Muscle Hypertrophy (Size): 

  • Reps: 6-12 per set 

  • Sets: 3-5 sets 

  • Rest: 1-2 minutes between sets 

  • Weight: Moderate (around 60-80% of your 1 rep max) 

This rep range provides a balance between muscle strength and muscle size, stimulating the muscle fibers sufficiently for growth while allowing for volume. 


For Muscular Endurance: 

  • Reps: 12-20+ per set 

  • Sets: 2-4 sets 

  • Rest: 30 seconds - 1 minute between sets 

  • Weight: Light (around 40-60% of your 1 rep max) 

This rep range targets the slow-twitch muscle fibers and enhances the muscle's ability to perform over prolonged periods. 

Additional Tips: 

  • Beginners: If you're just starting, focus on mastering the form. You might want to start with lighter weights and a rep range of 8-12 to get the movements right. 

  • Periodisation: To avoid plateaus and continue seeing improvements, incorporateperiodisation into your training routine. This means varying your training parameters (sets, reps and weight) over time. For instance, you might focus on strength for a few weeks, then hypertrophy, and then endurance. 

  • Exercise Selection: Since the triceps consist of three heads, exercises that target each head arecrucial. Combine compound movements (like close-grip bench presses or dips) with isolation exercises (liketricep pushdowns or overhead extensions) for comprehensive development. 

  • Recovery: The triceps, like all muscles, need time to recover and grow. Ensure you're allowing adequate rest between intensetricep-focused workouts. Depending on the intensity, 48-72 hours of recovery are typically recommended. 

  • Volume: Pay attention to the total volume (sets x reps x weight) as well. Too much volume can lead to overtraining, while too little might not stimulate the muscles sufficiently.  

Lastly, always consult with fitness professionals or personal trainers if you're unsure about your form or routine, especially if you're new to strength training. They can provide personalized guidance tailored to your goals and needs. 


Tricep workouts are a key component of developing strong and toned arms. Whether your goal is muscle growth, strength, or overall fitness, incorporating a variety oftricep exercises into your routine is essential. By performing exercises correctly with proper form, gradually increasing intensity, and allowing for adequate recovery, you can achieve optimal results. 

Remember to vary your workouts, perform the exercises with proper form,and listen to your body's need for rest and recovery. With consistency and dedication, you can build the arms of your dreams. 

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