5 Tricep Exercises for Men to Increase Bench Press Strength

Strengthening your triceps can significantly increase your bench press strength (Image via Pexels @Andrea Piacquadio)
Strengthening the triceps can significantly increase bench press strength. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Big triceps aren't just a sign that you work hard and go to the gym often; they're also very useful and necessary for serious strength and power athletes. Without them, bench pressing will stop working; overhead movements will be limited, and smaller triceps trainees may experience elbow pain.

Most of the time, strength training is enough to make the triceps stronger. However, if you're looking to increase your bench press strength, you need triceps-specific training. Below, we discuss a few exercises that can help you with the same.

Tricep Exercises to Increase Bench Press Strength

The following five tricep exercises can help men increase their strength for bench presses:

1) Parallel Bar Dip

When you do regular dips on a set of parallel bars instead of angled bars or rings, the arms will be tucked in instead of spread out. That works out the triceps more.

To do this exercise:

  • As you hang in the air, grab the parallel bars with your torso straight and a slight forward lean.
  • Support this position by putting your elbows almost all the way out.
  • With the chest up and shoulder blades together, bend at the elbows as you lower yourself down till the elbows reach 90 degrees.
  • Press your body up till your elbows are fully extended, and do it again.

2) Skull Crusher

In this triceps exercise variation, you stretch the triceps muscle by lowering the barbells to your forehead. Skull crushers work the triceps in a position that lets you move more weight than a pushdown.

To do this exercise:

  • Start by lying back on a bench and holding a weight with your hands at the top of the bench pressing position.That could be a barbell, dumbbell, or different cable attachments.
  • Set up the back and hips the same way you would for a bench press.
  • As you bend your elbows to lower the bar handle or load towards your head, pull your elbows back a little so that they point behind you instead of straight up.
  • The bar should almost touch the top of the head. If you're doing it right, you should feel the stretch in the triceps and some of the lats. Pull the bar up again.

3) Floor Press

When you press a barbell from the floor, you limit how much your arms can move. That usually means you can press more weight, which improves your bench press ability and strengthens your triceps.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie down in front of a power rack with your arms stretched.
  • Take note of where they end, and adjust the hooks so that the barbell sits where your hands can reach.
  • Get back under the barbell, which is now full of weight, and put both feet firmly on the floor.
  • Grab the bar as you would for a bench press.
  • Take the bar out of the rack, and bring it down to your chest.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in at 45 degrees. Press up again.

4) Tricep Pushdown

With the pushdown, you can really work on the triceps. This is a popular bodybuilding move, as the isolation lets the lifter feel the muscle contract, which leads to great pumps and more activation.

To do this exercise:

  • Set the cables or band up at a high anchor point.
  • Facing the band, put your feet together and elbows against your sides (by your ribs).
  • The chest should be up; the back should be flat, and the hips should be turned a little bit forward.
  • Grab the handles or band, and push them down by fully extending the elbows while keeping the elbows just in front of the shoulders.

5) JM Press

The JM Press is a combination of the bench press and skull crusher. The positioning of the elbows makes the JM press a great way to work the triceps.

To do this exercise:

  • Set up just like you would for a close-grip bench press, but make sure that the bar is fixed above your upper chest.
  • Slowly bring your elbows out to a 45-degree angle as you lower the barbell down.
  • As you go down, let the bar drift back towards your face.
  • At the end of the repetition, your forearms should be almost parallel to the floor.
  • Once your elbows are pointing forward instead of down, stop the movement, and press back up.


Compared to the biceps, the triceps are bigger, but they're still a small muscle. Keep your triceps workouts between 10-14 sets per week. You can do triceps and biceps together, or you can add triceps to your bench press or push day.

As the triceps work best with other push exercises, we recommend doing triceps exercises with other push moves.

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Edited by Bhargav
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