The chest and the triceps workout targets two muscle groups of the upper body which overall can make the fitness enthusiast look muscular and well-built. Maybe that is the main reason why most men crave having a large chest. A chest is a muscle group that works as a whole but in the fitness world, it’s not unusual to divide the chest into three parts.
The upper chest. The middle chest. The lower chest. To dive into more details about it, take a look at our Lower Chest Workout article where we talk about the different parts of the chest.
As for the hands, in the old days, people used to focus more on training the biceps and less onto training the triceps. This attitude quickly changed inside the fitness world as it became obvious that complete arm training should include triceps and forearm training as well.
Table of Contents
What you should know about the chest and triceps workout?
The good news
The good news is that chest and triceps may be activated at the same time and that’s why these muscles are grouped together into a single workout day.
Most of the exercises that you do to train your chest are pushing exercises. The triceps are pushing muscles as well and they become present in any pushing movement that you do.
It is possible it isolate your triceps and work on them separately but that’s not entirely true for the chest. Although the typical chest exercises are very chest specific, the triceps can’t be excluded from this process. Can you think of a chest exercise that you do without using your hands?
Let’s take the pushup as an example. Pushup training may be just the right thing to do when it comes to a chest workout. But still, to perform a pushup the triceps muscles need to activate through the entire movement.
The bad news
Triceps training may be tricky. It is possible and doable to tone your triceps muscles with body weight and light resistance training but if your ultimate goal is to grow them and build muscle tissue you’ll have to use heavier weights.
Triceps will mostly benefit and grow by using weights. Of course, we’ll also mention some bodyweight exercises to target the triceps area and complement your training.
Personal trainers in the gym, usually group these muscle groups together in a single workout day due to the reasons we already mentioned.
Next, I will be giving you some chest and triceps exercises to implement in your training and notice some good gains. Remember, the chest is easier to grow than the triceps.
So don’t get quickly disappointed if you see some delayed results on your arms. Eating the right amounts of protein will also hugely impact your muscle growth positively.
What chest and triceps workout to follow?
The exercises I’m about to present will target your upper chest, middle chest, lower chest, and triceps. The exercise instructions taken from YouTube are copyright of their respective owners.
WIDE ARM FLOOR PUSHUPS
Pushups. Pushups. Pushups. When it comes to chest training the pushup is your best friend. This wide arm variation will pump you up.
HOW TO DO WIDE ARM FLOOR PUSHUPS
- Drop on the floor into a pushup position.
- Place your arms wider apart. You don’t need to take them very far. Aim for having good support but a bit unstable.
- Dropdown until your chest touches the floor.
- Return up to complete one rep
- Do 4 sets of 13 reps.
This exercise will mainly target your lower chest. It’s also going to be targeting your triceps. Dips can be a challenging exercise but keep working on it and it will get easier.
HOW TO DO DIPS
- Get on the parallel bars and hop up. Stay in a support position. Your feet are not touching the floor.
- To keep the right form, push your shoulders down. Keep your shoulders the furthest away from your ears. To execute correctly, lean your body slightly forward to a 45-degree angle.
- Dip down until your upper arms come parallel to the ground.
- Return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
DIPS MIDDLE ISOMETRIC HOLD
For this one, your triceps will be forced to hold the most of your body weight.
HOW TO DO DIPS MIDDLE ISOMETRIC HOLD
- Start by performing a dip, as we described on the chest exercises.
- Stop midway through the movement and hold there.
- Hold for 3 sets of maximum time.
Some people think that doing pushups on an inclined surface will target their shoulders but it’s not entirely true.
Pushups affect your front deltoids and your triceps but their main impact falls onto the chest area.
Inclined pushups are a great variation to amplify that effect.
HOW TO DO INCLINE PUSHUPS:
To perform them, take the pushup position on an inclined surface- like a bench. From there, perform 3 sets of 15 reps.
LAYING DUMBBELL FLYES ON THE FLOOR
This exercise will target the middle part of your chest. Choose a challenging weight.
HOW TO DO LAYING DUMBBELL FLYES ON THE FLOOR
- Lie on the floor with two dumbbells above your shoulders.
- With palms facing each other and elbows bent, lower the weights laterally.
- When your elbows hit the floor, pause for a second and then return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
INCLINED SEATED DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
Another classic movement of gym training.
HOW TO DO INCLINED SEATED DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
- Sit on the inclined bench and lean back. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height.
- Press both dumbbells straight up over your chest, dumbbells almost touching each other on top.
- Return to the starting position slowly to complete one rep.
- Do 4 sets of 12 reps.
Now that we have the chest exercises covered, let’s move to the triceps exercises.
What isolated triceps workouts are recommended?
BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS
This is the best bodyweight triceps exercise but it’s also quite difficult.
HOW TO DO BODYWEIGHT SKULL CRUSHERS
- Grab a bar that is relatively low. Aim for at least belly button height. The lower the height, the harder the exercise gets.
- Do two big steps back so that your body is holding on tight and long, like doing an extended plank.
- Holding the whole body tight, dip your elbows while aiming to get the head lower than the bar.
- Now push from your triceps to return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
DUMBBELL TRICEPS EXTENSIONS
Choose a challenging weight.
HOW TO DO DUMBBELL TRICEPS EXTENSIONS
- Sit on a chair or bench where you can keep your back straight.
- Extend your arms fully, holding the dumbbells above your head. Hold the dumbbells close to each other, even touching.
- Bend your elbows backward, bringing the dumbbells behind your head. Keep your elbows tucked close to your head and be careful not to open them widely.
- Push the dumbbells back up to complete one repetition.
You can perform this one at the gym or by hanging a resistance band somewhere and pulling it down. Choose a heavy resistance.
HOW TO DO TRICEPS PULLDOWN
- Get to the pulldown machine.
- Grab the handles and push down. The whole body stays still and it doesn’t assist the triceps.
- Return back up slowly to complete one rep.
- Do 3 sets of 10.
This exercise gets easier or more difficult according to the hand placement.
HOW TO DO TRICEPS PUSHUPS
- Get into the standard pushup position.
- Instead of having your wrists in the same line as the shoulders, take your hands some inches in front of the shoulders. The further you place them forward, the easier the exercise gets.
- Now dip your triceps with the purpose of your forearms and elbows touching the floor completely.
- Push back up to complete one rep.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Overview of chest and triceps workout
This article can serve both as an exercise reference and a guide to chest and triceps workout routines.
You can use the above exercises by implementing some of them into your workout regime or by taking all of them to build a new routine that can be very effective for your chest and triceps.