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The Triceps Workout Tips You Need For Your Best Arm Day Ever

by Sarah Schuh - May 31, 2021

ICYMI: We love a good upper-body workout. Your typical list of upper-body exercises probably focus on biceps and forearms, so it's time to hone in on triceps workouts.

To help you work this often-overlooked muscle group, we enlisted the help of a few fitness experts.

Plus, we're leaving you with a guide you can save, screenshot or print to help you maximize your triceps workout anywhere. Scroll on for all the info on triceps workouts!

Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.

triceps workout

What are the best exercises for triceps?

When it comes to the best exercises for triceps, Leah Keller, Founder of Every Mother, shares two of her go-to moves with Lively.

Tabletop Triceps Extension

Start on all fours. Hold a weight in one hand and bend elbow to lift weight to chest. Extend your opposite leg straight with foot flexed, hips square to the floor. Pause, then brace core to straighten arm to lift the weight slightly above your body. 

Complete 2 sets of 12 reps on each side. You'll need one light dumbbell and a mat.

Triceps Extension In Spinal Twist
Lie faceup with knees bent, then drop them to the right side. Keeping shoulders square to ceiling, hold weight in left hand and lift your arm up toward the ceiling in a straight line from your shoulder, with palm facing toward your body. Inhale as you bend your elbow and lower the weight just outside of your ear. Exhale as you brace your core straighten the arm to lift the weight back up. 

Complete 2 sets of 12 reps on each side. You'll need one dumbbell and a mat.

What are the benefits of training triceps?

As you know, working out is great when it comes to supporting overall health and wellness. However, when it comes to training triceps specifically, "It's common to navigate towards upper-body exercises that target biceps, shoulders and chest," Bess Featherstone, Instructor at PowHerhouse Fitness Studio, says "But we can't forget about the backside of our upper arm: the tricep, a large muscle, made up of three parts. Working out triceps supports overall upper-body strength and will help round out the toning of those arms!"

As a muscle you use day-to-day, this is key.

"Many daily activities, like lifting heavy objects or carrying a child, can further enhance biceps strength without providing equal opportunity to the triceps," Keller says. "Strengthening the triceps also helps keep us safe in day-to-day movements like getting up and down from a chair (pushing off from the seat with our arms) and reminds us to incorporate healthy breathing and core engagement into even these simple, day-to-day physical activities."

How do I build triceps fast?

When it comes to stronger triceps, it's easy to understand why you'd want these results fast. However, there are no "quick wins" when it comes to building continuous strength.

Here are two more exercises from Dani Coleman, LA Lead Trainer at P.volve Los Angeles and NASM Certified Trainer, that will help build triceps strength, safely and gradually. The best part — there are more than just two triceps exercises you can incorporate into your routine, so you won't get bored!

 


Overhead Triceps Extension
Bring your elbows up by your eyes and tightly frame your face with your arms holding the weights in your hands.Relax your shoulders, neck, and engage your core to protect your low back. Keeping your elbows tight around your face, extend the weights up towards the sky and then pull back down with tension.

Complete 10 – 20 reps. You'll need a set of light weights.


Eccentric Triceps Push-Up
Start in high plank with wrists, shoulders, and elbows stacked. Maintain a soft bend in your elbows and brace core. Bend your elbows to slowly lower down to the ground, then return to starting position by pressing away from the floor at the same tempo. 

To modify, perform kneeling push-up.

Complete 10 – 20 reps. You'll need a mat. 


"Increase your range of motion as you get more comfortable or stay in the microbends and focus on connecting your mind and body. We always say form first, range of motion second," Coleman says.

triceps workout

What is the best triceps isolation exercise?

Of course, there are many great triceps exercises.

"Probably my favorite, most versatile, and most effective triceps isolation exercise is the triceps overhead extension with a resistance band," Keller says. "A band challenges the triceps to activate at literally every angle of the movement, from the start to the end. In contrast, weight-based exercises tend to utilize a greater degree of momentum, which often means that there are some angles within the range of motion of the exercise where there is little or no muscle firing."

How can I train my triceps at home?

Want to strengthen your triceps without going to the gym? Try this triceps workout created by Featherstone you can do the gym or in your living room. (Spoiler alert: It's quick and it's fun!)

 

triceps workout

How to do it: Complete 8-12 reps of each move. Repeat the circuit 3 times. You'll need a set of dumbbells and a chair.

Looking for a challenge? On your final round, hold each movement as a PULSE for 30 seconds.

Triceps Kickback
Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, hinge at hips in a 45 degree angle, with knees slightly bent, one dumbbell in each hand. Engage your core and bend elbows at 90 degrees. Extend your arms behind you, keeping your upper arm still, the return to starting position. That's 1 rep.

Modifications: For lighter weights, extend both arms at once; heavier weights, you can alternate arms.

Dumbbell Press
Lie faceup with feet planted. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, arms above chest with palms facing in. Bend elbows to slowly lower your arms down until elbows touch the ground, then push back to starting position.

Modifications: For lighter weights, extend move arms at once ; heavier weights, you can alternate arms.

Chair Dip
Place your hands on a chair or bench behind you. With butt and hips underneath your shoulders, lower yourself down, aiming for a 90-degree bend in your elbows, and then push yourself back up. That's 1 rep.

Modifications: Knees can be bent or straight.

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