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How to Increase Tricep Size With Exercise

written by: Terry Caron • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 7/5/2011

The triceps are comprised of three muscles in the back of the arm and attach at the rear of the deltoid and at the elbow. If your goal is to get bigger or stronger arms or both, do not neglect these muscles.

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    The triceps muscles are sixty percent of the arms' size and mass. Knowing the best exercise to increase tricep size is just as important as working on the biceps. The triceps function to extend the arm at the elbow and in any movement that causes the wrist to turn upward. Here are a few exercises that you can perform for overall strength and size of the triceps.

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    Close-Grip Pushdowns.

    This tried and tested exercise has been used by bodybuilders and fitness experts for years. Performing a close-grip pushdown can be done as follows:

    1. Using a straight or angled bar attached to a high pulley, grasp the bar with an overhand grip. This should be done at chest height and about shoulder width apart.
    2. Stand upright and lean forward slightly. Your forearms should be close to your body.
    3. Using your triceps, push the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. During this part of the exercise make sure to exhale on this part and make sure your upper arms remain in place against your upper body.
    4. Slowly raise your arms back up to the starting position. Keep the upper arms stationary. Your forearms should return to the starting position close to your chest.
    5. Repeat for as many repetitions as necessary or recommended.
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    Parallel Bar Dips.

    This is probably one of the best exercises to increase triceps size. It is one of the few exercises that work all three heads of the triceps at once.

    1. To start this exercise, hold your body upright, at arm’s length on the parallel bars. Your arms will be almost locked above the bars.
    2. Inhale and slowly lower yourself down. Your torso should stay upright and your arms close to your sides. Lower yourself down until there is a 90 degree angle between your upper arm and forearm.
    3. Exhale and push yourself back up to the starting position.
    4. Continue for as many reps as needed or recommended.
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    Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions.

    This is a great compound exercise for overall power and strength in the triceps.

    1. Lie flat on a bench holding two dumbbells out in front of you. Arms are fully extended and at a 90 degree angle with your torso, palms facing in and elbows tucked in.
    2. While breathing in and holding your upper arms stationary, slowly lower the dumbbells down until the weights are near your ears.
    3. Using your triceps, exhale and raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
    4. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
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    Speak with a physical trainer to determine your skill level, goals and the amount of weight and repetitions necessary. Always check with a doctor prior to starting any exercise program. Knowing how to increase triceps size with exercise is very important in any workout program. Many lifters will work entirely on the biceps and not the triceps and this creates an imbalance in size and strength. Properly performing the above exercises will help you create overall size and strength in the

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    References:

    Lee, J. (March 2010). De-jiggle your upper arms: fix this often-flabby trouble zone with a smarter trio of triceps sculptors. Then see how quickly people take notice. Shape, 29, 7. p.136(3). Retrieved August 31, 2010, from General Reference Center Gold via Gale:http://ezproxy.ppld.org:2059/gtx/start.do?prodId=GRGM&userGroupName=pike

    Sandler, D. (Jan 2010). Gun control: turn your 9mm arms into M16s with this triceps-splitting routine. Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, 71, 1. p.198(2). Retrieved August 31, 2010, from General Reference Center Gold via Gale:http://ezproxy.ppld.org:2059/gtx/start.do?prodId=GRGM&userGroupName=pike