Tricep Exercises for Men and Women

These tricep workouts listed are for both men and women. Both of you can follow these workouts for building and toning your triceps. This section contains detailed descriptions of all major exercises that focus on the triceps.

As the name implies, the triceps brachii consist of 3 muscles named the Lateral, Medial and Long heads. Once fully developed they resemble a horseshoe. Read through the exercise descriptions thoroughly so you know exactly what the exercise is going to accomplish, how to execute it properly and safely and how to best incorporate the exercise into your tricep workouts.

You can do tricep exercises in various forms. Variation does matter to the growth of your muscles. Update your workouts every two to four weeks for better results. You can do tricep exercises with barbells, dumbbells, resistance bands, machines, and more.

Mentioned exercises is a list of all practical tricep exercises that you can include in your workout schedule. You’re not supposed to do all of these on a single day. Also, always warm up the triceps with lower weight for greater resistance to any potential injuries.

1. Lying Tricep Extension

The Lying tricep extension is one of the most effective exercises for triceps. It primarily works on the long head of the triceps which is the largest part of your triceps and is found running down the back of your arm, it works the medial and lateral heads secondary.

There are many variations of this exercise. If you increase the incline angle of the bench it will more effectively target the long head tricep. In the alternative, the flat bench will more effectively target all three heads. They can be performed with a barbell, EZ curl bar (pictured below), dumbbells, pulley or cable, resistance band, etc…

Instructions for EZ Bar Lying Tricep Extension:


1.  Grab the EZ bar with an underhand grip and lie face-up on a bench with

    the head, back, and buttocks in contact with the bench and the feet flat

    on the floor.

2.  Extend the arms straight up, keep the arms locked. This will be the

     starting position.

3.  Keeping the upper arms stationary, slowly lower down the bar until it is

     about to touch the forehead. Pause and squeeze the triceps, then slowly

     raise back up to the starting position.

4. This will complete your one repetition.

5. Exhale as you raise the bar up. Inhale as you lower down.

6. Repeat it until failure (8-12 reps / 2-3 sets).


2. Tricep Pushdown

The tricep pushdown is an essential exercise for tricep development. It isolates the medial and lateral heads of the triceps during the pushdown motion. Although it is most commonly performed using a pulley system, it is possible to use a resistance band for at-home workouts.

There are many types of handle attachment variations for this exercise, e.g. straight bar, V-bar, rope, single-hand, etc.…

Instructions for Tricep Pushdown:

1.   First, attach a V-bar (or another handle attachment) to a high pulley

     machine. Next, select a weight from the stack.

2.  Stand approximately 2 feet away from the machine and grip the V-bar

     with the palms facing down. Bring the arms close to the body and

     slightly lean forward.

3.  Keeping the upper arms stationary, bring the V-bar down so that the

     forearms are parallel with the floor. This is your starting position.

4. Using the triceps, push the V-bar down until your arms are fully extended.

     Give the triceps a squeeze, then slowly raise the V-bar back to the

     starting position.

5.  This will complete your one repetition.

6.  Exhale as you push the bar down. Inhale as you raise up.

7.  Repeat it until failure (8-12 reps / 2-3 sets).


3. Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension

Dumbbell overhead tricep extensions are an effective exercise used to build tricep strength and muscle. They focus on the middle and inner heads of the triceps muscles. The vertical position of the arm stretches the long head of the triceps brachii, emphasizing the contraction while working.                               

This exercise can be performed either in a standing or seated position. The seated position on an upright bench (90-degree chair) is preferable to standing as it gives support to the back for greater resistance to any potential injuries.

Also, you can perform seated dumbbell triceps extension while seated on a flat bench without support (pictured below).

Instructions for Seated Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension:

1.   Sit on a flat bench and hoist a dumbbell overhead, holding it with both

     hands, palms cupped against the upper inside plates. This is your starting


2.  Keeping the upper arms stationary beside your head, slowly lower the

     dumbbell behind the head until the elbows are past 90 degrees.

3.  Pause and squeeze the triceps, then slowly raise back up to the starting


4. This will complete your one repetition.

5. Exhale as you raise the dumbbell up. Inhale as you lower down.

6. Repeat it until failure (8-12 reps / 2-3 sets).


4. Seated Tricep Extension Machine

Seated tricep extension machines are great for building strength and size in the triceps muscle. Most gyms and health clubs have tricep extension machines that vary widely in appearance but perform basically the same movement.

They typically have an adjustable seat; some triceps machines may have a back rest. This is very important, because you will be able to perform the machine triceps extension with much more weight on a machine that has a back rest.

A back rest will give you a great amount of support. Seated tricep extension machines do a good job of isolating the triceps because the backs of the arms are firmly against a pad, making it harder to cheat. They also provide continuous resistance as you raise and lower the weight.

Instructions for Seated Tricep Extension Machine:

1.   Adjust the seat height so that the shoulders are high enough to keep the

     elbows from hyper extending in the start position.

2.  Select the desired resistance. Sit in the tricep extension machine with the

     feet flat on the floor.

3.  Grip the machine handles with the palms facing inward. This is your

     starting position.

4.  Slowly push the handles down until the arms are fully extended.

5.  Give your triceps a one-second squeeze, then slowly return the handles to

     the starting position.

6.  This will complete your one repetition.


5. Dumbbell Tricep Kickback

Dumbbell tricep kickbacks are a popular tricep exercise. Kickbacks are a great exercise for working the back head of the triceps. They can be performed in various positions, e.g. laying on an incline bench, bent over with feet on the floor, kneeling off a bench (pictured below).

Also, they can be performed either one-handed, two-handed, or alternate. Maintaining good form and control throughout this movement is challenging. Performing this exercise with a single dumbbell while using a bench for support can assist you with maintaining good form.

Instructions for Dumbbell Tracep Kickback:

1.   Place a dumbbell on the floor next to a workout bench. Place the right

leg on the bench and grab the far side with the right hand, then bend

over so the upper body is parallel with the ground.

2.  Reach down and pick up the dumbbell with the left hand with a neutral

grip (the thumb forward), then raise the elbow until the upper arm is

parallel with the ground.

3.  Allow the dumbbell to hang straight down. This is your starting position.

4.  Keeping the back straight and the upper arm stationary, slowly raise the

dumbbell up and back, concentrate on lifting with the tricep muscles.

5.  Give the tricep muscles a one second squeeze at the top of the

movement, then lower the weight back to the starting position in a slow,

controlled manner.

6.  This will complete your one repetition. Exhale as you press the dumbbell

up. Inhale as you come down.

7.  Repeat it until failure, alternate arms (8-12 reps each / 2-3 sets).


6. Parallel Bar Dip

Parallel bar dips are a compound exercise in that they promote the development of multiple muscle groups at the same time. They primarily work on the triceps, but in fact dips are a full upper-body exercise. This exercise requires you to lift loads equivalent to your body weight.

Thus, the heavier you are, the more challenging they become. You can also make the parallel bar dips more challenging by fastening a dumbbell between the feet secured with a strap or dipping belt around the waist.

Alternatively, you can use a weighted vest. Should you find it hard to perform the traditional dips that involve bars, you can switch to bench dips.

Instructions for Parallel Bar Dips:

1.   Grab the parallel bars at shoulder-width apart. Press the body straight up,

and keep the arms locked.

2.  Hold the head forward, the chest up, and bend the knees. This will be the

starting position.

3.  Slowly lower the body by bending the elbows until the upper arms are

roughly parallel with the ground (or slightly deeper if comfort allows).

4. Hold for one second, then press the body back up to the starting position.

5. Throughout the full range of motion, keep the elbows tucked in tight to

the sides, contract the abs, keep the knees bent and feet together.

6. This will complete your one repetition.

7. Inhale as you lower down. Exhale as you press up.

8. Repeat it until failure (2-3 sets).


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