7 No Brainer Medial Triceps Exercises

Get ready to make your triceps pop! Take your arm development to the next level by targeting the often overlooked medial head.

As a certified personal trainer, I’ll help you’ll discover the best medial triceps exercises to build thickness and width like you’ve never seen before.

From classic exercises with weights to challenging exercises to do at home, there’s sets and reps included to make working out simpler. 

Here’s what’s coming up. 

Anatomy and Function
of The Tricep 

The main function of the triceps muscle is to extend the elbow joint. When the tricep muscle is fully flexed, it straightens your arm at the elbow. 

This allows for movements like lifting, pressing, and pushing – perfect for medial triceps exercises.

The tricep muscle has three heads and is located on the back side of your arm. 

  • The outer side of your arm is the lateral head
  • The inner side of the arm is the long head
  • The medial head is the middle portion of your triceps muscle 

Why Should I Do Medial Triceps Exercises? 

For Stability

The medial head specifically plays a role in keeping your elbow joint stable through weightlifting movements. This is especially important when doing heavier lifts like the bench press or dips. 

For Aesthetics

Besides the functionality of having healthy and strong triceps, they also have an aesthetic appeal. If you want bigger looking arms, then do medial triceps exercises.

For Balance

Targeting the medial tricep with specific exercises can help you achieve a more balanced and well-rounded physique.

The medial head of the tricep adds thickness and width to the upper arm. In fact, the triceps make up 2/3 of your upper arm. 

What’s The Growth Potential of The Medial Tricep?

medial triceps exercises

It will vary depending on the person. The growth potential of the medial head of the triceps depends on factors like genetics, training intensity and volume, and nutrition.

  • If you train give more attention to your triceps while training, then with a proper plan they can grow.
  • You can find tricep training programs, or even change up how often you should go to the gym.

The fact is that the medical head of the tricep is a small portion of the overall tricep. So, the medial tricep will have less growth potential in terms of size. 

It’s still possible to develop with medial triceps exercises, but remember that it’s main function is to stabilize and support the long and short heads of the tricep. 

Also, the coveted “horseshoe” look would not be complete without medial triceps exercises.

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A training program that includes progressive overload, proper form, and good nutrition will contribute to maximizing the growth from medial triceps exercises.

What is The Best Rep Range and Load for The Triceps? 

The triceps can be notoriously hard to grow for some people. 

Some argue that higher rep ranges and lighter weight are better, while others live by low rep ranges and heavier weight. A mix of each will assure that you are getting the best for medial triceps exercises.

  • Higher rep ranges of 12 to 20 reps with full range of motion will help you mentally connect with the muscle. Contract the muscle by straightening your arm to get the full effect of the lift. 
  • Lower rep ranges of 6 to 10 will help to build strength and size. It’s hard to get full range of motion with heavier tricep movements, and you do run the risk of tweaking your elbow. 

So be mindful of heavy triceps movements, especially when working overhead. You wouldn’t want to tweak your shoulder or elbow. 

If you need to take a rest day, then do it. You can light cardio on rest days to stay active.

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The best rep range for triceps are 12 to 20 reps with lighter weight for 2 sets. Then 6 to 10 reps with mid to heavy weight for 2 sets.

Adjust the weight so that the final few reps are tough to do! Training till failure for triceps is a good idea because it is a generally small muscle, so it can be worked to the limit during medial triceps exercises.  

Can You Isolate the Medial Head of The Tricep? 

It is not possible to completely isolate the medial head of the tricep since it’s a multi-joint muscle. Medial triceps exercises will in fact work all the tricep.

But the angle of your shoulder elevation does activate some parts more than others. The medial head of the tricep works best when your arms are at shoulder level or above your head.

There are also additional techniques that can emphasize more medial head activation. Here’s some tips you can apply for more activation from medial triceps exercises.

Tip 1: Use A Narrower Grip 

A grip that is narrower than shoulder width can shift the emphasis on the medial head. This is great for close grip bench press. 

Tuck your elbows close to your sides during the movement. Remember to squeeze your triceps when your arms are straightened. 

Tip 2: Use a Reverse Grip 

Simply changing your grip can add emphasis to the medial head. Hold a tricep bar of your choice with a reverse grip (palms facing up) for cable pushdowns. 

Keep your elbows locked in at your sides. For best form fully extend your forearms and squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the movement. 

Tip 3: Pronate Your Hand  

To pronate your hand means to twist your forearm so that your palm faces down. This motion can increase activation of the medial head of the tricep. 

7 Medial Triceps Exercises 

Keep the tips mentioned above in mind as you do these exercises. Focus on engaging the medial head of the triceps throughout the movements. 

These medial triceps exercises are not to be used as a workout. Instead try 3 to 4 of these on your next arm day or tricep workout. 

As always, use proper form and technique. Consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before attempting new exercises as needed. 

Close Grip Bench Press

This exercise involves performing a bench press with a narrower grip, focusing on engaging the triceps more than the chest.

  • Sit on a flat bench with a barbell loaded with appropriate weight.
  • Position your hands on the barbell slightly closer than shoulder-width apart, with palms facing forward.
  • Adjust as necessary to your build, because too narrow of a grip may cause wrist discomfort.
  • Lower the barbell slowly towards your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then push the barbell back up to the start

Skull Crushers

Also known as lying triceps extensions, this exercise involves lying on a bench and lowering the weight (usually a barbell or dumbbells) towards your forehead, then extending your arms back up.

  • Lie flat on a bench with a barbell or dumbbells held with an overhand grip, arms fully extended. 
  • Lower the weight slowly towards your forehead, bending your elbows while keeping your upper arms still. 
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then extend your arms back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat 6-10 times for heavy weight, 12-15 for moderate, and 20 for light weight.

Diamond Push-Ups

This variation of push-ups involves placing your hands close together in a diamond shape under your chest, emphasizing triceps engagement during the movement.

  • Start in a plank position with your hands positioned close together directly under your chest, forming a diamond shape with your fingers.
  • Lower your body towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body and pointing backwards.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then push your body back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
  • Repeat for as many reps as you can. Try 10-20 reps in 3 sets. 

Overhead Triceps Extension

Typically done with a dumbbell or a cable, this exercise involves extending your arms overhead and then lowering the weight behind your head, engaging the triceps.

  • Stand or sit with a dumbbell behind your head, holding onto the weight with both hands.
  • Extend your arms overhead, keeping your elbows close to your head and your palms facing upward.
  • Lower the weight slowly behind your head, bending your elbows and keeping your upper arms still. Don’t roll your shoulders too far back. 
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then extend your arms back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat 6-10 times for heavy weight, 12-15 for moderate, and 20 for light weight.

Reverse Grip
Cable Pushdowns

Using a cable machine with an underhand grip (palms facing up), this exercise involves pushing down the cable bar, targeting the triceps.

  • Attach a straight bar to a cable machine on the highest position. 
  • Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  • Grasp the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing up) and your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Position your elbows by your sides and bend at 90 degrees, with your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Keeping your upper arms stationary, extend your forearms downward, fully straightening your arms. 
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then slowly return to the starting position, maintaining tension in your triceps.
  • Repeat for a higher amount of repetitions, around 12 to 15. This exercise is best performed with full range of motion. 

Tate Press

This exercise, popularized by powerlifter and coach Dave Tate, involves lying on a bench and performing a hybrid movement that combines a close grip bench press with a dumbbell fly motion to target the triceps.

  • Lie flat on a bench or on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand, held with palms facing each other and arms fully extended.
  • Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells towards your chest, keeping your palms facing each other and your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then extend your arms back up while rotating your wrists. 
  • Your palms will face away from each other at the top.
  • Lower the dumbbells back towards your chest, rotating your wrists back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for a higher amount of repetitions, around 12 to 15. This exercise is best performed with full range of motion.

Cable Rope Pushdown

Using a cable machine and a rope attachment, this exercise involves pushing the rope down and extending the elbows, focusing on the triceps.

  • Attach a rope to a cable machine on the highest position.
  • Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  • Hold the rope with an overhand grip, palms facing down, and position your elbows by your sides with a 90-degree bend.
  • Keep your upper arms still, extend your forearms downward, and fully straighten your arms. 
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then slowly return to the starting position, maintaining tension in your triceps.
  • Repeat for a higher amount of repetitions. This exercise is best performed with full range of motion.

Related Article: The Best Barbell Biceps Exercises For Growth

Bottom Line 

Medial triceps exercises can help to stabilize your elbow and promote thicker triceps. Keep in mind that the medial head cannot be isolated. 

But you can emphasize medial triceps exercises with a narrow grip, reverse grip, and by pronating your hand. Incorporate these exercises for a well rounded tricep workout routine! 

Looking for more? Try these Everyday Essentials: 15 Vital Exercises.

AUTHOR

Shalom is a content creator, musician, and a teacher at heart. As a certified personal trainer, his goal is to encourage others to lead healthier lives and to get buff in the process!