Every year more people make sports a part of their lives for different reasons. Training diversifies our routine, helps us build stronger bodies, and allows us to know other sport-enthusiasts. Each part of our body should be carefully trained because only when doing exercises right will you get positive results. Today we are going to learn about tricep cable workouts and other types of workouts you can do to build defined triceps. We are aware that the biceps are the most visible muscles in the human body. That said, the triceps make up about two-thirds of our upper arms. That is why it is essential to activate them with the help of different exercises. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, if you desire to get rid of your bat wings you need these tricep cable workouts.
Are Cables Best For Triceps?
Strength training increases power in our muscles and hypertrophy. Moreover, they improve our functional ability and well-being (1).
There are various types of training that are created for the specific parts of our body. A lot of sport enthusiasts who desire to make their arms bigger and stronger opt for cable machine workouts.
Cables are the best way to train your triceps because they target the triceps with laser-like precision and allow you to perform a lot of variations of exercises. More on this, if you just change a hand position or body angle, your workout will be even more effective. A cable machine is a better option for a beginner since this equipment is considered to be safe. Among other benefits of triceps exercises cable are:
- The tricep workouts cable is spread equally which allows you to have constant pressure on your shoulder muscles.
- With the help of tricep exercises, you can change body positioning, angle, grip, and load more easily. In this way you won’t get bored using the cable machine because you are offered a variety of training sessions.
- Tricep cable workouts will enable you to build bigger arms and avoid injuries.
- It is quite fast to learn how to set up and use a cable machine.
As you can, a tricep workout is vital to the creation of strong triceps that keeps our joints healthy and allows us to lift heavier weights. The next part is going to be dedicated to the best tricep exercises.
Read More: Back And Tricep Workout For A Killer Body
What Are The Best 3 Tricep Exercises?
There is a huge variety of tricep workouts and some people must get confused by them. But before we jump into the best 3 triceps exercises it is essential to understand what triceps are and why they are so important.
Triceps consist of three muscles on the back of the arm and they move from your shoulder to your elbow. Even though they are not so visible as biceps you should train them thoroughly in order to lift heavier weights. Thanks to triceps we can do some mobile things, like playing tennis, doing yoga, push-ups, and other arm activities.
Note that before starting a tricep activity it is important to do a warm-up activity. The warm-up prepares your body both physiologically and psychologically for training. These reduce the risks of injuries and intensify performance (4).
Stretch your arms and swing them energetically. A simple 5-10 minute warm-up will prepare you for all kinds of workouts and help you avoid injuries.
Now, once you’re ready to change the size and strength of your arms you can move to these top-3 tricep exercises.
Tricep Rope Extension
The tricep rope extension is a type of cable tricep extension. This workout builds muscles of the triceps. The primary muscles that are involved are the triceps and the secondary are the forearms.
- Keep your feet apart, your face should look at the pulley machine with the rope attached to it.
- Grab the ends of the rope and keep your elbows by your waist.
- Exhale when lowering the rope by extending your arms.
- Hold like this for a couple of seconds and inhale by returning the rope to the standing position.
Standing Cable Ticep Extension
For this workout, you can also use resistance bands and be sure that you don’t arch your back. Stabilize your body by not trying to lean forward or backward. This exercise involves your triceps and arms.
- Attach the rope handle to the high cable station pulley.
- Grasp the handle and turn away from the cable machine with your hands at shoulder height.
- Then expand your hands forward and in front of your head. Return carefully to the starting position.
Incline Cable Triceps Extension
This burning tricep workout is going to pump and draw your muscles. It is a part of tricep overhead extensions. Such exercises do not put pressure on the wrists, so if you have a wrist injury you can easily do this training. This training also involves triceps and arms.
- The first thing you need to do is to attach the rope to the lower block and hold it with your hands.
- Sit on a bench with your back straight.
- Bend your hands in the elbows and make sure the ends of the rope are behind your head.
- Straighten your arms slowly and keep your elbows in a fixed position.
- Hold contraction a bit and return slowly to a starting position.
These three tricep exercises will aim at muscle and arm development. If you do them consistently you will be able to gain stronger muscles, avoid injuries and lift heavier weights.
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What Are The Best Tricep Cable Exercises?
The triceps is an important part of our body we need to train to build strong muscles. If you have strong biceps but weak triceps then you won’t be able to lift super heavy weights.
Regular training will provide stronger triceps and a bigger arms mass. Well-trained triceps have a lot of benefits:
- They improve the range of motion and stability of the shoulders and elbow joints.
- Big triceps make your arm muscles look bigger and stronger.
- Trained triceps stabilize your shoulders, which allows you to hold heavy things overhead.
- Strong triceps allow you to lift heavy weights by giving you more power.
If you want to have strong triceps and look athletic then you need to do consistent cable tricep workouts. Make sure you do a warm-up activity before them.
This is one of the best tricep cable machine workouts as it provides a steady resistance during the whole movement. This workout is a great mass builder because it focuses on the outer lateral head of the triceps and inner long head.
Note, if you’re a beginner don’t push heavy weights because you are going to mess up the whole exercise. Instead, go for moderate weights.
- Attach a bar to the pulley cable machine. Face a pulley cable machine and keep your knees slightly bent at the shoulder width.
- Grab the short bar with your palms down and hold the bar at chest level.
- Keep your elbows tight at the sides and fully straighten your arms.
- Make a little pause while extending your arms and slowly return the bar to the standing position.
Cable Tricep Kickbacks
This is a perfect single-arm tricep exercise cable since you work out your triceps from top to bottom. When using cables you keep constant tension in your muscles. This is essential for muscle hypertrophy. Both beginners and professionals can do this workout.
- Attach a rope handle to the low pulley cable.
- Bend your knees and grasp the rope with your right hand. Don’t roll your back, keep it straight.
- Keep the upper arm parallel to the floor and straighten your arm.
- Squeeze the triceps for a second and get back to the starting position.
- Try not to move your body while doing this workout and move only your forearms.
Cable Standing High Cross Triceps Extension
This is a more creative tricep cable exercise for those who want to train the triceps of both arms simultaneously. In addition, it is perfect for tall people who can’t get a decent muscle stretch.
- Attach the pulleys to the highest position on the crossover machine.
- Grasp the left cable with your right hand and the right cable with your left hand.
- Pull your upper arms into your sides and keep your elbows locked out.
- Bend your arm, squeeze your triceps and straighten your elbows. Then pull the cables down and out to your hips.
- Release the contraction slowly and repeat again.
- Keep your elbows still and move only your forearms.
Cable Lying Tricep Extension
This workout is also known as a skull crusher but with the cable instead. This is an excellent exercise for keeping tension in your muscles and building upper arm size.
- Put a bench in front of the cable machine and attach the bar at the lower end of the cable pulley.
- Lie on the bench and grab the bar using an overhand grip. Keep elbows face up and fix arms at 90 degrees.
- Lower the bar slowly so that it almost touches your forehead.
- Push the bar to the top of your head, squeeze your triceps and extend your arms to lift the bar up at shoulder width.
- Try not to lock your elbows out and repeat.
Cable Kneeling Tricep Extension
A cable kneeling tricep extension workout is perfect two-arms training. This exercise will isolate the triceps muscles and focus on the mind-muscle connection by using a high pulley and a bench.
- Put a bench in front of the high cable machine. Fix the straight bar to the cable.
- Hold a handle above your head with your hands facing down.
- Kneel down and place your upper arms on the bench.
- Bend your elbows and keep forearms towards the high pulley.
- Expand the arms out in front of you by keeping your hands behind your head. Your arms should be parallel to the floor.
- Hold for a few seconds and repeat again.
If you add these tricep workouts on cable to your training routine you will not recognize your arms. It is even more productive to combine them with no-equipment tricep workouts to build a stronger core and biceps.
What Exercises Are Best For Triceps At Home?
Not all of us fancy going to athletic clubs because it takes more time and money. There are many other factors why people hesitate to buy a gym membership: they become shy in front of other sportsmen and have no idea how to build a workout program. However, if you still desire to build strong muscles and work on your arms, you won’t necessarily need to rush to the nearby gym.
Here are the best at-home tricep exercises you can do at home. All you need to have is a spacious room, a yoga mat, and a pair of dumbbells ( no worries, if you have no dumbbells then you might as well use water bottles).
This exercise might be a little bit hard for beginners, but it is perfect for your triceps and your core.
- Sit on a bench or a chair with your hands outside of the hips, keeping your knees bowed (if you are a beginner), or straight if you have more experience.
- Then lift up your hands and move your hips forward, until your hands are supporting your weight. Twist your elbows a bit, so that they are around 90 degrees (6).
- Keep your shoulders down and your elbows should be pointing behind you (mars).
- Push back to the starting position.
- Should you feel any pain in your shoulders, stop doing this exercise.
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This tricep exercise will keep your core tense. It trains your triceps and your chest.
- Lie on your stomach and keep the elbows close to the sides under your shoulders (6).
- Lift your torso from the floor slowly and put your legs straight in a board position. If you are a beginner, you can place your knees on the mat.
- Keep your back straight and don’t lower your butt.
- Hold in this position for 20 seconds, or more.
- Don’t forget to breathe.
You might need to use dumbbells for this workout. With the usage of external weights, you will incrementally increase resistance. Moreover, dumbbell training helps you target specific muscles and provide a free range of motions (5). Again, if you have got no dumbbells then use water bottles instead. This exercise is great for your arms and back.
- Place your left knee and left hand on a bench or a chair.
- Take a dumbbell with your right hand.
- Keep your back and head straight. Look forward.
- Bend the right arm slowly at a 90 degrees angle.
- Raise the dumbbell behind your back and expand your arm fully.
- Pause for a second and then lower the dumbbell to the starting position.
Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension
Free-weight training with dumbbells or barbells stimulate strength and hypertrophy (3). Ergo, this workout is one of the best long-head tricep exercises because you fully stretch the long head of the tricep by placing your arms overhead with weights. For this exercise, you will need two dumbbells since your both arms will be involved. With the help of this exercise, you are going to work on each arm individually.
- Stand on the mat and hold your dumbbells over your head. Keep your back straight.
- Then slowly bring down the dumbbells behind your head until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
- Keep your core engaged.
- Now extend your arms fully to the top and repeat.
Lying Tricep Extensions
Another type of long head tricep exercises will train your triceps while lying on the floor or on a bench. Do this workout carefully so that you don’t hurt your arms and face.
- Lie on the mat, or another seat and hold your dumbbells above your head at shoulder-width.
- Carefully lower your dumbbells towards the shoulders.
- Keep your core engaged throughout the whole exercise.
- Squeeze your triceps and extend your elbow to the starting position.
- Try not to lock your elbows at the top so that you would keep the muscles tense.
How Often Should You Train Your Triceps?
Triceps training schedule depends on the aims you target. Some people want to stay healthier, others desire to become bodybuilders, or just lose weight. However, every workout has its general recommendations and rules.
We now are aware that triceps are bigger than biceps and this leads to a misconception that we should train them harder. Strength and hypertrophy program for beginners or intermediately trained sportsmen involves working out major muscle groups with 2–4 sets of 8–10 exercises for 3–12 repetitions with 2–5 min rest between sets, carried out 2–4 times per week (2).
One set with eight to twelve repetitions is enough for the beginning. However, once you are eager to build bigger arms then you can stick to two, or three sets. When you do them twice per week you will end up with toned muscles. In order to avoid injuries start with lighter weights first and once your get stronger you can move to heavier weights.
In addition, if you already have the results after triceps training then try to switch to different cable triceps workouts because our body gets used to exercises quickly. To make our training more effective we should change both weights and types of workout.
Note that regular rest is essential between sets. When you maximize your strength then the rest interval should be 3–5 min; in case your goal is hypertrophy then you can rest for 1–2 minutes; if you want to improve muscular endurance, rest for 30–60 seconds (1).
Tricep Cable Workouts: The Bottom Line
If you are interested in making your muscles stronger and your arms bigger then you need to add tricep cable workouts into your sports routine. There is a huge variety of cable tricep training you can do in the gym. It is recommended to start with lighter weights at the beginning and move to heavier weights when you feel stronger.
If you are not willing to attend the gym you can do tricep training at home by using dumbbells, a mat, and a seat.
It is better to do tricep workouts twice per week. In order to get a better effect from the training, switch to different cable tricep workouts after some time. Plus, that rest is also important for our muscles, don’t over train your body.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults (2009, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of body position and loading modality on muscle activity and strength in shoulder presses (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of different warm-up modalities on power output during the high pull (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- No Time to Lift? Designing Time-Efficient Training Programs for Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Slideshow: The No-Gym Workout (2022, webmd.com)