I was recently in a second hand sporting goods store when I saw a weird-looking bar I wasn’t familiar with. A bit of research later and I know I was looking at a tricep bar. I’m a sucker for new equipment (new to me), so I went back and grabbed it. It can be used for a lot of different things. Trying to come up with a list of tricep bar exercises was pretty easy. Any piece of equipment can be held in different position or put in position of poor leverage in just about any movement. I’m mostly using it for pressing.
It’s more versatile than it appears, so I think calling it a triceps bar is simplistic. But on that note, I think what makes it focus on the tricep muscles, if you so choose, is the narrowness of the grip. And the grip is parallel, which puts a different load on the muscles. I’ve also done a lot of pressing with a log bar, and the parallel grip on that has done as much for my triceps as anything else has. If you’re looking for anything that is triceps-intensive with a barbell, you might enjoy the post I wrote on the close grip bench press.
If there’s a downside to the triceps bar I have, it’s simply that I can’t load it up as heavy as I’d like. I’m not sure how heavy they go, but the one I have is definitely not made for any big weight. If you have no idea what I’m talking about on this, here’s a video I found of a distinguished gent doing a demo with the bar:
Again, if you pick one up, you’re only limited by your own creativity. Is it an essential piece of equipment? No, I wouldn’t go that far, but the only thing you really need to get stronger is gravity. But do I like it? Absolutely. But then, I’m a fitness equipment pack rat.