Lateral Head Tricep Exercises | The Ultimate Guide!


Lateral Head Tricep Exercises 

Are you curious about the best lateral head tricep exercises?

Do you wonder how to train the lateral head of the triceps for size and strength?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this comprehensive guide, I will show you how to use the best lateral head tricep exercises to take your physique to the next level!

Introduction

  • Exercise #1: Free Weight Dips
  • Exercise #2: Close Grip Bench Press
  • Exercise #3: Decline Bench Press
  • Exercise #4: JM Press
  • Exercise #5: Skull Crushers
  • Exercise #6: Decline Extensions
  • Exercise #7: Cable Pushdowns

The lateral head of the triceps is one of the most under-developed muscles in the upper arm.

Some people call the lateral head the “lazy head,” because almost no one knows how to train it properly!

So what are the best lateral head tricep exercises?

The best lateral head tricep exercises include free weight dips, close grip bench presses, JM presses, and lying triceps extensions. All of these exercises target the lateral head through a full range of motion, and let you use plenty of weight.

The key to targeting the lateral head is to use exercises where your elbows are in front of, or below the body.

Exercises like overhead triceps extensions are good for targeting the long head, but terrible for targeting the lateral head. Instead, any exercise where you are pushing forward or downwards will get the job done!

Now let’s take a closer look at the 7 best lateral head tricep exercises!

Exercise #1: Free Weight Dips

Free weight dips are BY FAR one of the best exercises that you can perform for the triceps.

Research studies show that dips are one of the best exercises for recruiting all three heads of the triceps:

  • The lateral head
  • The medial head
  • The long head

Of course, they are also especially effective for hitting the lateral head of the triceps.

Some people wonder if you can use machine dips to target the lateral head of the triceps. The truth is, this exercise works extremely well. However, most people need to perform this exercise for higher reps to avoid shoulder discomfort.

For example, here is IFBB pro Dusty Hanshaw performing the hammer strength dip machine for a brutal set of 30 reps:

The hammer strength dip machine is simply phenomenal for targeting the lateral head of the triceps. You have to give this exercise a shot!

Exercise #2: Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is one of the classic “mass-building” triceps exercises.

It does a great job of targeting the lateral and long heads of the triceps.

Exercise #3: Decline Bench Press

The decline close grip bench press is another fantastic exercise for targeting the lateral head of the triceps.

Research shows that this exercise recruits the lateral head the most in the bottom half of the exercise.

If you are serious about developing your lateral head, then using a full range of motion is absolutely essential.

Exercise #4: JM Press

The JM Press is a triceps exercise invented by the powerlifter JM Blakely.

The JM press is actually a hybrid between 2 mass-building triceps exercises:

  • The close grip bench press
  • The lying triceps extension

The key is to lower the weight down to your chin or nose, instead of to your chest (like with a close grip bench press), or to your forehead (like with a lying triceps extension).

In my experience, this exercise works especially well with heavy band tension.

The bands make the exercise equally difficult in the top and bottom parts of the exercise.

They also increase the speed of gravity of the exercise, which places even more eccentric stress on the lateral head of your triceps.

Talk about a brutal movement!

Exercise #5: Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are one of the best exercises you can do for the lateral head of the triceps.

Research shows that skull crushers do a great job of recruiting all three heads of the triceps:

  • The lateral head
  • The medial head
  • The long head

However, the lateral head is especially recruited here – especially in the top half of the movement.

If your goal is to recruit the lateral head of the triceps, then it is extremely important to lower the bar down to your forehead.

If you lower the bar behind your head, then you will take emphasis off the lateral head, and place more emphasis on the long head of the triceps. This is not what we want!

Exercise #6: Decline Extensions

Decline extensions are another FANTASTIC exercise for recruiting the lateral head of the triceps.

Research shows that decline extensions target the lateral head the most in the bottom half of this exercise, so make sure to use a full range of motion!

Decline extensions can be performed with dumbbells or ez-bars. Both options will work.

Some crazy bodybuilders like John Meadows have even performed decline extensions with kettlebells!

All of these are valid options for working the lateral head of your triceps.

Exercise #7: Cable Pushdowns

Research shows that cable pushdowns are another great exercise for the lateral head of your triceps.

The problem with cable pushdowns is you cannot use a lot of weight on this exercise, and it is very easy to cheat the exercise using momentum.

However, many legendary bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, and Jay Cutler have used this exercise, so it definitely deserves a place in your training program.

Conclusion | The Best Lateral Head Tricep Exercises!

The lateral head of the triceps is one of the most neglected muscle groups in the human body.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

You now have 7 of the most effective exercises for targeting the lateral head of your triceps.

So what are you waiting for? Get back in the gym and start training your triceps like you mean it!

“Vision creates faith and faith creates willpower. With faith there is no anxiety and no doubt – just absolute confidence in yourself.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

What's going on! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen, I'm the creator of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to take your training to the next level, then you've come to the right place... My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world!

Recent Posts