It’s easy to think that to get bigger, more toned arms, we should focus all of our attention on our biceps. However, this is counterproductive! The triceps make up a larger portion of our arms than the biceps do, so by focusing on developing this muscle group, we’ll see greater results.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the triceps muscle. We’ll cover some basic anatomy and then move on to 7 of the best exercises you can do to work for this muscle group. Plus, we’ll also share some tips on how to best integrate tricep training into your weekly workout routine.
Understanding Your Triceps
The maximum percentage of your triceps is located on the back of your biceps muscles that’s your long head. The full name of your upper back arm is triceps brachii, which means three-headed arm muscle. All three different origins of the triceps and one insertion point make a horseshoe shape of this muscle. By doing a common triceps workout all three heads work, but it can be possible to emphasize only one head muscle of the triceps at a time by choosing a specific exercise.
One of the most loving tricep muscles is the lateral head that everyone wants to grow. The main reason is its horseshoe shape which makes your arm more attractive and shapely. In this article, we cover all the best exercises that build your tricep lateral head muscle.
- Long head – the inside of the upper arm
- Medial head – between the long and medial heads
- Lateral head – the outside of the upper arm
The triceps are an important muscle group for functionality and aesthetics. To get the best results, you should perform exercises that target all three sections of the muscle. This will help to ensure that your triceps are strong and can support your body during everyday activities.
10 Dumbbell Tricep Exercises That Work Great
You can do many tricep exercises with all kinds of different equipment and machines, but the following 10 exercises use only dumbbells. That means you can do them right at home without having to go to the gym… and they’re still really effective for building up your tricep muscles!
1. Overhead Dumbbell Extension
- Sit on a bench and grab one dumbbell. Grip the top end of the weight with both hands like a form Diamond.
- Lift the dumbbell until your arms are fully extended up with a dumbbell with palms facing and elbows pointing forward.
- Bending at the elbows and squeezing your triceps, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head toward the spine.
- Then with control return to starting position and repeat.
Why Overhead DB extension: Overhead triceps extension exercise is the best isolation exercise for the long head muscle of your triceps. It helps to develop your triceps muscle growth and size. This is the best triceps workout with dumbbells.
2. Ticeps Dumbbell French Press
- Lie down back on a sturdy bench with your knees bent and feet flat.
- Hold lightweight in each hand and straighten your arms directly over your chest.
- Engage your core, make an arch on your back and keep your palms facing each other.
- Now bend your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells towards your shoulders until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
- Pause for a second, and then press back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Why French Press: The Dumbbell French Press is an exercise in which you raise your arms, bend them at the elbows, bring your forearms toward the shoulder, and then straighten them back up. This is one of the best-isolated exercises for the triceps that build your tricep shape.
3. Kickback Tricep
- Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your palms facing in toward your body.
- Put your left hand on the bench straight and your left shin on the bench by bending your knees.
- To be stable, the posture places your right leg on the floor.
- Engage your core and maintain a straight spine as you hinge forward at the waist, bringing your torso almost parallel to the floor.
- Above the elbow arm portion, fix and close it your body and your head in line with your spine.
- On a exhale, engage your tricep by straightening your elbow.
- Only move your forearm during the movement. Pause when your push the dumbbell and then inhale to return the weights to the starting position. Return it slowly until your forearm makes a perpendicular position with the upper arm.
- When you complete desired reps on one side of your arm and then hold the dumbbell on the opposite side of your arm. Do the same as you did with your right arm.
Why Tricep Kickback: A kickback triceps workout is a very effective and faster building exercise of your lateral head triceps. When you kick the dumbbell back with full force, it generates great pressure on your triceps that you feel by doing exercise.
4. Standing Single Arm Tricep Extensions
Hold a dumbbell in one hand directly behind your head, with your elbow bent and pointed towards the ceiling. Extend through your elbow until your arm is straight and the dumbbell is directly above you. Lower your arm back to starting position slowly and repeat. Kept your elbow steady at the movement.
Why Single arm Tricep extension: Single arm overhead tricep extension is an excellent way to target all three heads, and a great exercise to add to your fitness routine. The triceps extend or straighten, the elbow, as well as aid the shoulder muscles to extend the arm
5. Tate Press
Lie back on a flat bench with dumbbells in each hand. Straight the arm, your palms face away from you or forward, and make an arch on the lower back (space between your lower back and bench). The sides of the dumbbells should be close together or touching.
Inhale as you flex your elbows and slowly lower the dumbbells down toward your chest. Hold the dumbbells over your chest for a count of two. Do not allow the dumbbells to rest on your chest. Exhale as you flex your elbows and press the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
Why Tate Press: The Tate press is a targeted pressing exercise that builds triceps strength and muscle. This pressing movement is highly isolated at the triceps because the elbows are the only point that should be moving freely through flexion and extension.
6. Dumbbell Skull Crushers
Grab dumbbells in both hands. Lie on your back with your arms straight and reach toward the ceiling, holding dumbbells over your upper chest. Keep your palms either facing your feet or facing parallel to each other. Keep your shoulders stable and bend your elbows, lowering the weight toward your forehead. Hold for a beat. Then straighten your elbows, pushing the weight back to an overhead position.
Why DB Skullcrusher: The Dumbbell Skull Crusher is a great triceps exercise that can be done at home because it requires little to no equipment. It is great for building and toning the triceps. The dumbbell skull crusher is a more challenging variation of the classic skull crusher.
7. JM Dumbbell Press
Grabs the dumbbells in both hands, your palms facing away from you or toward the ceiling to dumbbells are in line with others by their ends.
Elbows will remain above the torso throughout the movement. As you lower the dumbbells the grip will transition to a “pseudo false grip” prior to the pressing.
Slowly lower the dumbbell toward your chin by tucking your elbows parallel to the ground. Then press to extend the elbows to allow the triceps to do work.
Why JM DB Press: The JM Press can be a great accessory for building the overall size and strength of your triceps, helping you grow bigger arms and increase strength in pressing variations (bench press and overhead press).
The Best Strategy for Training Your Triceps
Now that you know some great tricep exercises that can be done with dumbbells, it’s time to learn the best strategy for implementing them!
Compound Tricep Exercises vs. Isolation Tricep Exercises
Isolated tricep exercises are great, but if you really want to give your triceps a workout, you should focus on compound exercises. These exercises require more than one joint and more than one type of muscle to complete, so they help work multiple muscle groups at once. Plus, compound exercises tend to be more efficient in terms of time and energy, so you can get a better workout in less time when you focus on these types of exercises.
There’s a reason why compound exercises are more effective for developing triceps muscles than isolation exercises – you can load the triceps a lot less during compound movements. However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid isolation exercises altogether. Instead, focus on compound exercises first, then follow up with isolation exercises to really work those triceps muscles.
When to Train Triceps
When it comes to tricep training, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The approach you take will depend on the rest of your weekly workout routine and what your ultimate training goals are. Here are a few different options to consider:
If you’re using a push/pull & legs approach to your workout routine, place emphasis on your triceps on your push day. This can be done by including more tricep exercises or increasing the number of tricep sets you do. You can also include a few tricep exercises on leg day.
Here are some tips for getting strong, toned triceps:
-Include some tricep work in your weekly workout regime.
-Do variations of other exercises that focus more on your triceps, such as narrow grip dumbbell push-ups.
-If you’re into muscle group split training, aim to get in at least two days where your focus is on your upper arms.
There are plenty of great tricep exercises you can do with dumbbells. Dumbbells allow you to develop equal strength in both your left and right arms, which can help create a more symmetrical appearance in your upper arms.
Of course, it’s always good to have variety in your workouts and to use different machines and pieces of equipment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great tricep workout with dumbbells only! So if that’s all you have available, don’t worry – you can still get a great workout.
I hope you’re feeling well-equipped and in-the-know after reading about tricep workouts with dumbbells. Now it’s time to put some of these exercises into practice by incorporating them into your workout regime. Remember to be smart about it, as you now know how!