7 Best Lateral Head Tricep Exercises For Muscle Gain Or Fat Loss

The triceps consist of three main muscles: the medial head, lateral head, and long head. 

And as the second-largest tricep muscle, the lateral head is a muscle you can’t neglect if you want sculpted arms that stand out.

There are several tricep exercises that hit all three tricep heads (often one more than the other).

But if you want triceps that bulge at the sides, it is possible to increase lateral head activation by performing tricep exercises with a slightly outward movement of your hands!

You’ll see what we mean below with our list of the 7 best lateral head tricep exercises for muscle gain and fat loss

The following exercises will build lateral head muscle, increase tricep strength, and help fat loss by burning calories! 

1. Tricep Kickbacks

The best thing about tricep kickbacks is that the exercise is simple for beginners but also just as effective for people who are advanced.

Tricep kickbacks are performed with dumbbells, typically in a standing position. However they can also be performed with one arm, bent over a gym bench.

Tricep kickbacks typically hit the long head tricep muscle, since the arm movement is usually done in a straight vertical line.

But by moving the hands outwards (slightly to the side) with each rep, tricep kickbacks can also effectively activate the lateral head tricep. 

How To Do Tricep Kickbacks To Target The Lateral Head Muscle

  1. Bend forwards so that your upper body is at a 45-degree angle
  2. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and raise your arms behind you so that your upper arms are horizontal (your forearms should be vertical)
  3. Lift the dumbbells while bringing your hands outwards (to the side) until your arms are straight
  4. Keeping your elbows in position, lower the dumbbells until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees to complete one rep

For best form, always perform tricep kickbacks with your elbows tucked and locked in place. Lock out your arms at the contraction of each rep to fully activate the tricep muscles.

2. Tricep Rope Pull Downs

Tricep rope pull downs involve pushing a cable rope attachment downwards, then pulling the rope apart as you contract your triceps.

This follows the same outward hand movement described in the modified tricep kickback above, which also targets the lateral long head triceps.

So, essentially, tricep rope pull downs involve the same arm movement but in an upright standing position.

The resistance is provided by the cable machine, which has a weight setting that can be adjusted for any ability.

How To Do Tricep Rope Pulldown

  1. Place your feet together and slightly arch your lower back 
  2. With your elbows tucked, pull each rope down until your arms are fully extended
  3. Pull the ropes apart, widening your hands
  4. Return to the first position by bending your elbows to complete one rep

For best form, keep your elbows locked in place and tucked at your sides. Always straighten your arms at the midpoint of each rep to fully engage the lateral head triceps.

3. Lateral Tricep One Arm Cable Pulldowns

Take one look at the lateral tricep cable one arm pulldown exercise and you’ll see that it follows the same outward movement of the hands described in the above exercises.

Yep, there’s a pattern here: bringing your hands apart targets the lateral head tricep!

In this case, the lateral tricep cable one arm pulldown is performed with alternating arms using a cable machine. By doing one arm at a time, it also allows you to focus on your form more.

How To Do Lateral Tricep One-Arm Cable Pull Downs

  1. Grip the handle so that it’s in line with your center of your chest
  2. Pull the cable handle across your body until your arm is fully extended
  3. Bend your arm and bring the handle to your chest to complete one rep

For best form, engage your core to keep your body stable throughout the exercise. Lock out your arms with each rep to fully activate the lateral head tricep.

4. Close Grip Bench Press

Close grip bench presses are a chest exercise that activates the triceps more than a shoulder-width grip or wide grip bench press, hitting both the long head tricep and lateral head tricep.

If you’re a beginner, make sure to ask someone to spot you before doing the exercise. This ensures there’s someone to help you in case you cannot lift the barbell back up (not a good situation to find yourself in!).

How To Do A Close Grip Bench Press

  1. Lie back on a straight gym bench with the bar level with your eyes
  2. Grip the barbell with a close grip with your elbows tucked
  3. Pull your shoulders back and push your chest out
  4. Lift the bar off the rack and lower it to your chest
  5. Push the bar directly up to complete one rep

For best form, avoid flaring your elbows during the exercise. Keep your shoulders pulled back and your chest pushed out.

5. Diamond Push Ups

Diamond push ups are an effective push up variation that involves performing the exercise with your hands close together.

This puts more resistance on the triceps, including the lateral head tricep muscle.

The best thing about diamond push ups is that you don’t need any equipment to do them – all you need is your body and some floor space!

You can also reduce the difficulty by placing your knees on the floor instead of your feet.

How To Do A Diamond Push Up

  1. Get into a regular push up position on the floor
  2. Bring your hands together and create a diamond shape by touching your thumbs and index fingers 
  3. Lower your body until your chest is close to the floor
  4. Push yourself back up until your arms are fully extended to complete one rep

For best form, make sure not to flare your elbows too much. Use full range of motion, and make sure to keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your toes.

6. Dips

Dips are a great bodyweight exercise that targets the lower chest and tricep muscles, including the long head tricep and lateral head tricep.

They can be performed on either a dip station or a set of parallel bars. 

With dips, the source of resistance is your body weight. You can reduce the difficulty of dips by using a resistance band placed under your hands and shins.

When dips become easy, you can use a dip belt to increase the difficulty!

How To Do Dips

  1. Grip both bars and push yourself off the floor
  2. Lower and pull back your shoulders, then lean forwards slightly
  3. Keeping your forearms vertical, lower your body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees
  4. Push yourself up and straighten your arms to complete one rep

For best form, depress (lower) and retract (pull back) your shoulders throughout the exercise. Keep your forearms vertical and don’t bend your elbows more than 90 degrees to avoid shoulder injury. 

7. Tricep Bench Dips

Tricep bench dips are a variation of the chest dip that puts more emphasis on the tricep muscles due to the position of the body.

Unlike chest dips, however, tricep bench dips can be done using any low, stable surface – such as a gym bench, chair, or stool!

Tricep bench dips are a beginner-friendly exercise that are easier than chest dips.

The exercise involves placing your hands on a low surface behind you, then lowering your body with your legs outstretched. 

How To Do Tricep Bench Dips

  1. Place your hands on a stable gym bench, chair, or stool that’s positioned behind you, with your legs outstretched (your heels should be touching the floor)
  2. Lower and pull back your shoulders, maintaining an upright posture
  3. With your elbows tucked at your sides, lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle
  4. Push your body back up until your arms are fully stretched to complete one rep

For best form, avoid flaring your elbows while doing the exercise.

Try to keep your shoulders depressed and retracted, and only bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle to avoid the risk of a shoulder injury.


And that wraps up our list of the 7 best lateral head tricep exercises for muscle gain and fat loss!

These exercises will build your lateral tricep muscles, increase overall tricep strength, and help fat loss through burning calories. 

Just make sure to practice good form to increase the effectiveness of each exercise and reduce the risk of injury.

Include these exercises in your push day workout and don’t forget to rest and eat plenty of protein to maximize muscle growth!

Post Tags :