WSBB Blog: Top Three Tricep Exercises

WSBB Education
Tue Mar 16, 2021

Tags: Tricep Training, Bench Training, Dumbbell Training  

Time to Read: 3min

At Westside Barbell, one of the primary focuses of our bench training is tricep strength development. Whether it is through the use of main exercises, or accessory exercises, a bulk of the exercises we select on upper body training days either directly or indirectly involve the triceps. In order to exert maximum power in the bench press or overhead press, an athlete must possess large triceps capable of producing power to lock the elbow joint out during heavy presses.

Below, we will go over what we at Westside Barbell believe to be the best tricep exercises to choose from.

Close Grip Bench

This exercise is the king of all multi joint tricep exercises. A proper close grip should be done using a grip that is close enough to place a large amount of the weight and strain onto the triceps, while keeping the hands far enough apart to allow for proper and pain free movement of the shoulders throughout the press. Close grip bench can be performed a variety of ways, with some of the preferred ways at Westside being to a two or three board, or with bands or chains attached to the barbell.

We use this exercise as both a main exercise and an accessory exercise. As a main exercise, we work up to anything from max effort singles, to triples or even sets of five. As an accessory exercise, three to five sets of eight to ten reps are generally used to increase the amount of tricep training volume in your accessory training.

Rolling Dumbbell Tricep Extension

This exercise is relatively unknown to the general public, but anyone who has trained for longer than a couple of days at Westside Barbell will be familiar with this tricep exercise. Rolling dumbbell tricep extensions are rather simple to perform, they follow the same movement pattern as dumbbell skullcrushers, except at the bottom of the lift you will allow the dumbbell to drift towards your ears to add to the overall range of motion. One of the best ways to imagine proper rolling dumbbell tricep extension form is to follow the same movement pattern as a JM press, except you’re using dumbbells.

We typically do these for three to five sets of twelve to fifteen reps, sometimes even twenty reps or more. When done correctly, this exercise is one of the most brutal ways to train the triceps and make maximum gains in tricep strength.


The classic bodybuilding tricep exercise holds a lot of value that powerlifters can cash in on. At Westside, we perform skullcrushers with the EZ curl bar both on a flat bench, and on the floor. When performed while lying on the floor, the skullcrusher becomes a floor press for your triceps. We suggest doing three to five sets of twelve to fifteen reps when using skullcrushers in your training, focusing on keeping the elbows tight and using the triceps to move the weight. When done correctly, skullcrushers will have an immediate impact on your overall pressing power.