Bodybuilding & Strength

5 Superior Movements for Titanic Triceps

If you follow normal advice you will get normal results.

This is true for a lot of things in life. This is definitely true for the muscle building game. One of my goals for this site is to tell my story. For all the topics that I discuss on this site, my job is to tell you my experiences and observations. What worked? What did not work? I will tell you everything…

Bodybuilding is no exception. I had a lot going for me before I ever even touched a weight. But the competitive spirit and the creative mindset to use every tool imaginable in the gym over the years is what got me to where I am today.

I have spent 8 years perfecting my craft and becoming a master of my own body. I know everything about this machine because I have lived by the number one rule in bodybuilding.

I have been able to continually make gains because creativity is my best friend. This is an art to me. I am obsessed with constantly coming up with new movements and superset routines to subject my muscles to.

Most people have the same mediocre game plan for triceps. That’s why they are forced to settle with the same mediocre results. Do a bunch of exercises for biceps first and then maybe throw in some rope extensions and cable pushdowns for triceps.

Hopefully, these 5 superior movements for titanic triceps will change that for you. Hopefully, this article (and accompanying videos) will start to prove that this game is all about the competitive spirit and implementing a creative mindset to “discover” what works best for you.


Movement 1: “Sonny Extensions”



 I credit myself for making this one up. I first “discovered” this exercise in January 2012 when I was working out at a Gold’s Gym in North Carolina. The machine this is done on is the Nautilus Pullover Machine, which is traditionally used as an exercise to stretch the lats. I use it as a triceps movement by standing behind the machine and pushing the bar forward by extending my triceps.

The most comparable traditional movement that people use is skull crushers. However, Sonny Extensions are a superior movement. Why?

1) Sonny Extensions are much easier from a form perspective.

2) Sonny Extensions are easier “to feel” and hit all 3 heads.

3) Sonny Extensions place less strain on the elbow joints.

4) Most people try to use too much weight and have poor form on skull crushers.

5) Again, you have to really “feel it”. Difficulty with the form on skull crushers prevents this for a lot of people.

6) Over time, skull crushers place more strain on the elbows.


Movement 2: One-handed overhead kettlebell extensions



 I first “discovered” this movement in August 2011 when I was training at the World Gym near my house on Long Island. I won’t go so far as to say I am the originator because kettlebells are quite common and I’m sure someone had done these before.

Another simple exercise… all you do is grab a kettlebell and extend it over your head. This works the triceps. The upper arm does not move.

The most comparable traditional movement that people use is the one-handed overhead dumbbell extension. However, this is a superior movement. Why?

1) With the one-handed overhead kettlebell extension, the entire lift is felt by the triceps.

2) With the one-handed overhead dumbbell extension, you have to “grip” the dumbbell, which puts some of the lift on the upper forearm. As you go heavier, some of the delts might also help out.

3) Some people can mess up with the dumbbell by gripping up on the weight, instead of holding the dumbbell in the middle.

4) It’s more natural to use the kettlebell if you want to rotate the elbows outward for a greater contraction. This is awkward with a dumbbell.


Movement 3: Machine Dips Facing “Inward” 


Most people do machine dips seated facing outward and that works for them. Personally, it just never felt right. Anytime I have tried doing them seated and facing outward, it felt awkward. I feel it in the triceps for sure… but I also feel a lot of tension on the lower chest and the front delts.

My solution (and suggestion for those who feel the same) is to do them facing inward and standing. There is less stress placed on the lower chest and front delts. Also, it just enables for a more explosive movement downward aka more powerful contraction for all 3 heads.

*** For this movement, you do not have to go “all the way down all the way up.” It’s like that for any movement for any body part actually. There is a certain “sweet spot” for the individual lifter where 100% of the load is felt between concentric and eccentric… you only need to focus on that part. In my experience, it’s different for everyone and you find it through time/experience.


Movement 4: Bodyweight Tricep Extensions


I picked up this movement in June 2010. I originally saw it done by former NFL running back Thomas Jones in a YouTube video. I don’t do these as often but they are a great finishing exercise.

This movement may be difficult for some. Again, there is little movement in the upper arms. The elbows flare out because the bar is rotating forward and the triceps contract. This is a great movement because there is also some core involved.

The most comparable traditional movement is probably skull crushers. This movement is superior because once you have the stability and form down pat… it is easier to flare the elbows out and “feel it” on all 3 heads (due to the rotating bar).


Movement 5: Weighted Bench Dips 



I think this is the very best exercise for triceps. Oddly enough, you rarely see anyone doing these in the gym. This is a forgotten exercise that was a lot more common during the 70’s and 80’s. I did these exclusively during the summer of 2008 (sometimes with 4-5 plates on my lap) and my triceps blew up.

It is a simple exercise. All you do is balance yourself between 2 benches and push yourself up a down. You (or a spotter) can put a plate on your lap for added resistance.

The most comparable traditional movement is regular dips between 2 bars. This movement is superior (in my opinion) for a few reasons:

1) You can never quite fully isolate the triceps with regular dips. There’s always a degree of the chest and front delts being heavily recruited into the movement. Isolation is easier with bench dips.

2) Regular dips place more strain on the elbows.

3) It’s easier to “feel it” working all 3 heads on bench dips versus regular dips where there is a tendency to “feel it” almost exclusively on the lateral head.

4) It’s a lot easier to use momentum and cheat on regular dips.

So there you have 5 superior movements for triceps that you probably are not doing… but should strongly consider. As far as tricep workouts and routines are concerned, I think that like any muscle you need to subject them to as much volume as possible.

One or two movements will not cut it. You should be incorporating at least 4 movements.

As far as reps are concerned, I have found that with cable/machine movements, it’s better to stick to high reps (at least 15) to pump the muscle full of blood. With the weighted barbell movements (such as skull crushers, weighted bench dips, and close grip benches) it’s not totally necessary to go high reps (although I usually do).

That’s it for now. Hope this was helpful.


side tricep from May 2012

side tricep from May 2012




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  1. Louis
    June 25, 2014 at 5:17 am — Reply

    Great article Sonny!

    I am very impressed with your think outside the box approach to this.
    What do you recommend I start off with when I hit triceps?

    I usually start with dips.

    • June 26, 2014 at 5:37 am — Reply

      I think (and this goes for everyone) it’s in your best interest to start with cable movements (rope extensions are great) because you need to loosen up the elbows… over time starting with dips/close grip bench/skull crushers does a lot of wear and tear on your elbows.

  2. Bond007
    June 25, 2014 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    It’s been a long time since my first comment here, And it’s really nice to see how it grows! Even if i don’t leave a comment I visit your site almost every day. It’s the first time that I follow a site almost from the beginning and I just want to say that you are doing a great job! Keep the hard work my friend!

    • June 26, 2014 at 5:35 am — Reply

      Thanks dude. you one of the day 1 brothas!

  3. Vortex
    June 25, 2014 at 6:41 pm — Reply

    Wow, you look like a beast. Do you use any steroids or suplements? Or maybe you are completly natural bodybuilder?

    • June 26, 2014 at 5:34 am — Reply

      No steroids. All natural. I use a bunch of supplements.

  4. Cam..
    June 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm — Reply

    Good shit bruh! Appreciate the bodybuilding articles a lot.

    Just got back from the gym.. Weighted bench dips are my new fav!

    Couldn’t find any kettle bells in my gym tho smh (la fitness).

    Trainer at the gym told me that eating after 9pm is “bad for you”.. I always eat late. Could I be doing damage to myself?

    Thanks in advance

    • July 2, 2014 at 2:55 am — Reply

      I personally do not think so. Although I would try to get most of my meals in earlier in the day.
      The only way I see it as potentially bad is if it prevents solid sleep.

  5. Anon
    June 28, 2014 at 4:15 pm — Reply

    Hey Sonny I would like some advice on my situation. 
    I’m 15 and I’ve never kissed a girl. I have worked on my looks (gym, style) and have since been getting girls that are interested in me. I have been on 2 dates with this girl that I really like and find attractive. There’s always something that stops me from kissing her though. I think it just comes down to ‘just do it’ but for me it always seems hard. Have you got any suggestions for me?

    I think getting her as my girlfriend would benefit me, because it would give me some experience. Would you agree with that?

    This is becoming a great site even though I am totally against split training. (I train full body, unlike yourself I do believe in a scientific approach to training)

    • July 2, 2014 at 3:14 am — Reply

      Yes, at your age you should have a girlfriend first long before even thinking about becoming a player.

      Here’s how you kiss a girl: Look into her eyes. Look at her lips. Look into her eyes again. And then slowly go for it.

      Your difficulty in kissing a chick sounds similar to my early difficulties dropping in on a half pipe when I used to skateboard.
      I always had a fear of what would happen if “something bad happened” or if I “messed up”. One day I just went for it and I realized that I made a big deal over nothing.

      If a chick likes you and you go for it… she’s gonna kiss you back. If not, then at worst she’ll pull away. It’s one of those things that come with experience developing social awareness and natural chemistry with women.

      • Anon
        July 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm — Reply

        Hey Sonny
        I did it! It was awkward but she’s into me so it went well. I have gone on a couple dates with her. We usually just go for a walk and then sit on a bench and talk. I kiss her when we meet/when she leaves. I want to make out with her but I feel it’s hard when sitting next to her. She usually looks straight ahead, so not at my face the whole time, so I can’t do the ‘triangle gaze technique’.

        Any advice? I hope you can understand what I am trying to describe.

        • July 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm — Reply

          Yea I got you. If you are sitting next to her… put your arm around her (upper back). By doing that you are marking your territory and showing that she’s your chick (chicks love this) and they start to experience that right around your age so you’re golden.

          Also take her to a carnival/amusement park… Chicks dig those and you share a moment with them when you are on the ride (perfect time to kiss them and solidify those feelings she has for you).

          Let me know when you want to try and bang her. I’ll give you my personal young guy/high school advice.

  6. Anon
    July 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm — Reply

    I have actually already put my arm around her back a couple times. I guess I have got some of this stuff down instinctively. 

    I would like to hear your advice to young guys. I don’t honestly see how I can get  some sexual experience given the poor logistics. No car, parents/siblings rarely not at home, etc.

    Thanks a lot Sonny

    • July 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm — Reply

      That’s a tough one… parents always being home. The key might be your father. How close are you with him? Can you talk to him about what you’re trying to do with your chick?

      When I was in high school, my father and I were very open about everything. It got to the point where I’d be with my chick and my Dad knew what was up and he would come up with an excuse to leave (take my mom to the movies, take the dog to the park, etc.)

      If you can level with your dad, he’ll make sure the house is clear for you.

      • Anon
        July 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm — Reply

        I have to think about that one… We aren’t exactly close when it comes to talking about chicks. I think he has very little experience and he teases me about hanging out with girls.
        You said you would give me your typical advice for high school guys trying to get laid… Could you do that?

        • July 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm — Reply

          Yea. I’ll eventually write some posts on…. I’m so back up on stuff it’s insane.

          I’ll tell you this for now… Don’t try to be a player in your early years. Don’t even emphasize girls…. you main focus should be building your brand (image) and putting together a network of cool friends. That should be your priority. When you do that… the getting laid part takes care of itself. What I mean by that is, the opportunities will present themselves.

          All you have to do is close the deal when it’s obvious a chick is digging you. Usually you start off high school and get yourself a girlfriend and you have sex with that chick. That’s the healthy way to do it. You need experience dating one chick before you expand to become a player. You don’t wanna be one of those weird pick-up guys who hasn’t gotten on the scoreboard yet and thinks the fastest way to get good with girls is to bang as many as fast as possible.

          Doesn’t work like that when you are young… You need to be building up a respectable image of yourself and forming useful friendships aka friends with the cool kids. High school is a value game (life in general is) but you first start to see it really played out in high school.

          The same concepts apply… that’s why the same kids who were cool in high school are still usually the coolest kids 10-15 years later. High school is where that foundation of “value” is set.

          When you are just starting off in high school, find one chick and date her for a little bit. That’s the best advice I can give you for now. That’s what will give you the healthiest mentality regarding women. You don’t have to date her for all 4 years obviously. Just enough to start having sex with an actual girl.

          I also recommend befriending as many older kids as possible. When you’re the young gun that rolls with an older crowd… this gives you value.

  7. Kama
    January 28, 2015 at 12:24 am — Reply

    I’ve already done the bench dips before (at home and using chairs, actually, lol), but I’ll give a try to those other exercises you recommend too. Especially the machine dips facing inward and standing because I also feel a lot of tension in my chest when I do those while seating… tomorrow I train my arms in the gym so it’ll be the time :p. I have other goals than getting muscular this year, but I love working out in itself (it feels awesome) and if I can gain some muscle in the process… why not^^.

  8. Joel
    October 18, 2015 at 7:54 am — Reply

    In other words, there’s a lot of ways you can hit your triceps, find what your body responds the best to through trial and error

    • October 19, 2015 at 3:35 am — Reply

      That’s exactly right. Bodybuilding is one big game of trial/error… finding what works for you riding that out… then finding the next thing that works for you.

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