Do This Tricep Exercise to Build Tricep Size and Strength

Written By: Fitman
April 27th, 2017
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Training
20.3K Reads
Do This Tricep Exercise to Build Tricep Size and Strength
If you're going to add any tricep exercise to your workouts, this is the one it should be. Learn more about the exercise and how to add it to your workout!

Having arms like Mr. Burns or Olive Oil can be a total liability for an athlete or bodybuilder.

Weak triceps will limit all of your pressing movements and get you manhandled on the field.

Soft-looking triceps will limit all those fitted shirts that you want to wear as well gentlemen.

This dumbbell pressing variation presented today will allow you to address those strength and muscular development issues.


When it comes to building great triceps, all seasoned lifters know the money movements.

We have dips. We have the close-grip bench press. We have push-ups.

Another phenomenal movement that you can use to develop triceps that belong in a game of horseshoes is the decline dumbbell tight press.

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Get Tight

The decline dumbbell tight press and a standard dumbbell press have one major difference: elbow positioning.

During a standard dumbbell bench press your elbows are in semi-flared position.  This results in more stress on the chest.

During the decline dumbbell tight press your elbows will be tucked in close to your body. This shift of the elbow positioning will put significantly more stress onto your triceps and away from your chest.

Though you can use the movement on the flat bench and get a good training effect, the decline angle of the bench allows for more triceps involvement and greater stimulation.

Related: 5 Most Effective Exercises For Building Your Triceps

I have a love affair with dips. Paired with chin-ups you have the ultimate combination for building a superhero-like upper body.

But there are many injured/beat-up lifters in the game whose shoulders are shot like an enemy of Jack Bauer. Dips can aggravate your deltoids.

As your fellow brother in iron, I want you to be able to make progress with your training. The decline dumbbell tight press will allow you to get a similar workout for your triceps without the same amount of stress on the shoulders as dips.

The healthy lifter with excellent shoulders will be able to utilize both movements in their programming for maximum results.

Using the decline dumbbell press will also save you the time and the awkwardness of waiting in line for an ineffective triceps machine at an overcrowded gym on a Tuesday night.

You lose major points in the game when you are waiting to do cable kickbacks with the uninitiated meatheads.

Rep Styles

The decline dumbbell tight press works well with multiple rep styles.

There are 3 methods that you can use to maximize your strength and muscle mass:

1. Pause Reps

Pause reps are great for athletes who need to increase their pressing strength from a dead stop. I like to use these with certain positions for football players.

When you reach the bottom of the decline dumbbell tight press (elbow in the pocket) you will pause for 2-3 seconds. This will eliminate all of the momentum and force you to work harder to press the weight up.

Your body should remain tight and tensed during the pause. Do not get relaxed and lazy while your elbows are in the pocket. Losing focus leads to injuries.

If you have never performed pause reps before, use a lighter weight than what you would normally use. Your triceps will definitely not be used to the lack of momentum.

The greatest aspect that pause reps bring to the table is that they will keep you honest. When you have to perform a movement without momentum, it is a total game-changer.

You have a very high chance to get folded with the heavier weight initially. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Slow progress is the name of the game.

You can best use the pause reps in an RP-21, 7x3 rep scheme superset with weighted chin-ups to promote strength.

2. Constant Tension Reps

Constant tension reps are the gold standard of bodybuilding rep styles.

You will start the press and before you reach the top of the movement, you will cut the rep slightly short and start the descent back to the bottom of the movement.

You are performing these reps with no lockout. This will keep supreme tension on your triceps. Your concentric and eccentric reps should take about 1-2 seconds per action in a smooth, consistent, piston-like fashion.

When you keep tension on the muscle throughout a set you will have an excellent pump when the set is over.

You can use the constant tension reps in a traditional bodybuilding 5x10 rep scheme superset with EZ-Curl Bar Curls for great arm development.

M&S Male Athlere Curling as a superset

3. 1 and 1/4 Reps

1 and ¼ reps are the next level of the constant tension rep.

They are excellent for hypertrophy and they work perfectly for the decline dumbbell tight press.

When you complete a standard rep you will start your descent back to the bottom of the rep. Once you reach the pocket, you will press the dumbbells up only 1/4 of the way before coming back down to the bottom.

At this point, you will press the weight to the top. That completes one rep.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Get More Out of Your Workouts

For maximum tension and a flat-out ridiculous pump, you can perform these reps with constant tension. Your arms will feel massive when the set is over.

You can use 1 and 1/4 reps in an RP-21, 6x5 rep scheme.

Be warned that this is very difficult. You should expect pain.

The quarter rep adds up very fast if you choose the correct weight.

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Wrap up

Do not cheat yourself with light weight to look good on your latest social media post. This is becoming far too common in the iron game.

When you look at the history of the iron game, the greatest physiques were built with hard, ugly work. Nobody’s face looks good when they are deep in the bucket during a heavy squat.

The work that no one else wants to do is what creates a beautiful physique. You have to be willing to step outside the box in order to unleash your inner greatness.

The decline dumbbell tight press will be a superb addition to your quest for strength, performance, and muscle.

If you want to get that lean and ripped body, it’s time you step your game up and train like an athlete. This means getting back to the most essential basics of sprinting and lifting workouts. Learn exactly how with Fitman’s new book, Use Speed To Get Lean!