If you want to know the most effective triceps exercises, the American Council on Exercise has you covered. In an ACE-commissioned study, researchers took exercisers through eight of the most common triceps exercises and recorded muscle activity by attaching EMG eletrodes to their triceps. The following pages list these exercises in order of effectiveness.
It's important to remember that, while triceps exercises won't get rid of fat from the back of the arms, they do help you build muscle, which can contribute to overall fat loss.
The most effective triceps exercise starts with the toughest one of all, the triangle pushup, which elicited the most muscle activity of all the triceps exercises studied.
Most Effective Triceps Exercise: Triangle Pushup
- Begin the move by positioning the hands on the mat directly under the chest with the fingers spread and the thumbs and forefingers touching, making a triangle shape.
- Straighten the legs into a plank position (harder) or keep the knees on the floor for an easier version.
- Make sure the back is flat and the abs are engaged as you bend the elbows, lowering until your chin or chest touches the mat. If you can't go that low, go as low as you can and work to build enough strength to lower all the way down over time.
- At the bottom of the movement, your elbows will naturally flare out to the side.
- Press back to start, keeping the torso rigid, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.
View this exercise in the Best Triceps Workout.