If you want to build muscular and sizeable arms, you’ll need to beef up triceps muscles with the barbell, dumbbell, and cable exercises.
I’ve already shared some of the best biceps and triceps workouts for gain, so if you haven’t checked it out, you can do it now.
And in this article, I’ve shared some of the most effective tricep exercises that you can do only with barbells.
The tricep is the most significant muscle of the arm that has three heads, such as long, medial, and lateral heads. And to build solid triceps, you’ll need to hit them all.
How do you train triceps with a barbell?
You can do various workouts, such as a narrow grip bench press, barbell skull crusher, barbell overhead extension, and barbell tricep kickback to build stronger and sizeable triceps at home and the gym.
Moreover, you can also combine dumbbell triceps exercises with barbell workouts to build powerful arms.
Why barbells are good for triceps workouts?
The barbell allows you to lift heavier and promotes hypertrophy over time. It is excellent equipment for progressive overload and muscle growth.
Okay, so If you work out only with barbells, let’s see how to do each barbell triceps workout with a step-by-step guide, images, and Youtube videos.
1. Close Grip Bench Press
The barbell close grip bench press is one of the compound exercises for the triceps that will help you develop mass.
Although a bench press is a chest workout but narrowing the grip hits the triceps harder when performed with the heavier load.1 The influence of grip width and forearm pronation/supination on upper-body myoelectric activity during the flat bench press– Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
You can do a close grip bench press as the first workout if you do triceps workouts with the barbell or other equipment.
How to do narrow grip bench press:
- Lie on a flat bench on your back with feet flat on the ground.
- Grab a bar with your hands slightly shorter than hip-width apart.
- Hold the bar just above your chest and keep your elbows as close as to your body.
- Brace your abdominal muscles, inhale and press the bar up until your elbows are fully extended.
- Pause for a second and then lower the bar to the start. That’s one rep!
- Do a couple of sets of eight to ten repetitions.
2. Barbell Skullcrusher
The barbell skull crusher is an isolation workout that specifically works and builds brawny tricep muscles.
It is a great workout to do just after a compound movement, such as a narrow grip bench press and bar dips.
How to do:
- Holding an EZ bar, lie on a flat bench with your face up. Make sure your hands are shorter than hip-width with your palms are facing up.
- Extend your elbows until your arms are straight and the triceps muscles get engaged.
- Hold for a second and two, and then bend your elbows behind your head. Repeat the same movements for the required number of times.
- Don’t flare your elbows outward during extension.
3. Barbell Behind the Neck Tricep Extension
If you want to try other variations of triceps extension with barbells, you can do a standing overhead tricep extension.
It stimulates tricep muscles and helps you develop husky arms over time.
- Holding an EZ bar with your hands, stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep the barbell behind your head by bending your elbow with your palms are facing up.
- Extend your elbows until your arms are straight overhead.
- Pause for a second and two; you’ll feel the contraction in your triceps.
- Lower the down by bending your elbows behind your head. That’s your one rep!
- Do two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions each.
You can also do it using reverse grip (palms down).
4. Barbell Triceps Kickback
Kickback is one of the highly effective exercises for triceps muscles growth.
Incorporating kickback with triangle push-ups and dips, you can quickly and effectively tone and strengthen the triceps muscles – suggested in a study published by the American Council of Exercise.2 ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises – American Council of Exercise (ACE)
How to do tricep kickback with the barbell
- Grab a bar with an underhand grip and stand straight with your hands behind your glutes.
- Push your hips backward, bend your knees and lean your torso forward until your chest is parallel to the ground.
- Brace your abdominal muscles, hips, and glutes so you can focus on your arms only.
- Keep your elbows tucked to your side with your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Extend your elbows until your arms are straight behind you.
- Pause for a couple of seconds and then bring the bar back to the start.
5. Barbell Pushdown For Triceps
You may haven’t heard about the barbell pushdown workout, but it works efficiently for tricep muscles.
Your triceps activate when you extend your arms downward after completing the reverse curl.
Here are the steps you can follow:
- Pick a loaded bar and hold it with an overhand grip.
- Stand into a shoulder-width stand and bend your elbows to bring the bar toward your body (like reverse biceps curl).
- Hold the bar in a complete curl position, and from that point, extend your arms down, squeezing your triceps until they are straight. That’s one rep!
- Bring the bar in the curl position and repeat the same steps for the desired number of times.
6. Close Grip Landmine Press
The landmine press is primarily a chest workout but also activates the long head of the tricep when you entirely extend your arms.
You can incorporate it in your barbell triceps exercises, especially when you push workouts.
- Place the one end of the bar in a corner so it won’t move unnecessarily.
- Put the desired weights into another end.
- Grab the end where you’ve inserted weight and stand in front of the barbell in the shoulder-width stance.
- Hold the bar at your chest height with your elbows bent and tucked at your sides. That’s the starting position.
- Press the bar toward the ceiling until your elbows are entirely extended. Your triceps will contract at the top of the extension.
- You can hold for a moment at the top and then bring the bar down to the start and repeat as many times as you feel.
30-Minute Barbell Workout Routine For Building Solid Triceps
|Close Grip Bench Press||12, 10, 8|
|Barbell Skullcrusher||12, 10, 8|
|Standing Barbell Triceps Extension||12, 10, 8|
|Barbell Triceps Kickback||10, 8, 6|
|Barbell Pushdown For Triceps||8 x 2|
|Close Grip Landmine Press||8 x 2|
I hope the above workouts will help you build brawny triceps.
However, to build bigger triceps, you’ll have to work out your larger muscles twice a week, especially your chest, because the increasing mass in your big muscles will ultimately help you develop muscular arms over time.
Like arms, if you want to grow your legs, you can check out a complete guide on barbell leg exercises.
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- 1The influence of grip width and forearm pronation/supination on upper-body myoelectric activity during the flat bench press– Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
- 2ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises – American Council of Exercise (ACE)