Tip: You don’t always have to use a dumbbell. Feel free to branch out with an EZ Bar, Kettlebell, or even a weightlifting plate.
Seated Tricep Curls
– Same as the above except this time you are seated.
– Keep spine in neutral alignment and maintain a forward gaze with the eyes.
Just as before these can be switched to the one-handed variation if designed. Doing exercises one-handed is a great opportunity to challenge your balance and core.
Tip: Again, you don’t always have to use a dumbbell. Change things up a little with an EZ Bar, Kettlebell, or even a weightlifting plate.
Incline Tricep Curls
– Find a bench capable of inclining and set it up to around 45-75 degrees.
– Grab a weight and position yourself safely onto the bench.
– Raise the bar over your head and towards your shoulder blades.
– Your biceps and triceps should remain stationary next to your ears, with elbows extended. This is your starting point.
– Lower the weight down towards the ground in a smooth curve while flexing the elbow joint.
– Once you reach full flexion, reverse the movement and head back to the starting position.
– That’s one rep in the bag, now go and smash the rest!
This diverse exercise can be carried out with everything from a dumbbell to a kettlebell or barbell. Mix it up but remember to be sensible and stay safe.
Skull Crushers (Lying Tricep Curls)
Speaking of staying safe, let’s take a look at skull crushers. They’re actually supposed to be called lying triceps curls but that is neither gnarly or intimidating.
We like to know there’s a significant risk of danger whilst tearing up our tris. So, throw on some Slayer while hitting these and maybe grab a spotter just in case you crush your skull.
– Select some pretty intense music like an extreme metal band or a hyped up angry hip-hop track.
– Get yourself down on the bench in the supine position (on your back).
– Pick up your preferred load and raise it above you with the elbows extended. At this point, your arms should be at 90 degrees to the floor with the elbows in close.
– Slowly and safely lower the load until it touches your forehead.
– Then engage the triceps to extend the elbow back into the starting position.
– Congratulations, you didn’t cause cranial damage. Now do it again and remember not to die.
Just as with all the other curls you can select your preferred type of resistance. Barbell and dumbbells are the safest, but plates can be used too. For further progression try this exercise on a decline.
Top tips for staying alive: Remember to grab a spotter for heavy lifts! Don’t be a hero danger boy.
Single Arm Skull Crushers (Single Arm Lying Tricep Curls)
You know what’s gnarlier than a heavy set of skull crushers? Throwing out a bunch one-handed! Sorry bro, couldn’t hear you over the sound of our huge balls of steel clanging together. Here’s how to do ’em…
– Position yourself on a flat bench in the supine position.
– Raise a dumbbell out in front of you so your arm is straight and at a right angle to the bench.
– You should be holding the weight with a hammer curl style grip. Think of holding a beer and pouring it over your face.
– Lower the dumbbell towards the forehead by flexing the elbow joint. Slowly!
– Contract the triceps, extend the arm, and return the weight to the starting position.
– Do it again and again until your tris are throbbing and swollen like a heavily pregnant buffalo.
Bro tip: Remember to hit an equal number of reps on each side bro! This will help ward off any physiological imbalances and stop you looking/feeling strange.
Lying One Arm Tricep Curls (Pronated Grip)
– Same as the above except holding the dumbbell with a pronated grip. Imagine you’re holding the handlebars of a chopper to get the picture.
Key point: Support the working muscle just under the elbow joint with the opposite hand. This will help you keep proper form.
Summary: “Bask in the glory of your impeccable curling performance…”
So now you’re fully equipped to hit the weight room and bask in the glory of your impeccable curling performance. You know the science behind the entire muscle, how to train it, and most importantly how it should be done.
There are obviously many other methods for targeting the triceps besides curls. However, few are as basic, primal, or accessible, as lifting a free weight from A to B.
One of the great things about using free weights is there’s always room for new challenges and improvements. Instead of letting a machine keep us safe whilst we scroll Insta, we have to actively engage with our bodies.
It’s this kind of total engagement that brings results to the real dedicated few will ever know. By seeking out the burn and connected feeling of hard-working muscle, we’re tuned into our bodies. Then, and only then, can we sculpt ourselves into swole-ass specimens of human greatness.
Now go train, bro! Tear those triceps a brand new one with a perfect set of crushing curls.