Top 10 Exercises That Pump Your Lateral Head Tricep Muscles Very Hard.

Muscle Target: Lateral Head Tricep
Level:Intermediate to Advanced
Main Goal:Build your triceps more attractive
lateral triceps

The lateral head of your tricep is the outermost tricep muscle, and it’s the most visible from the side. Developing it helps to give your upper arm a horseshoe shape, which is so appealing.

Maximum gym lovers are mad to achieve the lateral head tricep muscle with greater sculpt and pump. So, Arrdos put effort and came up with exercises that really target the lateral head muscle, and in the last of the article also includes sets and reps also how much rest.

The three different triceps muscle heads play an important role in activities of daily living (ADL), but focusing on the lateral head will give your arms an elegant shape. It’s worth spending some extra time on this part of your arms.

Anatomy of Triceps-

The maximum percentage of your triceps is located on the back of your biceps muscles that’s your long head. The full name of your upper back arm is triceps brachii, which means three-headed arm muscle. All three different origins of the triceps and one insertion point make a horseshoe shape of this muscle. By doing a common triceps workout all three heads work, but it can be possible to emphasize only one head muscle of the triceps at a time by choosing a specific exercise.

One of the most loving tricep muscles is the lateral head that everyone wants to grow. The main reason is its horseshoe shape which makes your arm more attractive and shapely. In this article, we cover all the best exercises that build your tricep lateral head muscle.

  1. Long head – the inside of the upper arm
  2. Medial head – between the long and medial heads
  3. Lateral head – the outside of the upper arm

10 Best Lateral Head Tricep Exercises!

Out of all the triceps exercises, those that work your lateral head are the most effective. Here we’ll show you some that are better than the rest for emphasizing this muscle. Ten of the best lateral head triceps workout are listed here–choose three to do on tricep day, and mix up the exercises you selected for the next workout.

1. Diamond Pushup

The diamond push-up is a pretty advanced level of lateral head triceps and it is a great example to build the lateral head muscles. While all kinds of push-ups work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, moving your hands closer than in a classic push-up puts focus firmly on your triceps! It is the best exercise for your tricep at home.

diamond pushup

How to do Diamond Pushup?

  1. Put the hands together under your chest on the mat. Form a diamond shape of your hand.
  2. Extend the legs and arms so that your body is elevated and forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Lower your chest towards your hands like regular push-ups.
  4. Ensuring that your elbows don’t flare out to the sides and keeping your back flat.
  5. Stop just before your chest touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position and repeat.
  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 12
  • Rest: 40s on each set

2. Bench dips

The main muscles that bench dips target is the lateral head of the triceps, as well as the chest, anterior deltoid, and front of the shoulder. All you need is an elevated surface – like a bench, step, or stair – to get started, making this a great exercise for fitness enthusiasts of all levels. For an extra challenge, you can put a box or another bench (opposite you) with the weight on your upper thighs.

bench dips

How do Bench dips?

  1. Place your hands slightly wide through hip-width on a bench behind you.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and place your feet together on another lower or the same height as the bench.
  3. Lower slowly the upper body as far as you can, then press back up powerfully. Make sure all the movement comes from your elbows.
  4. This is your 1 Rep, repeat it until your desired reps are not completed.
  • Sets: 3.
  • Reps: 12-14.
  • Rest: 40s each set.

3. Dumbbell French Press

The Dumbbell French Press is an exercise in which you raise your arms, bend them at the elbows, bring your forearms toward the shoulder, and then straighten them back up. This is one of the best-isolated exercises for the triceps that build your tricep shape.

french press: best exercise for triceps

How to do Dumbbell French Press?

  1. Lie down back on a sturdy bench with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Hold lightweight in each hand and straighten your arms directly over your chest.
  3. Engage your core, make an arch on your back and make sure your palms facing each other.
  4. Now bend your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells towards your shoulders until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  5. Pause for a second, and then press back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Sets: 4
  • Reps: 14-8
  • Rest: 40 seconds

4. Triceps Kickbacks

Kickback triceps workout is a very effective and faster building exercise of your lateral head triceps. When you kick the dumbbell back with full force, it generates great pressure on your triceps that you feel by doing exercise.

triceps kickback

How to do Triceps Kickbacks?

  1. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your palms facing in toward your body.
  2. Put your left hand on the bench straight and your left shin on the bench by bending your knees.
  3. To be stable, the posture places your right leg on the floor.
  4. Engage your core and maintain a straight spine as you hinge forward at the waist, bringing your torso almost parallel to the floor.
  5. Above the elbow arm portion, fix and close it your body and your head in line with your spine.
  6. On a exhale, engage your tricep by straightening your elbow.
  7. Only move your forearm during the movement. Pause when your push the dumbbell and then inhale to return the weights to the starting position. Return it slowly until your forearm makes a perpendicular position with the upper arm.
  8. When you complete desired reps on one side of your arm and then hold the dumbbell on the opposite side of your arm. Do the same as you did with your right arm.
  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 12-14
  • Rest: 45s on each set

5. Cable Triceps Kickback


How do Cable Tricep Kickback?

  1. Set the pulley on a cable machine to the lowest setting and attach a single handle.
  2. While still facing the pulley, grab the handle in one hand and take a large step back so that there is tension in the cable.
  3. Bend at the hips so your upper body is almost parallel to the ground and tuck your elbow into your side. Slightly bend your knees and stagger your stance if it feels more comfortable.
  4. Push the handle straight behind you by straightening your arm, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  • Sets: 3
  • Reps: 12-14
  • Rest: 45s on each set

6. Triceps pushdown

This move of triceps exercise is completely focused on your lateral head and long head muscle, but only if you do it perfectly. For this exercise not use too much weight, by involving weight on your back and shoulder muscles, defeating the purpose. So, lighten the load, heavier the pressure you feel on your triceps.

triceps rope pushdown

How to do Cable Rope Triceps Pushdown?

  1. Attach a rope handle to the high pulley of a cable station.
  2. Grab the rope with an overhand grip and slightly bends your arms.
  3. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides.
  4. Push the rope down with your elbows locked and pause for a second.
  5. Do not move your upper arms.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat it.
  • Sets: 3-5.
  • Reps: 18-6.
  • Rest: 40 seconds.

7. Close-grip bench press

This close-grip bench press variation has lifted up with your hands set shoulder-width apart. This close placement of your hands makes your triceps work harder, which can lead to new muscles and more strength. It is the best exercise for your triceps and lower arm muscles.

close grip triceps bench press

How to do Close-Grip Bench Press?

  1. Grab a barbell with an overhand grip, that’s closer than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold the bar above your Sternum, keeping your arms completely straight and your elbows tucked at 45-degree angles on either side.
  3. Maintain good bench posture-engage your core and glutes, keep your feet flat on the floor, and drive into the bench.
  4. Lower the bar slowly straight down until it lightly touches your body and then pushes back it gently. Pause for a second and engage your triceps muscle, then repeatedly lower the bar slowly down.
  5. For the last set, reduce the weight and then increase the number of reps, pushing yourself to failure.
  • Sets: 3-4 sets.
  • Reps: 12-8 reps.
  • Rest: 40 seconds rest after each set.

8. EZ Bar Skull-crushers

This exercise is also known as Lying Tricep Extension and is a formidable drill. The lying triceps extension exercise is perfect for building your lateral head triceps at an advanced level. It has so many ways to perform it, but your elbow extension remains constant. This exercise is not for beginners.

ez bar skull crushers

How to do Skull-Crushers?

  1. Grab an underhand grip on the EZ bar and extend your arms straight up.
  2. Keeping your elbows tucked in and your arms perpendicular to the floor, slowly lower the bar until it is about an inch from your forehead.
  3. Slowly extend your arms back to starting position, without locking your elbows.
  4. Repeat.
  • Sets: 3.
  • Reps: 12-8.
  • Rest: 60 seconds.

9. Cable Overhead Extensions with Rope Attachment

The overhead tricep extension is a great exercise for targeting the long head. You can make it even more effective by using a rope extension with a narrow grip. This way you’ll be able to hit both the lateral and long head at the same time.

How do Cable Overhead Tricep Extension?

  1. Attach the double rope to a point on the cable system that is at or just above your head. 
  2. Grip the handles overhead, hinge forward at the hips at about 45 degrees, and take a step or two forward away from the pulley. You can use the pulley system to get into position by leaning your butt up against it.
  3. Get into a split stance with one foot forward and the other in the back for maximum stability. Keep your core muscles tight.  
  4. Hold your elbows close to your head.
  5. Extend your elbows forward by flexing your triceps and rotate your hands out as shown in the image above.
  6. Bend your arms until you feel a stretch in the triceps and repeat. 

Do 4 sets of 12-14 reps with 40 sec. rest.

10. Medicine Ball Overhead Throw

This is the fun and best way to end any triceps workout. Most triceps exercises want to be done slowly and with control for effectiveness. But, with the move, you need to work explosively, which provides a welcome change of pace. Grab a 7-12 lbs. medicine ball and crank out the reps until you get a great pump!

How to do Medicine Ball Overhead Throw?

  1. Stand a few feet away from a strong wall. Hold a medicine ball in your hands and adopt a staggered stance for balance.
  2. Raise the ball and hold it behind your head, place your biceps close to your ears.
  3. Extend your arms and hurl the ball at the wall in front of you. Use all your strength! Catch it as it rebounds and repeat.
  • Sets: 3.
  • Reps: 10-failure.


There are two possible reasons why your triceps, and more specifically, your lateral head of the tricep is not growing.

Firstly, your diet may not be adequate. Without proper nutrition, you will not be able to grow your muscles. However, that is a separate topic altogether so we will leave it at that.

When it comes to exercise, it is important that you are overloading the muscle. This comes down to rep schemes, weight load, and total volume.

So, let’s go over each of those points. 


You might not think it, but the triceps respond best to low reps and heavy weight. That’s because they have a higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers. In fact, about 67% of their muscle fibers are fast twitch.

However, you still need to work through various rep ranges. You can’t just do heavy weight with low reps. The point is, if you’re not doing heavy weight for low reps, then you need to start. A lot of people think of the triceps as a muscle that best responds to high reps when in reality they fare better with heavier weights.

So, let’s look at how we recommend splitting up your rep ranges:

  • 50% in the 10-20 rep range
  • 25% in the 5-10 rep range
  • 25% in the 20-30 rep range

In regards to the weight load, you should be using a weight that challenges you in the given rep range. This means that the weight should be heavy enough that it brings you near or to failure. For most tricep exercises, you can bring yourself to failure without much concern for safety or injury.

Pro Tips: Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and push past failure. Your triceps can handle it. Remember that when you’re working out, form is important but if you feel like you’re about to fail, try to get one or two more reps in. However, don’t do anything that will put your health at risk. This tip generally applies to exercises like pushdowns and extensions, which are relatively low-risk when it comes to injuries.


In terms of volume, it is going to depend on where you are at in your fitness journey. 

  • Beginners: 10-12 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: 16 sets per week.
  • Advanced: 20 sets per week. 

Given that you’re doing 20 sets per week, aim to do approximately 10-20 reps per set, 5-10 reps per set, and 20-30 reps per set.

Now, keep in mind that you won’t be doing all of these sets in one go. Instead, these can be split up into 2-4 training sessions per week. The triceps usually recover pretty quickly, so this shouldn’t be an issue. Just remember that you’ll have to work around your tricep training when doing chest and front delt exercises since if your triceps aren’t recovered it can interfere with your chest and delt training.

Give this a try for 8-12 weeks and then see how you’ve progressed.

Key Takeaways

It’s impossible to completely isolate one of the three tricep heads, but you can target a single head by using different exercises, arm positions, and grip positions. By doing this, you’ll ensure the best possible development for your triceps.

Tricep exercises that keep your elbow at your side and/or use an overhand or neutral grip will emphasize the lateral head.

Work your triceps through various rep ranges and weight load

Aim for 12-20 sets of triceps per week with at least one-third emphasizing the lateral head.

You can split up the above volume (sets) throughout the course of the week.

In conclusion, don’t be scared to leave your comfort area and attempt something else, customizing your exercises to what works best for you. Furthermore, give it your all – you need to train both diligently AND intelligently.

Exercising your lateral heads will enable you to achieve superior strength and muscle growth in your triceps, and this will subsequently better other areas of your physical fitness.

General FAQs

What is the best workout for triceps?

Close-Grip Bench Press, Diamond Pushups, Cable Rope Triceps Extension, triceps dips, and Skullcrushes are the best workout for the triceps muscle. These exercises build your full range of three triceps muscles and produce mechanical tension that promotes increased volume mass. This exercise targets all three muscles at once or shifts the focus to just one at a time.

How do I build triceps fast?

The fastest way to build your triceps is by incorporating exercises that target all three muscle heads. You’ll need to perform the exercise regularly while gradually increasing the weight as you become stronger. Increasing load helps you build triceps muscle fast. Just remember, it won’t happen overnight but combined with the right diet and consistency, you got results in a few months.

What triceps exercise hits all three heads?

Diamond pushups are a great way to hit all 3 heads simultaneously, as are close-grip bench presses, kickbacks, and tricep pushdowns also hit three heads muscles.

How do you isolate the lateral tricep head?

Pin your elbow into your thigh then extend at the elbow until your arm is completely straight. Really squeeze the heck out of your tricep then very slowly return it back up toward the opposite shoulder. Repeat for the desired reps and then do the same with the other arm.