10 Best Tricep Compound Exercises for Mass and Strength

If you’re tired of endless isolation tricep exercises and want to gain serious size and strength, you should add compound exercises to your tricep workout.

But why are compound triceps exercises so important?

Compound exercises effectively train all three heads of the triceps while simultaneously activating multiple muscle groups. They’re a great way to boost your metabolism and burn more calories.

I will share some of my favorite (based on science and experience) tricep compound exercises to help you build stronger, more defined arms.

Let’s refresh our knowledge to train triceps effectively.

Triceps brachii, or triceps, are responsible for 2/3 of upper arm mass. It consists of 3 parts: the medial, lateral, and long head.

Medial head triceps exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms
  • The lateral head is found on the outer side of the humerus. This is the horseshoe shape on the upper back of your arm.
  • The medial head is found in the middle of the back portion of the upper arm.
  • The long head is the largest part of your triceps, running down the back of your arm. 

Let’s get started!

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10 Best Tricep Compound Exercises

Here are the 10 best tricep compound exercises to build muscle mass and strength.

1. Diamond Push-Ups

If you’re looking for straightforward bodyweight compound exercises to add to your tricep workout routine, diamond push-ups are a great staple exercise to get you started.

The diamond push-up is a more advanced variation of the classic push-up. That provides all the benefits of a normal push-up, with a special focus on the triceps and inner chest.

To practice it, bring your hands too close together to form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest. To make the diamond push-up easier, do it on your knees.

Diamond Push-Ups

How To Do

  1. Start with a high plank on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Move your hands closer together so that the tips of your thumbs and index fingers touch. This will make a diamond shape with your hand.
  3. Now, extend your arms to elevate your body and form a straight line from your head to your feet.
  4. Pull your belly button towards the spine to engage your core muscles.
  5. Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the ground.
  6. As you lower your body, ensure your hands almost touch the diamond shape.
  7. Take a brief moment when your chest is near the diamond shape.
  8. Then, push through your palms to extend your arms and return to the starting position. Fully extend your elbows, but avoid locking them.

2. Bench Dip

Are you looking for the best exercise to build stronger arms? Bench dips may be your answer.

The bench dip exercise is one of the most basic and best compound workouts for building the triceps and bigger arms.

The feet-elevated bench dip is one of the popular tricep bodyweight exercises for building the triceps, chest, and shoulders.

The bench dip is different from the regular dip.

  • The traditional way to do dips is to stand up and hold on to two bars like you’re pressing something.
  • The bench dip is a simpler exercise than the normal dip that you can do without getting your feet off the floor. When performing a bench dip, you’ll use just that, a bench.
Tricep Bench Dip

How To Do

  1. Place your hands on the side of a flat bench so that your body is perpendicular to the bench when you place your feet in front of you.
  2. Sit on one bench and place your feet on the edge of the other so your legs are suspended between the two.
  3. Your arms should be fully extended with your palms on the bench.
  4. Bend your elbows to lower your body down until your elbows reach 90 degrees.
  5. Do not dip down too low, as it places unnecessary strain on the shoulder joints.
  6. Now, extend your arms to lift your body back to the starting position.
  7. Really squeeze the triceps at the top of the movement to get the most out of this exercise.

3. Stability Ball Push Up

If you’re looking for a way to be more creative with your compound tricep workout, why not try a Stability Ball Push-up?

Using a Swiss ball (or exercise ball) can bring an extra element to triceps pushups, giving you an uneven surface to increase the difficulty.

You’ll have to focus on keeping your balance on the ball, which allows you to work harder than you would if you were doing the standard push up.

Push-ups with the hands placed on a stability ball significantly increased the activation of triceps brachii.

Stability Ball Push Up

How To Do

  1. Lay with your chest on the stability ball. Place your hands on the ball at the sides of your chest. They will be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place feet back and lean forward so that your chest is directly over the ball and you are supported on your toes.
  3. Your neck should be in line with your body, not tilted up, which could strain the neck.
  4. Do not let your lower back sag or your butt rise. Ensure your body is straight and rigid.
  5. Push your body until your arms are almost straight (do not lock your elbows). Pause here for a second.
  6. Breathe out and extend your arms to bring your upper body back to the starting position. Repeat.

4. Close-Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is an often overlooked but incredibly effective exercise targeting chest and tricep muscles. 

Unlike the traditional bench press, which primarily targets the chest muscles, the close grip version focuses more on the triceps and the inner chest.

A study has shown that this narrower grip shifts the emphasis more towards the triceps brachii and less on the pectoralis major and shoulder compared to the traditional bench press.

Close Grip Barbell Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on a bench-press bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. You typically use less weight in a CGBP due to the increased demand on the triceps.
  3. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip with your hands placed shoulder-width apart or slightly narrowly,
  4. Unrack the bar and slowly lower it to your lower chest.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows should be a little lower than your shoulders.
  6. Press the bar back up to the starting position.
  7. Inhale slowly as you lower the bar to your chest, and exhale during the push upward.

5. Parallel Bar Tricep Dip

Parallel Bar triceps dips are one of the most effective compound movements for the upper body pushing muscles – the chest and triceps especially. It is another good example of compound exercise of the tricep.

When performed on a narrow parallel bar with elbows back and your torso upright, the dip becomes one of the best exercises for building triceps mass.

Parallel Bar Tricep Dip

How To Do

  1. Grasp the dip bars with your arms extended and locked.
  2. Keep your body as vertical as possible to keep the emphasis on the triceps and away from the chest.
  3. Keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible as you bend them to lower your body down until your upper arms are about parallel to the floor.
  4. Press your hands forcefully into the bars to extend your arms and raise your body back up.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Do not lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • To focus effort on the triceps, keep your body upright and elbows tucked in.

6. Hammer Close Grip Dumbbell Press

The barbell bench press is one of the most popular chest-building exercises, but many lifters suffer from shoulder pain when using the traditional barbell bench.

The hammer close grip dumbbell press is a great bench press alternative because it emphasizes chest and triceps without causing shoulder pain. Because your palms are facing each other, it reduces the strain on your shoulders.

It is a superior movement when we’re talking about tricep compound exercises that will pack mass onto your triceps.

Hammer Close Grip Dumbbell Press

How To Do

  1. Lie back on a flat bench and grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Bring the dumbbells to the sides of your chest with your palms facing each other (neutral grip).
  3. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended, and the dumbbells are directly above your chest.
  4. Keep the dumbbells close together, almost touching each other.
  5. Flex your triceps hard at the top for a second before bringing the weights back down toward your chest.
  6. Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps,


  • Using anything closer than a shoulder-width grip does not increase triceps involvement, but may increase stress on the wrists.
  • If you’re new to weight lifting and this exercise, use a spotter.
  • Inhale slowly as you lower the dumbbell to your chest, and exhale during the push upward.
  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement from start to finish.

7. Reverse Grip Press

This variation involves holding dumbbells/barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing away from you) while performing a bench press.

This simple and highly effective shoulder-friendly pressing variation helps to build mass and strength in your tricep and upper chest.

Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on a bench-press bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Grab the dumbbell/barbell with your palms facing you (supinated grip), which should be shoulder-width apart.,
  3. Lift the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended and they are directly above your chest.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, maintaining the reverse grip.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows should be a little lower than your shoulders.
  6. Press the bar back up to the starting position.


  • Using anything closer than a shoulder-width grip increases triceps involvement, but can increase stress on the wrists.
  • Keep your elbows tucked close to your body and maintain a neutral wrist position.
  • Inhale slowly as you lower the bar to your chest, and exhale during the push upward.
  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement.

8. Barbell Overhead Press

The Shoulder Press is the best shoulder muscle mass builder exercise. It remains the grand-daddy of all shoulder exercises to build big, round shoulder muscles and at the same time this hits tricep muscles.

Performing the exercise while seated upright is a stricter version than standing and prevents cheating the weight upward using momentum generated by the legs.

Seated Barbell Overhead Press.

How To Do

  1. Sit on an exercise bench and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bring the bar over and in front of your head, under your chin, and just above your upper chest.
  3. Now Press the bar straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
  5. Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.

9. Elevated pike push-up

Finally, if you’re looking for one more effective compound tricep exercise, try the elevated pike push-up.

By elevating your feet on a box, you advance these holds because you are now stabilizing a heavier percentage of your bodyweight on your arms.

Elevated pike push-up

How To Do

  1. Take a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Elevate your feet to an appropriate height for your current strength.
  3. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  4. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground.
  5. Once your head is about to contact the ground, pause for a second.
  6. Then slowly push back up until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.


  • Be sure to have first mastered the pike press before trying the elevated pike press.
  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.
  • Keep your back neutral and knees straight throughout the exercise.

10. Dumbbell Tate Press

The dumbbell Tate press is a variation of the dumbbell tricep extension and an exercise used to build stronger triceps.

It is an advanced tricep exercise that moves the muscle differently, but still targets and builds the tricep muscle.

It offers a unique range of motion to target the triceps. This will help in building a complete pair of horseshoe triceps.

Dumbbell Tate Press

How To Do

  1. Lie down on a flat bench and your feet firmly planted on the floor at the other end.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand so your palms are faced towards your feet.
  3. Keep your abs engaged and raise the weights up.
  4. Don’t lock out at the top of the movement to protect your elbows.
  5. Without moving elbows, slowly raise your arms up and down by contracting your triceps.
  6. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
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Tricep Training Techniques With Workout Routines

Always remember that the tricep is a small muscle group, so you don’t need to spend much time training this small muscle group.

It is also important to remember that, exercises should target all three heads of the tricep. This will help give your tricep the shape and definition you’re looking for.

The tricep exercises listed will be performed with optimum sets and reps to emphasize both muscular hypertrophy (muscle growth) and muscular endurance. Load and volume (sets, reps) can be increased as your fitness and strength improve

1. Select the Weekly Training Sets

Fitness LevelWorking Sets per Week
Beginners~10 sets per week
Intermediate~15 sets per week
Advanced~20 sets per week

2. Select Reps

The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

Rep RangeLoad
6-8 repsHeavy load
8-15 repsModerate load
15-20+ repsLight load

3. Training Plan As Per Your Goal

  1. For muscle endurance: Aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps, with a moderate amount of resistance.
  2. For muscle strength: Aim for 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps, with a heavier amount of resistance.
  3. For muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle size): Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, with a moderate to heavy amount of resistance.

4. Add Compound Exercises Into Your Tricep Workout Routine

Compound exercises can be incorporated into your workout routine in a variety of ways. Here are some options:

  1. As a standalone exercise: Do on 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. As part of a tricep workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other tricep exercises like the tricep pushdown and skull crusher.
  3. As part of a full-body workout: Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps along with other compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

1. Tricep-Focused Workout Routine (Compound+Isolation)

Close Grip Bench Press48-10
Tricep Pushdown310-12
Overhead Tricep Extension38-12

2. Push Workout Routine

Push Ups38-10
Incline Bench Press46-8
Shoulder Press48-10
Lateral Raise38-12
Bench Dip38-12

3. Full-Body Workout Routine

Close Grip Bench Press46-8
Spider Curl38-10
Overhead Press48-10
Plank330 sec

4. Compound Tricep Workout

Bench Dip48-12Moderate to Heavy
Reverse Grip Press36-8Heavy
Barbell Overhead Press38-12Moderate to Heavy
Dumbbell Tate Press310-15Light to Moderate


Train Your Triceps Twice Per Week

Training your triceps twice per week can provide a nice stimulus for greater growth. This muscle group recovers fairly quickly, so 2–3 days between workouts is all you need.

Are tricep dips compound exercises?

Dips are a compound bodyweight exercise that works on a large group of muscles at the same time. Whether it is a tricep dip or chest dip.

Is a tricep pushdown a compound exercise?

No tricep pushdown is not a compound exercise. It is an isolation exercise because it works on a specific muscle group.


These tricep compound exercises are highly recommended for anyone interested in building a bigger triceps and who wants to gain strength.

It not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides an overall best look. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details and fancy equipment. Incorporate some exercise from these compound exercises into your tricep workout regimen.

If you do these tricep compound exercises consistently, the results will speak by themselves.


  1. Tiwana MS, Sinkler MA, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. [Updated 2022 Aug 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536996/
  2. Lockie, Robert & Moreno, Matthew. (2017). The Close-Grip Bench Press. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 39. 1. 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000307.

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