Easy Exercises That Strengthen Your Triceps

Starting a new arm routine can be exhilarating when you’re greeted with rapid results. But although you will make progress early on, you may find yourself stuck benching the same weight in the long run, unable to improve your strength. The solution to this conundrum could actually be cutting back on lifts that target your chest and biceps, and refocusing your efforts on your triceps. Try these seven exercises to get on the road to stronger, shapelier arms, and give your triceps a little more love.

Close-grip bench press

man lifting a barbell for bigger triceps

This exercise will have your triceps ripped. | iStock.com

Sometimes all you need is a minor tweak to completely change the way a certain lift works your body. The close-grip bench press is one of the best examples. By moving your hands closer to each other, you’ll drastically increase the load on your triceps. To perform this move, set yourself up with a bench and barbell as you do for a standard bench press. Using an overhand grip, grasp the bar with your arms at shoulder width, holding the bar directly above your chest. In a controlled motion, lower the bar down, then press straight back to the starting position.

Standing dumbbell tricep extension

tricep extension with dumbbells

You should be familiar with this exercise from gym class. | iStock.com

To do this move correctly, grasp a dumbbell above your head with both hands, thumbs facing down. Carefully lower the weight behind your head, keeping your elbows as close to your head as possible, then raise back to the starting position. It should be a controlled movement, without any bouncing. For a more detailed illustration and video, check out Bodybuilding.com.

Weighted bench dip

weight plate

Perform this move slowly. | iStock.com

Muscle & Fitness said it’s easiest to get into this setup with a partner, but you can do it by yourself as well. Start by setting two benches parallel to each other. They should be close enough for you to safely rest your heels on one while firmly gripping the other. Sit on one of the benches with the weight in your lap, then position your hands. Before raising your butt off the bench, move your heels, one at a time, onto the opposite bench. Raise yourself up, and you’re ready to start. Lower your body until your elbows form 90-degree angles, then press straight back up.

Lying triceps extension

man lifting weights at the gym

Be sure to perform quality over quantity lifts. | iStock.com

Muscle & Strength explains how to execute this exercise. Sit at the edge of a bench with the barbell resting on top of your thighs. With your palms facing down, grip the bar with your hands spaced shoulder-width apart. Bring the bar to your chest, lie back, then extend your arms directly above you. Without moving your elbows, lower the bar until it’s just above your head. Pause briefly, then return to the starting position.

Underhand kickback

Underhand kickback exercise

This workout will take some easing into. | iStock.com

Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward. Bend at the hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Keeping your upper arms tight against your sides, extend your elbows until your arms are parallel to your torso, then return to the starting position. Be sure to keep the motion controlled and the weights steady as you go.

Dumbbell rows

woman working out

Feel the burn. | iStock.com

The great thing about doing rows is that they work your entire upper body, so you can combine your tricep workout with your chest and bicep regimen. Take a cue from Men’s Health and start in a similar starting position as you did for your upperhand kickbacks, but with your arms hanging down toward the ground. Engage your core and keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides as you bend your arms and pull your dumbbells up towards your armpits. Extend your arms back towards the floor for one repetition.

Floor dips

Back of athletic woman with muscular physique holding pair of chrome

You’ll have this back in no time. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Tired of having to use dumbbells and stationary weight equipment? This weight-less exercise is perfect for you. Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and your feet placed hip width apart. Put your hands on the ground right at your sides and slide them back along the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Next, use both your hands and feet to help lift the rest of your body off the ground. Maintaining your enter of gravity, bend elbows and lower body closer to the ground, like you would during a push up. Straighten your arms back out for one repetition.

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