STOP. HAVING. SMALL. TRICEPS! I bet you didn’t know that triceps make up 70% of your arms total mass. That’s why we’re going over to the medial head tricep exercises today.
What exactly is the medial head? It’s the “bottom” of your tricep. This image describes it better than I ever could in words:
Of course, while growing the medial head of your triceps, you don’t want to neglect the rest of your triceps.
Check out my article on the all around best tricep exercises.
The medial head of the triceps is the hardest to grow. Not gonna lie. But, the medial head is what makes your arms look big in a T- shirt. So, you’ve gotta grow them.
Medial Head Tricep Exercises
In order to take your medial heads to the next level, it is essential to add exercises that target this specific muscle group.
Here are five exercises for the triceps medial head that have been carefully selected after consulting three credible sources.
- The first source is a study called “The different role of each head of the triceps brachii muscle in elbow extension,” which found that the triceps medial head reaches its peak muscle force when exercises are performed at 90 to 180 degrees of shoulder elevation. This indicates that exercises requiring arms to be set at this angle are ideal for targeting the medial head.
- The second source is Jeff Cavaliere, a physical therapist who runs a popular YouTube channel called “Athlean-X.” In one of his videos, Cavaliere provides a detailed analysis of how to target each head of the triceps effectively. To increase tension in the medial head, Cavaliere suggests using an underhand (reverse) grip and turning elbows out during an exercise.
- The third and best source is me. I have massive triceps.
The following five are the best for tricep growth:
- Overhead Triceps Extension
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Triceps Pushdowns
- Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdowns
- Diamond Push-Ups
Overhead Triceps Extension For Medial Head
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab a dumbbell with both hands.
- Raise the dumbbell overhead and fully extend your arms, making sure your palms are facing upward.
- Keeping your elbows close to your head, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head by bending your elbows. Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your upper arms should remain stationary.
- Hold the stretched position for a second or two, then slowly raise the dumbbell back up to the starting position by straightening your elbows.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press is an effective compound exercise that primarily targets your triceps, chest, and shoulders.
I use this on one of my upper body days. It’s extremely useful.
- Lie down on a flat bench and grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip or slightly narrower. Make sure to keep your wrists straight and your palms facing away from your face.
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground and arch your back slightly. Keep your shoulder blades pinched together and your chest up throughout the exercise.
- Take a deep breath and slowly lower the barbell towards your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Stop when the bar is an inch or two away from your chest.
- Exhale and push the barbell back up towards the starting position by extending your arms fully. Focus on pushing through your triceps and keeping your elbows close to your sides.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps, usually between 8-12. Make sure to maintain control throughout the movement and avoid locking out your elbows at the top.
- When finished, carefully rack the bar back onto the bench press rack.
Triceps Pushdowns (For Medial Head)
- Attach a straight bar or V-bar to a high pulley machine. Stand facing the machine and grab the bar with an overhand grip, with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and engage your core muscles to maintain proper posture.
- Bring your elbows close to your sides and keep them stationary throughout the exercise.
- Start the exercise by pushing the bar down towards your thighs, while keeping your upper arms stationary.
- As you push down, contract your triceps muscles to bring the bar towards your legs. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement and focus on squeezing your triceps.
- Slowly release the bar and allow it to rise back up to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.
Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdowns
- Stand in front of a cable machine with a straight bar attachment at a high position.
- Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up), with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides and your upper arms stationary throughout the exercise.
- Slowly exhale and push the bar down towards your thighs, keeping your wrists straight and your grip tight.
- Pause briefly when your arms are fully extended, then inhale and slowly return the bar to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Diamond Push Ups (Medial Head Target)
- Start in a standard push-up position with your hands placed close together to form a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers. Your arms should be straight and your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Lower your body down towards the ground by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement.
- Lower yourself until your chest is just above the diamond shape you formed with your hands.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.
- Repeat for your desired number of reps.
Medial Head Triceps Exercise Plan
Basically, you guys need to be incorporating 2-3 of these exercises in your regular routine.
Whether you do an upper/lower split, the Arnold program, or PPL, it’s critical you hit your triceps twice a week. For the best growth, incorporate these media head tricep exercises as follows:
4-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
The 8-12 lifting method is used for isolation reps, but isn’t limited to those for growth. I bench at 8-12 reps all the time.
8-12 reps for these medial tricep head exercises will pack on TONS of growth. Just make sure you get 8 or more reps, or less than 12. Be failing somewhere in between.