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My 6 Favorite Tricep Exercises

by Courtney on April 4, 2012

The other day while I was at work, one of the women I was training asked me if we could spend some time working on, what she called, her “after wave.”

Ahh yes, that lovely area of the arm that seems to be one of the hardest to tone. Don’t we all just love it?

Well, on that same particular day, I happened to get an email from a reader wondering if I could share some of my favorite tricep exercises with her, since she’s trying to get ready to look great in her strapless wedding dress.

So I took that as a sign. The weather is getting warmer and the tank tops are coming out, so I put together a little list of some of my favorite tricep exercises that I’ve been using lately. Time to get those arms in tip-top shape!

tricep exercises

Skull Crushers

How To: Hold one dumbbell between right thumb and pointer finger. Slide left hand under right hand for support. Keep knees hip width apart and hips lifted. Straighten out arms by lifting the weight up. Pause for one second, begin lowering the free weight back to your starting position, and repeat.

*If you don’t have a stability ball, you can do overhead tricep extensions instead (see below).

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

 

 

Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension

How To: Sit straight (on bench or stability ball) or stand. Hold a dumbbell overhead with both arms, slowly lower down behind your head, and return to start.

Optional: Use one arm at a time but be sure to lighten the load a bit.

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

Diamond Pushups

How To: Get into a push up position and place hands directly under shoulders in a diamond shape. Lower down to ground, keeping core tight, then press back up through triceps.

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

Stability Ball Pushups

How To: Get in pushup position with hands on center of a stability ball. Bend elbows, lowering yourself toward the ball. When your chest comes within an inch or two of the ball, press back up.

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

 

Bench Dips

How To: From a seated position, place hands on the edge of a bench as close to your butt as you can. Move your butt off of the bench, lower as far to the ground as possible, keeping butt and lower back close to the bench. Use triceps to push back up to starting position, fully extending arms and squeezing triceps.

Increase the difficulty: elevate feet on another bench or stability ball, or hold a dumbbell/weight plate in your lap.

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

Medicine Ball Triceps Pushups (advanced)

How To: Place both hands on a medium or large-sized medicine ball. Keep palms facing one another towards the side of the ball. Keep elbows close to your sides and lower your chest all the way to the medicine ball. As you lower, be sure to keep core tight and don’t let hips sag towards the floor.

Make it Easier: Perform the pushups from your knees.

How Many: Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting for up to 30 seconds between sets.

*****

Most, if not all, of the exercises shown above can be done at home, as long as you have a set of challenging dumbbells, a medicine ball, and a stability ball.

Incorporate a couple of them into your next upper body workout, or, give yourself a killer tricep workout by doing all six of them in a circuit.

Your triceps will be burnin’! Winking smile

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo April 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Love me some bench dips and overheAd extensions- bring on summer!

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2 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Awesome! I am getting married in a strapless dress too and have been looking to tone my arms. I love the variety of workouts you incorporated, tricep dips were getting old! :)
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3 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I LOVE the diamond pushups! They always make me feel so strong! :)
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4 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third April 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Yes! Perfect timing! Sleeveless season is right around the corner! :)
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5 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss April 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

diamond pushups. a.k.a., death.
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6 Kim @ The Family Practice April 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

the “after wave” ha I love it! Great combo of exercises you put together too!
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7 Alysia April 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I just did an arm workout yesterday, my triceps are burning today! It’s definitely an area I need to tone. I do bench dips often, then overhead and kickbacks using weights. The diamond push ups are something I should tackle-I avoid them because they’re a little difficult for me. I’ll have to try this routine next time!

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8 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Some great ideas!! I do the bench dips a lot. I want to try those diamond push-ups!! :)
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9 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life April 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Lol at after wave. That is the worst part of arms in general! Definitely trying out some of these moves.

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10 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’m doing Livefit trainer and triceps were yesterdays focus area. Those damn diamond pushups are hard! I’m definitely hurting today!
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11 Kalyn April 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I can’t wait to try these moves! I love your shoulder workout that you recently posted, and I am excited to incorporate these, as well. My arms will be ready for summer in no time!

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12 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes April 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Dips are my favorite exercise in general. You will never catch me doing a medicine ball push up. Maybe trying…but never doing.. ;) #faceplant
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13 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance April 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I’m going to try these tomorrow!
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14 Lindsay @ Fuel My Family April 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Diamond pushups or medicine ball pushups look like they’d destroy me! Pushups are the one exercise that is the hardest for me for some reason. I can work the same muscles using different exercises and I feel strong but pushups just kick my butt. Maybe that means I should do them more!
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15 Karen @ gothamgirl April 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

diamond push ups is something i will definintely have to try! i usually like to do push ups with one leg in the air, that way i can keep my core activiated as well.

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16 Yellow Haired Girl April 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’ve been starting to hate tricep dips. Thanks for showing me some variety :)
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17 kaylie April 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Thank you SO much! I’m a trainer too and have been looking for some innovative tricep workouts. Plous, I’m just about to go complete an upper body workout myself! :]
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18 michelle kim April 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Thanks for the pictures!
Wow, the pushups on the stability ball and medicine ball look crazy hard!
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19 Talia @ Bite Size Wellness April 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm

The tank tops are coming out! Yahoo! Thanks for the detailed break down as always. I will def have to work up to being able to do a medicine ball push up ;)
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20 Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit April 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I love tricep exercises!
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21 Tessa @ Amazing Asset April 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Triceps are such a weak part of my body, these are great ideas to toughen those bad boys up!
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22 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine April 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm

This is great! I need to work on my “after-wave” too!
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23 Lauren @ Fun, Fit and FAbulous April 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Thanks for sharing! Great reminders to mix up the routine. I love tricep dips! You can feel the burn after 3 and the rest are just a party in your arms! ;)
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24 Miz April 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

Im a SKULL CRUSHERS LOVER :)
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25 Courtney April 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Great minds think alike ;)

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26 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 5, 2012 at 7:34 am

Triceps are killers! Thats one muscle that gets sore when I workout!! But it’s the best way to get rid of flabby arms!!! Thanks for the post!
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27 Maggie April 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Oh gosh, my triceps suck. I can’t even DO a diamond pushup haha :) Definitely an area I need to work on. I did bench dips & triceps kickbacks this morning, so that’s a start!
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28 Andrea September 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

I used to be a competitive gymnast for 9 years and had great arms, but now that I’m not a gymnast I’ve been extremely busy and haven’t had any time to work out. How long will it take to see results?

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29 Courtney September 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

There’s really no way to tell, as everyone is different. It’s also very dependent on how much time you’re willing to commit.

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