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

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. Lever Overhand Tricep Dips

The main muscles that lever seated tricep dips target is the lateral head of the triceps, as well as the chest, anterior deltoid, and front of the shoulder.

lever tricep dips

How do Lever Overhand Tricep Dips?

  1. Sit on the lever machine against the pad. Grasp the handles and point your elbows back from the shoulders.
  2. Push levers down by straightening your arms downward.
  3. Pause, here and squeeze the triceps muscle.
  4. Slowly allow the lever bar back to where your elbows point back to your shoulders.
  5. This is your 1 Rep, repeat it until your desired reps are not completed.
  • Sets: 4.
  • Reps: 12-14.
  • Rest: 40s each set.

2. 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.

Read- 9 best exercises to target your long head tricep muscle.

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 face 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. Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks

A 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 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. Cable 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, the 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. Cable Crossover Tricep Extension.

How to do Cable Crossover Triceps Extension?

  • Place both pulleys in the highest position of the cable machine.
  • Grab the end of the right cable pulley with the left hand and the left pulley with the right hand.
  • Take a few small steps away from the cable machine, locking your elbows to the side of the body.
  • Straighten your arms and flex your triceps. You feel a muscular contraction in your side and back of your arms.
  • Pause for a beat and slowly release the contraction while keeping your elbows fixed. The movement only performs through the forearms.
  • When your forearms touch your biceps, immediately perform another rep by flexing your triceps.
  • Sets: 3-4 sets.
  • Reps: 20-12 reps.
  • Rest: 40 seconds rest after each set.

8. One Arm Side Cable Pushdown

How do Single Arm Cable Pushdown?

  • Attach a rope to the high pulley of a cable machine. Stand tall by the side of the machine, your nonperforming side is next to the machine.
  • Grab the handle with the hand that is away from the machine, so your performing hand’s palm is facing the machine.
  • Keep your elbow tucked in your side. Begin the exercise by pressing down the rope until your arm is straight and elbow locked.
  • Pause for a beat and squeeze the tricep muscle and slowly bring the rope toward your face.
  • When your forearm is perpendicular to the arm, immediately perform another rep.
  • Sets: 3-4 sets.
  • Reps: 20-12 reps/arm.
  • Rest: 40 seconds rest after each set.

9. One Arm Cable Overhead Extensions

The overhead tricep extension is a great exercise for targeting the long head. But when the individual tucks the elbow outside the ear, the movement targets your lateral head tricep muscle.

How do One Arm Cable Overhead Tricep Extensions?

  1. Position a cable pulley at waist height. A low pulley is also fine, but you should avoid using a high pulley because it’ll reduce the stretch that your triceps get put under.
  2. Empty the attachment to the pulley.
  3. Grab one pulley with your right hand and then face away from the pulley with the rope behind your hand.
  4. Flex your tricep forcefully to lift the rope up and straighten your arm up.
  5. Pause and squeeze the tricep muscle, and then lower the rope behind the head in a controlled manner until you feel an intense stretch of your tricep.
  6. Repeat the movement.
  • Sets: 3-4 sets.
  • Reps: 20-12 reps/arm.
  • Rest: 40 seconds rest after each set.

10. Kneeling Cable Extension

The kneeling cable triceps extension is a single-joint exercise meant to isolate the triceps muscles using a high pully on a cable stack and a bench. It can also be performed in a tall-kneeling stance from a low pulley. It is most commonly used in muscle-building triceps or arm workouts.

How to do Kneeling Cable Overhead Extension?

  1. Place a bench sideways in front of a high pulley machine.
  2. Hold a straight bar attachment above your head with your hands about 6 inches apart with your palms facing down.
  3. Face away from the machine and kneel.
  4. Place your head and the back of your upper arms on the bench. Your elbows should be bent with the forearms pointing towards the high pulley. This will be your starting position.
  5. While keeping your upper arms close to your head at all times with the elbows in, press the bar out in a semicircular motion until the elbows are locked and your arms are parallel to the floor. Contract the triceps hard and keep this position for a second. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  7. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Sets: 3-4 sets.
  • Reps: 20-12 reps.
  • Rest: 40 seconds rest after each set.


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, 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.


What is the best workout for the triceps?

Close-Grip Bench Presses, Diamond Pushups, Cable Rope Triceps Extensions, 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 that 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.