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Biceps get all the press, but your triceps are actually the larger muscle group. If you want big, sexy arms, then it pays to target your triceps as much as possible — and the best way to do that is with a tricep bar.
You’ve likely seen a variety of tricep bars in your gym. They come in several different shapes and sizes, and the right one can take your gains to the next level (while the wrong one will leave your palms blistered and aching).
We inspected 23 different tricep bars and ranked them in multiple categories to arrive at the list of the 5 best below. Our favorite — the A2ZCare Rotating Bar — is versatile, durable, and affordable.
If you’re building the perfect home workout room (or you just want gear that will last for years in your commercial gym), the tricep bars below are perfect for building drool-worthy arms.
Simple and understated, this bar is a no-frills option that just gets the job done
This bar from A2ZCare doesn’t come with any bells and whistles to speak of, but if you want a piece of equipment that will last for years regardless of how much you abuse it, then it’s a great choice.
This chrome bar is 18 inches long, giving you plenty of space for your mitts. It’s one-inch in diameter as well, which is kind of a sweet spot — not so thick that it’s hard to hold, but not so thin that you won’t build any grip strength, either.
The knurling is fairly subtle. It’s not severe enough to be uncomfortable or cause blistering, but it’s still substantial enough to give you plenty of grip, even if your palms are sweaty.
The manufacturer says it has an 800-pound weight limit, but we can’t imagine anyone other than the Terminator snapping it. It shouldn’t be susceptible to corrosion or rust, either, although we don’t recommend leaving it in the shower.
The price is competitive with similar bars, although many of those other bars have features (like grips) that this one lacks. Still, if all you’re looking for is an affordable, reliable bar, it’s hard to beat.
What I Liked
- Plenty of room for even the largest hands
- Easy to grip
- Knurling prevents slippage without causing blisters
- Extremely durable
- Not likely to corrode or rust
What I Didn’t Like
- Doesn’t have some of the frills that similarly-priced models offer
This small attachment will allow you to do a huge variety of exercises — not all of which will target your triceps
We understand that you lift weights because you’re concerned about making yourself more attractive, so you don’t necessarily care about how good-looking your gear is. Even so, the DNC V-bar is quite the fetching piece of equipment.
Made of high-quality steel, it has a textured rubber handle covering the grips, giving it a sleek appearance. The rubber is quite easy on your hands as well, allowing you to get in plenty of reps without your grip giving out.
The flat knobs on the end of the handles help keep your hands in place as well, allowing you to really dig in when dealing with heavy weights. If you’re a powerlifter, this is definitely the bar for you.
While it’s great for pushdowns to build your triceps, it’s also a great piece of equipment for rows and curls as well, giving it quite a bit of versatility.
The bar itself is quite heavy, which speaks to how well it’s made and how durable it will likely be. This can give you a bit of assistance during reps, though, so you may need to dial up the resistance accordingly to ensure that you’re properly challenged.
While it has a universal attachment point, the hole is a bit smaller than what you’ll find in many other bars. This can make it a bit of a chore to switch out, which can cost you valuable seconds during your routine. It’s not a huge deal, but it is a minor annoyance.
What I Liked
- Sleek, attractive appearance
- Comfortable rubber grip prevents slipping
- Knobs on end help you really lean into exercise
- Great for rows and curls
- Heavy and well-made
What I Didn’t Like
- Weight can add unneeded assistance on heavy reps
- Small hole makes it difficult to switch out
There are three different bars in this set, giving you no shortage of ways to challenge yourself
If you want as many options as possible, this set from Yes4All comes with a straight bar, a V-bar, and a nylon-braided rope. You’ll pay a little more for all that gear, but it’s well worth it, and it almost certainly represents a value compared to buying each piece individually.
That gives you multiple ways to attack your triceps, and you can do a wide variety of exercises with the equipment in the set, allowing you to target just about any upper-body muscle group.
The tricep rope is the star of the show here. At 27 inches, there’s enough material here to really let you customize your grip. You can grab it at the bottom, next to the rubber caps that keep your hands from sliding off, or you can choke up on it to squeeze out those last few reps.
The straight bar is…well, a straight bar. It does a good job of what it’s intended to do, and the knurling is effective without being a nuisance. You may notice rust over time, though, especially around the attachment point. While this will likely be purely cosmetic, it’s a detail that may matter to some people.
The V-bar has similar knurling to the straight bar, which is largely a good thing. However, it doesn’t have any sort of grip or padding, and the knobs on the end may dig into your hands a bit. This feels unavoidable, too, as the lack of grip means your hands are likely to slip down towards the end of your workout.
The Yes4All Deluxe set is a good all-in-one solution for anyone who’s looking to keep their gym fully stocked, and each of the individual pieces is perfectly satisfactory in its own right. You may be able to find better versions of each unit if you’re willing to put in the time and effort of looking, however.
What I Liked
- Includes three useful tricep bars
- Allows you to target virtually any upper-body muscle group
- Triceps rope is versatile and comfortable
- Knurling on steel bars is effective and unobtrusive
- Likely cheaper than buying all three pieces individually
What I Didn’t Like
- Knobs on V-bar can be uncomfortable at end of long sets
- Straight bar may rust at attachment point over time
If you want to pamper your hands while you lift, this set could almost be considered luxurious
You probably don’t think about pampering yourself when you’re in the gym, and while these attachments won’t replicate a day at a high-end spa, they’re incredibly comfortable on your hands.
The textured rubber coating that’s on both the V-bar and straight bar is very soft and forgiving, and it gives you a secure surface for your grip. Your hands aren’t likely to slip and slide, even at the end of a tough workout — and they won’t end up blistered, either.
All that’s assuming you keep your hands on the rubber, of course. The exposed chrome parts can be a bit rough, and they can chip or get scratched if you toss them around when changing them out.
The rubber covers up an attractive chrome finish, and these bars have an incredible shine to them. It won’t help you hit a new max, but it does dress up your gym nicely.
If the rubber gets cracked or damaged, you’ll need to replace it as soon as possible, as the chrome is prone to rusting. Again, this is purely cosmetic, but it feels like a big deal when it affects gear as attractive as this.
Both bars have a swiveling attachment point, giving you excellent range of motion in every exercise. The set comes with a large carabiner that’s easy to open and close as well, so switching the attachments out is a breeze.
What I Liked
- Textured rubber coating is extremely comfortable
- Attractive chrome finish
- Hands will stay in place even when slick with sweat
- Swiveling attachment point allows for complete range of motion
What I Didn’t Like
- Chrome can get chipped or cracked
- Finish is prone to rust if it gets wet
If you prefer working with free weights, this bar is the cream of the crop
The Marcy Threaded is an excellent option for free weights users, as the spin lock collars make it easy to add or remove plates. They’ll also keep them snug and secure, which is always a good thing when you’re hoisting heavy pieces of iron above your head.
Be sure that you tighten those collars tightly, though, because if there’s any give in the bar, the plates can chip the chrome.
The handles are completely knurled, so you’ll have an excellent grip wherever you put your hands. There’s five inches of clearance as well, so even lifters with giant paws should be able to get their hands in comfortably.
The bar itself is extremely heavy-duty — with an emphasis on the word “heavy.” It weighs nearly 15 pounds, so you can get a pretty good pump just from lugging it around without any additional plates.
If you’re using standard one-inch plates (which is what the manufacturer recommends), you can fit up to 300 pounds on this baby. That should be more than enough to build massive triceps.
The biggest downside to this bar is the price. It’s not cheap, and that’s before you buy any plates for it. Still, if you want an excellent piece of equipment that should last the better part of forever, it’s worth every penny.
What I Liked
- Perfect for those who prefer free weights
- Spin lock collars keep plates secure
- Handles give plenty of room for hands
- Can hold up to 300 pounds
What I Didn’t Like
- Bar can chip if weights aren’t secured properly
- On the pricey side
What We Looked For in the Best Tricep Bars
To a novice weightlifter, every single tricep bar may look pretty much the same. However, when you’ve spent as much time pushing and pulling on chrome bars as we have, you learn that there are a few key things that can set the great bars apart.
Most tricep bars are fairly inexpensive, so while cost was a factor in our decision-making process, it wasn’t as important as the following criteria:
-Comfortable to use, even after lengthy sessions
-Easy to swap out when necessary
-Provides a secure grip, no matter how sweaty palms get
-Durable, even if you’re hard on equipment
How to Choose the Right Tricep Bar
We believe that the A2ZCare Rotating Bar is the best tricep bar, it may not be a perfect fit for every situation. If you’re not sure if it’s right for you, then you should look at other options before making a purchase.
When you’re considering those other options, though, there are a few things you should look out for, each of which we’ll cover in more detail below.
There are several different types of tricep bar out there. The most common are made to attach to cable machines; these can be straight bars, V-shaped handles, or thick, braided ropes.
Others are created for use with free weights. These are usually cage-like structures that make it easy to lift the weight over your head, although they can also be straight or curled bars.
The design is important for more than just appearance’s sake. Different designs allow you to do different exercises, and some are more versatile than others.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily just have to target your triceps with this equipment, either. Some bars can be used to exercise a variety of muscle groups, including your biceps, chest, back, and more.
If you’re like every other lifter in our gym, then you can occasionally be rough with your gear. Whether that means dropping the bar when your set is completed or tossing the attachment on the floor after swapping it out for something different, you’ll want your equipment to be able to handle some mistreatment.
Most tricep bars and attachments are made of steel, so it should be pretty hard to break them. Less-durable models can be prone to chips or cracks, though, and this can make the bar less comfortable to hold (and possibly less safe to use).
If the bar has rubber grips or something similar, then these pieces can crack and break off as well.
Look for a bar that looks like it can stand up to rough treatment, or, failing that, one that has parts that are easy to replace when they get damaged. You can usually replace the grips, but if the bar itself gets damaged, you might just have to bite the bullet and buy a whole new one.
Many weightlifters live under a “no pain, no gain” philosophy, so they feel like if they’re not hurting themselves, they’re doing something wrong. That’s not the case — you shouldn’t have to deal with blisters, scrapes, cuts, and cracked palms in your quest to get in the best shape of your life.
While just about every bar will have knurling on it to improve your grip, that knurling shouldn’t feel like sandpaper. Your hands should be in great shape, even after a long and exhausting session.
You may also opt for a bar that has rubber or some other sort of padding on the grip. This makes things more comfy for you, but it may also drive up the price. If the rubber isn’t textured or knurled, it may impact your grip as well.
We feel that the A2ZCare Rotating Bar is the best tricep bar, but any of our top 5 choices will help you reach the next level in your training efforts. Every bar on this list can help you build huge, defined triceps that you can’t wait to show off.
The only thing that these bars are missing is a pair of scissors so that you can cut the sleeves off all your shirts.