Focus on Contractions
The major difference between bodybuilders and people who lift weights, of which there are millions, is the mind and muscle connection. Anybody can move a weight from point A to point B; if the lifter keeps increasing the weights, he or she will get bigger. Still, there’s no way to achieve the physique of a bodybuilder without emphasizing on squeezing the muscle you’re working and working hard to get the most complete contractions possible.
At the end position of a cable pushdown, dip or skull crusher, bodybuilders will flex their triceps hard. An observer can see the big horseshoe muscle in bold relief against the upper arm. If you don’t think that flexing the muscle makes a difference and forces the muscle to work harder, then you just don’t get it. Great development of the triceps requires great contractions, not just bouncing out of the end position of the rep. It’s the difference between simply lifting weights and training a muscle.
Include Compound Movements
There’s a huge variety of extension movements that you can do with dumbbells, barbells and cables, overhead dumbbell extensions, kickbacks and pushdowns. Unfortunately, many trainees do those movements exclusively and so miss out on a lot of potential growth. And the main reason is because they fail to include compound movements in their triceps workouts. Exercises like dips, bench dips and close-grip bench presses enable you to use far more weight than extension movements due to the fact that the larger and more powerful pectorals and front delts are assisting.
Close-grip bench presses on a Smith machine are also very useful and some persons use a decline bench rather than a flat bench. The pressing angle feels more natural, and one can really zap the triceps. If you have real difficulty isolating your triceps in compound movements and inevitably get more of a chest workout from them, either save them until the end of the workout for a bit of a preexhaust effect, or go directly for an extension movement with a close grip press or a dip.