Doing dumbbell triceps exercises is one excellent way to make your arms look better. One thing you should also understand about your triceps muscles and their functions is that it’s vital to include them in your workout routine to develop and train them.
When it comes to arm workouts, many often think that they should focus on the biceps to have leaner mass. However, this misconception is not true at all. Our triceps play an important role in your upper arm mobility and upper body, so it’s essential not to overlook them.
Our triceps are composed of three tricep heads: the long head, which is connected to the upper arms. It starts from the scapula to the elbow, extending and adducting from the shoulder joint. The medial head, which is the lower part of your triceps, stretches to your elbow joint. And lastly, the lateral head, which begins at the proximal point of the humerus superior bone, stretches down to the elbow and helps with your abduction movement arm.
All these tricep muscles are important to train and give your arms a full and well-proportioned look. Therefore, we gathered some of the best tricep dumbbell exercises to help you achieve it.
Without further ado, here is a list of dumbbell triceps exercises.
Best Dumbbell Triceps Exercises
1. Dumbbell Close Grip Bench Press
The dumbbell close grip is a classic and one of the best triceps dumbbell exercises you can do to enhance your triceps. Since this exercise is a dumbbell bench press, you will be using your chest and shoulders. As a result, you will improve your overall strength while targeting your triceps muscle.
How to do it:
For your starting position, lie down on a bench with feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other, and elbows tucked to your sides.
Grab both dumbbells and slowly lower them just above you while locking your elbows in.
Touch and hold both weights together, then slowly lower them just above your chest while keeping your elbows in.
Hold this position for a single breath. Then, slowly lift the dumbbells back to the starting position.
2. Dumbbell JM Press
The Dumbbell JM Press is one of the most unique dumbbell tricep exercises. Since this acts as a hybrid workout by using gravity press movements and the close grip dumbbell.
How to do it:
For the starting position, lay down on a flat bench. Hold the dumbbells in a vertical grip, and extend your arms fully. Then, slightly lower both weights to an arm angle, just above your shoulder.
Bring your elbow down gradually to the sides of your ribs. Hold for one to two breaths. Slowly extend your arms to the starting position.
3. Lying Triceps Extension
One common mistake many people make with the Lying Triceps Extension is by lifting the weights until their arms are straight up over their body. Doing this loses a lot of tension applied to the triceps. Instead, keep them slightly angled backward throughout the whole movement.
To make this exercise work better, train your triceps through failure and add intensity to your work. After you reach your limited concentric reps, drop the elbows and fit them out to your side in a bench press position.
Now rely on your chest and shoulders to bring those dumbbells back to the top. Then, eccentrically control the weight on the way down.
Try to perform as many reps as you can. Use your other muscles to bring the weights to the top.
How to do it:
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your upper arms slightly angled backward, instead of straight above your head with your elbows bent slightly.
Bend your elbows, then slowly lower the dumbbell beyond the top of your head. Extend your arms by squeezing your triceps up to the top of the movement.
4. Incline Kick Back
One of the best dumbbell tricep exercises for targeting your triceps’ long head muscles is incline kickbacks. This triceps kickback workout can be done with both arms. For more tension, you will need a bench lifted at a 45-degree angle.
For an extra element of isolation to your incline kickbacks, use an incline bench. This helps you target the muscles at a slightly different angle. The focal point will also change and your body is at a 45-degree angle, but you will be going through the full 90-degree range of motion.
This will strengthen the medial head and increase the power around your elbow, shifting the focus from your upper triceps to your lower triceps. Since the medial head consumes the most time under tension, this makes it the most effective option to develop your lower triceps.
How to do it:
For the starting position, lay your chest down on the bench. Hold both dumbbells with your upper arms in line with your torso. Keep your elbows relaxed and slowly extend your forearms until it is straight.
Hold this position for one breath, then slowly release your arms back to the starting position. You can do this workout with alternating arms. However, using both arms at the same time is more effective.
5. Bent Double Arm Kickback
The bent double-arm kickback is one of the best tricep workouts and dumbbell exercises for building and toning your triceps. Similar to the benched single-arm kickback, this exercise requires you to maintain your body in a flat-top position. However, one distinction is that you’ll be supporting your weight. This workout can be achieved unilaterally or with both arms simultaneously.
How to do it:
For your starting position, bend forward into a flat position. Knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and your upper arms parallel with your torso.
At a 90-degree angle, bend your elbows. Then, slowly extend your forearms backward until your arms are straight. Stay in this position for one breath, then release back to the starting position.
6. Close Grip Dumbbell Push Up
The close grip dumbbell pushup includes a better extension and range of motion while building strength in your triceps. This workout is also known as the “crush press” and is a variation of the dumbbell bench press, which is an exercise used to build the muscles of the triceps and chest.
However, the crush press includes more of the triceps compared to the other bench press variations. This workout regime is suitable for those who want to build a mind-muscle connection with their chest.
How to do it:
Begin in a plank position. Grab both dumbbells close to one another. These should also be placed directly underneath your shoulders. Palms facing inward. Slowly bend your arms at the elbow just past 90-degrees.
Hold for a single breath. Then lift yourself up and back to the start.
7. Plank Triceps Kickback
If you’re looking for tricep workouts and dumbbell exercises to challenge your core and triceps, we suggest you do a plank with a triceps kickback. This workout is also a compound movement, which allows multiple muscle groups to work all at once and save you more time.
The plank triceps kickback also works the Transverse Abdominis (TVA), which is also known as the deep core. This tricep muscle group serves as a girdle, extending from the ribs to the pelvis and wraps around the spine. As a result, you will achieve stability, and this muscle is activated whenever you sneeze, lift, and cough.
How to do it:
Begin in a plank position. Grab a dumbbell in one hand while holding your other non-working hand in one place. Hold your working arm in one place.
Hold your working arm parallel to your torso with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Extend your forearm back until straight, then hold for one breath before releasing back to the starting position.
Bulge Up Your Triceps with Dumbbell Exercises!
When it comes to arm workouts, many often think that they should focus on the biceps to have leaner mass. However, the truth is our triceps are just as important. Therefore, we gathered some of the best tricep exercises to help you achieve your tricep goals.
Tricep dumbbell exercises are a great way to build tricep strength and make your arms look better. Tricep dumbbell exercises are important to include in your workout routine to give your triceps a full and well-proportioned look.
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Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
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