6 Exercises To Build Horseshoe Triceps

Generation Iron Exercise Guide Triceps

These are the exercises to add to arm day if you want horseshoe triceps. 

If your goal is to build sleeve-splitting arms, you can’t overlook your triceps. Most people make the mistake of going too hard on their biceps but skip training their triceps. Your arm development can never be complete without some ripped triceps. This article will cover the 6 exercises you should add to your arm day to build horseshoe triceps. 

Your triceps have three heads; long, lateral, and medial. You need to train them from all angles to ensure overall development. Combining isolation and compound exercises is the most effective way of building horseshoe triceps. Let’s take a look at the movements to do to hit all angles of the triceps.

Horseshoe Triceps Workout

Do these triceps workouts for the next 12 weeks to watch your arms explode.

Exercises Sets Reps
Cable Pushdown 3 12
Skull Crusher 3 10
Smith Machine Close Grip Bench Press 3 10
Cable Overhead Rope Tricep Press 3 15
Dip 2 Max
Close-Grip Pushup 2 Max

1. Cable Pushdown 

Cables pushdowns, aka cable tricep extensions, are a great way to maintain constant tension on your target muscle throughout the movement. While using the cables, you have the same tension on your triceps at the top of the movement as at the bottom.

Stand at arm’s length from the pulley machine. Attach a straight bar to the pulley and grab it with an overhand grip with your thumbs over the bar. Keep your elbows pinned to your side and hold and squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement.


2. Skull Crusher

Skull crushers are an incredibly effective exercise for building ripped triceps. This exercise is also known as “head smackers.” Skull crushers train the long head of your triceps. The long head is also the hardest part to develop, as only a few exercises can target it optimally.

You can use a straight bar or an EZ bar for this exercise. Make sure you have a complete range of motion while performing this exercise. Keep your elbows fixed at a single position, and hold and squeeze your triceps at the movement’s top.

3. Smith Machine Close Grip Bench Press 

Smith machine close grip bench press works on your triceps’ medial and lateral heads. Using a Smith machine adds tension to your triceps while performing this exercise. It also removes your stabilizers, forcing the triceps to lift the load solely. In addition, machine triceps movements will be safer than free-weight arm workouts. Performing exercises with a complete range of motion is the secret to building horseshoe triceps.

Keep your elbows pinned to your sides throughout the movement. If you can’t access a Smith machine in your gym, you can perform the close grip bench press on a flat bench with a barbell.

Triceps Workout Bodybuilding

4. Cable Overhead Rope Tricep Press 

Ropes can target your triceps from a completely new angle. They give you an extra stretch at the end of the movement to get more range of motion for a complete triceps extension. Overhead presses train the long head of your triceps. Again, keep your elbows pinned to the side of your head throughout the movement.

Keep the ropes together at the bottom of the movement, spread them out at the top, and squeeze your triceps. Make sure you’re not using momentum while performing this exercise. Use moderate weights to handle and keep your reps slow and deliberate.

5. Dip 

By this point, your triceps will be completely exhausted. Dips can be a complete triceps buster and are a great bodyweight exercise if you want shredded triceps. You can perform this exercise on parallel dip bars or a flat bench.

If the bodyweight version of this exercise is too easy for you, you can add extra resistance by using weights. Follow an explosive motion while performing this exercise. Hold and squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement. It’s best to perform this movement for as many reps as your triceps can handle before fatigue to get the most triceps growth.

6. Close Grip Pushup

Close grip pushups are another bodyweight movement. As the name suggests, it’s a pushup variation. Compared to standard pushups, the key difference with this movement is that your hands are closer, making your triceps perform the bulk of the work rather than your chest.

To do this movement, you’ll form a triangle with your hands on the floor, then use your triceps to extend and lower your body from the ground and up like a traditional pushup. It’s an excellent exercise to fatigue your triceps at the end of a workout fully. It’s also best to perform the max reps you can.

About the Triceps

The triceps are an important muscle group in the back of the arm. They consist of three heads – the long head, lateral head, and medial head – forming a horseshoe shape. The triceps are key for many daily activities, such as pushing open doors or lifting objects, as they are the primary extensors of the elbow joint.

They also help stabilize the shoulder when performing pressing exercises such as pushups or bench presses. Additionally, well-developed triceps can give the arms a toned and balanced look. Therefore, triceps exercises are an important part of any fitness routine.

Triceps exercises can be done with your bodyweight, free weights, resistance bands, and machines. Common exercises include triceps extensions, dips, and pushups. When doing any of these exercises, it’s important to use proper form to ensure that the triceps are engaged and that the appropriate muscles are working. Proper form also helps minimize the risk of injury.

The triceps are targeted as a secondary muscle when you perform compound movements such as pushups and bench presses. But isolation movements like the cable tricep extension make the triceps the primary muscle contracted.

Stronger triceps can take your upper body strength and physique to a new level. Incorporating triceps exercises into regular workouts can help strengthen and tone the triceps, giving you a stronger and more balanced look. Remember, the triceps make up 2/3 of your arms, so the more you implement quality tricep workouts the bigger your arms will grow.

With consistent effort and dedication, you’ll soon reap the benefits of strong and powerful triceps. Give the arm workout above a try!

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*Header image courtesy of Envato Elements.

Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.