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How To Get In A Solid Triceps Workout At Home

by Sarah Kester - April 19, 2021

Everyone knows you should add exercises that strengthen your triceps — the muscles that run along the back of your upper arm — to your workout routine, but you might not know how important it is.

On a scientific level, your triceps extend the elbow (this makes things like getting up off the floor and grabbing things off a high shelf possible). And when it comes to your workouts, it's a set of muscles you shouldn't forget about. However, if you don't add triceps training, it might feel like a daunting task to build muscle. The good news: You can get a good triceps workout in, even if all you have to work with is your body weight.

Enter these expert-recommended tips for a solid triceps workout at home.

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.

How can I train my triceps at home?

You don't need a rack of gym equipment at your disposal to fire up those triceps. Quite the opposite, actually: "Triceps are one of the easiest muscle groups to train at home," says Michael Pulley, a 25-time fitness competitor and actor. "All you need is a little leverage that allows you to extend your arms in a full range motion."

There are many triceps exercises you can do anywhere to help you do just that.

"Make sure to go slow and tighten all the muscles in your arms through each movement," Eliza Gwendalyn, kuudose Pilates expert, says.

triceps workout at home

What is the best exercise for triceps?

Add triceps kickback to your next arm day. It's one of the best exercises for triceps since it utilizes weighted resistance, kuudose expert Rick Richey DHSc, NASM-CPT, CES, says, which is essential in building the triceps.

There are several variations you can try to switch things up, adds Nancy Feinstein, ACE CPT, PN1 and Mindset Coach. This includes a single-arm kickback, or working both arms at the same time, and if you have access to a bench, you can do the move by placing a knee on it.

Another great at-home triceps exercise to do is a reverse plank, according to kuudose Founding Pilates and Yoga Expert, Ginger Harris.

"Be sure to stretch after because triceps are tiny muscles that burn out quickly," Harris says. "The best way to stretch is by pulling your arm across your body, holding on to your tricep (instead of your elbow)."

Try adding these triceps exercises to your next home workout. 


Triceps Kickback

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and stand with right leg forward. Engage your core and hinge at hips, keeping back straight, to place right hand on right thigh. With upper arm parallel to torso, bend elbow at 90 degrees, then slowly straighten your elbow, keeping arm close to torso. Slowly return arm to starting position. Complete as many reps as you can in 60 seconds, then switch to the other side. Repeat 2 to 3 times.

To modify, you can choose a heavier or lighter weight, with option to use body weight if you are just getting started.


Triceps Extension

Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Brace your core and keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Slowly press the dumbbell overhead, extending elbows until arms are vertical to the floor, but don’t lock your elbows. Pause, then lower the dumbbell behind your head until elbows reach a 90-degree bend. Slowly extend elbows to raise the dumbbell overhead, then repeat. Complete as many reps as you can in 60 seconds. Rest, then repeat 2 to 3 times.

To modify, you can choose a heavier or lighter weight, with option to use body weight if you are just getting started.


Triceps Dips

Sit at the edge of your chair and extend your legs out with a slight bend at the knee, heels touching the ground. Press into chair to lift your tailbone off the chair and slide your body slightly forward so you can clear the front of the chair. Slightly bend at the elbow to lower yourself down until elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Slowly push back up to starting. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.


Push-Up

Start in a high plank position, with shoulders stacked directly over wrist. Bend elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Keeping your core engaged and hips in line with the rest of your body, exhale, and push back up to the starting position. Repeat.


Skull Crusher

Lie faceup on a bench or the floor. Hold one dumbbell in each hands above your chest with arms extended. (You can use one or two dumbbells depending on your fitness level and weights available.) Bend your elbows to lower weight to your temples, keeping elbows in. Slowly straighten elbows to return to starting position. Repeat.


Reverse Plank

Sit on the floor with legs extended. Place palms on the floor, slightly behind hips, fingers pointing in toward glutes. Press through palms and lift hips and torso off the ground, forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and hold for 30 seconds. Slowly lower to the ground to return to starting position. Then repeat 2 to 3 times.


 

How can I build triceps without weights?

The secret to building your triceps without weights is actually pretty simple, and you can even get a good workout while watching Netflix. Triceps dips, for example, are a bodyweight exercise that simply requires the use of a sturdy, slightly elevated surface.

"You can use a chair, table or any hard surface," says Sheree Burton, certified fitness and nutrition coach. "Bending your knees will make these easier, while keeping them straight or even elevated will create more difficulty."

For other triceps exercises, if you don't have weights, you can use cans, water bottles or even clench a fist, adds Feinstein.

Another non-weighted triceps exercise you can do without weights is a push-up.

"There's no need for equipment and they're extremely effective at hitting the triceps," says Burton.

Like triceps kickbacks, there are many variations to hit the muscle in different ways. This includes close-grip or diamond push-ups. "These can be done on the ground in a full plank or modified position. They can also be done with your hands placed against a chair or table," Burton tells Lively.

How do I get bigger triceps?

In your quest to bigger triceps, it's actually less about the exercises you're doing and more about the mechanics of your workout. Increasing your weight, for instance, is one way to build muscle, says Feinstein. And you'll want to focus on working the muscle until near failure.

"Even higher-rep ranges like 20 [or more] reps can elicit muscular growth as long as you push yourself to near failure," Richey tells Lively. "Multiple sets and two training days per week are important."

This approach isn't for everyone, though. Richey recommends beginners start with one set and wait a day to see how their arms feel before progressing to multiple sets.

Finally, fitness experts will tell you that a huge part of increasing muscle mass is nutrition. You'll want to get enough protein to support muscular growth, says Richey. For this, refuel with Vital Performance™ Protein Bars (which come in three delicious flavors and 20g protein, including 10g collagen), or try adding Vital Performance™ Protein to your post-workout smoothie.

This is all part of eating enough calories for your body to increase muscle mass. “A sufficient amount of sets/reps and a high calorie diet will definitely add to muscle growth and larger triceps,” says Pulley.

Fuel Your Triceps Workout At Home With Vital Performance™

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