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Tricep Training for Strength Athletes: Building Strength & Power

September 26, 2023


When it comes to strength sports like strongman and powerlifting, having strong triceps is crucial for optimal performance. The triceps, located at the back of the upper arm, play a significant role in various movements such as bench pressing, overhead pressing, and pushing events in strongman competitions. Therefore, incorporating effective tricep training into your routine can greatly enhance your overall strength and power.


Why Focus on Tricep Training?

The triceps are responsible for extending the elbow joint, which is essential for movements like bench pressing and overhead pressing. In strongman and powerlifting, these exercises are fundamental for building upper body strength and power. By strengthening the triceps, you can generate more force and stability during these movements, leading to improved performance and increased weights lifted.

Additionally, strong triceps are crucial for pushing events in strongman competitions, such as the infamous Fingals Finger. These events require explosive power and stability, both of which heavily rely on strong triceps. Neglecting tricep training can limit your potential in these events and hinder your overall performance.


What Are Some Effective Tricep Exercises for Strongman and Powerlifting?

1. Close Grip Bench Press: This exercise is a staple in both powerlifting and strongman training. By narrowing your grip on the barbell, you shift the emphasis onto the triceps. It targets the triceps' long head, which is responsible for the majority of the muscle's size and strength. Incorporate close grip bench presses into your routine to build tricep strength and improve your bench press performance.

2. Overhead Tricep Extensions: This exercise primarily targets the triceps' long head and is highly effective for building strength and size. Using a dumbbell or an EZ bar, start with the weight held overhead and slowly lower it behind your head, keeping your elbows stationary. Extend your arms back up to the starting position. 

3. Dips: Dips are a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the triceps, chest, and shoulders. By leaning forward during the movement, you can increase the emphasis on the triceps. Dips are an excellent exercise for building overall upper body strength and stability, making them beneficial for both strongman and powerlifting athletes.

4. Skull Crushers: This exercise specifically targets the triceps' lateral head, which contributes to the overall size and shape of the muscle. Lie on a bench with a barbell or EZ bar held above your forehead. Slowly lower the weight towards your forehead, keeping your elbows stationary. Extend your arms back up to the starting position. Skull crushers are an effective isolation exercise for developing tricep strength and size.

5. Tricep Pushdowns: This exercise is commonly performed using a cable machine with a rope or straight bar attachment. By pushing the weight down while keeping your elbows stationary, you effectively target the triceps' lateral head. Tricep pushdowns are an excellent exercise for building endurance and improving the lockout strength required in strongman and powerlifting movements.


How Should You Incorporate Tricep Training into Your Routine;

To maximize the benefits of tricep training, it is essential to incorporate these exercises strategically into your routine. Aim to train your triceps at least twice a week, allowing for adequate recovery between sessions. Consider alternating between heavy compound exercises like close grip bench presses and dips, and isolation exercises like overhead tricep extensions and tricep pushdowns.

Additionally, vary the rep ranges and intensity of your tricep training. Incorporate both heavy, low-rep sets to build strength and power, as well as higher-rep sets to promote hypertrophy and endurance. By incorporating a mix of exercises, rep ranges, and intensities, you can ensure well-rounded tricep development and optimal performance in strongman and powerlifting.


In conclusion, tricep training is crucial for strongman and powerlifting athletes looking to enhance their strength and power. By incorporating exercises like close grip bench presses, overhead tricep extensions, dips, skull crushers, and tricep pushdowns into your routine, you can effectively target and strengthen the triceps. Remember to vary your exercises, rep ranges, and intensities to promote well-rounded tricep development. With consistent tricep training, you can unlock your full potential and excel in your chosen strength sport.

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1 comment

  • Please keep posting. Great advice. Thanks 👍

    John Trapani on

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