How to Do Tricep Extensions

It was a nice summer evening…

I was putting on my summer dress to meet some old classmates and ended up wearing a cardigan in the 85-degree heat! Why you might ask?

Well, it started when I noticed my bingo wings-those little flaps of skin on the tops of our arms near the armpit.

I spend all my days wearing sweaters to the office because it’s so cold anyways-so I had hardly noticed this! I vowed to not wear cardigans to outdoor bistros ever again.

Call it a bat wing, call it a bingo wing, call it chicken fat-either way, it’s got to go!

Thankfully, the great exercise known as the tricep extension can help us get that under control and make us even stronger in the process.

What Is the Tricep Extension?

Whenever we push, pull or bend/straighten our arms, we are using the tricep muscles. These are located at the back of our arms.

They start right at the shoulders and end at the elbows. They contain the stuff needed to keep your upper arms active.

When you choose to work these important muscles, you are gaining the benefits of doing so: that is:

  • Increased strength
  • Better circulation
  • Greater flexibility

You will also notice an improvement in the stability and strength of your chest, your back, and your shoulders as your triceps get stronger.

For those of you who would like bigger arms, these muscles are going to be key in helping you get what you want.

Tricep extensions target your tricep muscles by repetitively flexing the elbow joint against resistance. We are going to go over some exercise ideas that will surely help you no matter your goal.

Tips for Great Tricep Extensions

  • Keep the elbows nice and still as you complete the exercise so that you are isolating the tricep muscle and making it work hard.
  • Hold the position for a second when your arms are fully extended.
  • Shoulder presses are also great ways to work your triceps. This is good but be very careful that you do not overload your triceps with exercises done back to back.

What Tricep Extensions Can I Do?

There are many ways you can work your triceps to get the results you want. We will take you through a few methods you can use to get your arms toned, strong and ready for tank top season.

Method 1: Overhead Tricep Extensions

Start by finding yourself a pair of dumbbells.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and core tight. Hold one of your dumbbells with both hands.

Lift the dumbbell until your arms are extended fully with the palms facing the ceiling and the elbows pointed forward. This is known as the starting position.

Bend at the elbows and squeeze your triceps, then slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Method 2: Lying Triceps

Once again, be sure that you have your dumbbells ready to go.

Lie flat on the bench with one dumbbell in each hand. Be sure that your head is positioned near the edge of the bench.

Next, carefully extend your arms so the weight is above your head.

Bend at the elbows and slowly lower the dumbbells toward your shoulders and hold for a short pause.

Return to the starting position and repeat.

Method 3: Sitting Triceps Extension

Here is an exercise that the great Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone used when they were getting in shape.

Take a heavy, single dumbbell in your hands. Seat yourself on the bench. Most people like to use the gym bench that has back support.

Lift the dumbbell until your arms are extended fully with the palms facing the ceiling and the elbows pointed forward. This is known as the starting position.

Bend at the elbows and squeeze the triceps, just as you did in the first method. Slowly lower it behind your head. Then, return to the starting position and repeat.

Resistance Bands & Tricep Extensions

If you have resistance bands at your home or gym, you are in luck. Even the Victoria’s Secret Angels use resistance bands in their workouts, and you will find they are advantageous to help you tone up those arms.

Exercise 1: Arm Circles

Take your resistance band in your hands and hold it shoulder width apart.

Hold the band in front of the thighs, and then raise your arms overhead to move the band toward your butt and then back to the front of the thighs. Do 10 to 20 reps as a warm up.

Exercise 2: Arm Pulls

Hold your resistance band with both hands just a bit wider than shoulder width-and bend your elbows to 90 degrees.

Relax the shoulders and flatten the shoulder blades against the ribs.

Breathe out as you straighten your arms to the side-almost as if you are forming the letter T. Keep the elbows lifted as you go back to 90 degrees. Do as many as you can.

Exercise 3: Tricep Kickbacks

Hold the bands at the ends and step the right foot directly onto the center of the band. Then step your left foot back into a lunge position. Engage your abs and then bring your spine forward to a flat back position.

Bend the elbows past your ribs. Then, bend and straighten the elbows, keeping your upper arms lifted as high as you can. Do as many as you can.

Tricep Extensions on a Machine

If you are fortunate to have a gym membership, then ask one of the trainers or employees about the Triceps Extension Machine.

This neat machine is a great way to get a good triceps workout in without having to carry dumbbells around your gym or wait your turn for the correct weight to be re-racked.

An employee or fellow-gym goer can show you how to use the machine, but here are some basic instructions to help you start.

  • Adjust the seat to your height. Also be sure to select the weight that is best suited to your ability level. Allow your arms to rest on the pads and grasp the handles using your hands.
  • The machine tricep extension movement is completed by extending your elbow and then moving the lower arm away from the upper arm.
  • When you are done with each of these movements, simply pause and then return the weight to the original starting position.

You can also do tricep exercises using the cable extension machine at your gym.

FAQs on Tricep Extensions

Help! I Need A Workout for Triceps Without Weights!

No problem. You can do dips off a chair instead!

Do a dip by standing in front of the chair and then sit down on the edge of the seat. Put hands behind hips.

Lift up your butt out of the seat and scoot your feet forward. Keep hands securely on the chair so you do not slide off. Do not bend knees past the toes.

Then slowly lower yourself downward and do not bend your elbows past 90 degrees. Extend your arms and raise your body upward, supporting your weight with your arms.

What Weight Is Best to Use for Tricep Extensions?

You should use as much as you can comfortably hold. For some people, this is 5 lbs., others this might be 10 lbs.

You might even see some experienced gym goers at your facility using 20 or higher pound weights. Work your way up, starting small.

How Often Do I Work My Triceps?

You should train these muscles at least two times per week on non-consecutive days. That being said, you might make your triceps days Monday and Wednesday, or Friday and Sunday.

You can choose whatever days’ work for you so long as they are not consecutive-muscles have to rebuild!

Final Words

Say bye bye to that wiggly part of your arm once you start doing these great tricep workouts.

It will make you confident and happy to wear those sleeveless shirts and dresses, and you will love the confidence you feel when using the weights!



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