A male athlete looks intently ready to perform a workout

The Best Dumbbell Tricep Workouts and Exercises

The triceps are one of the most important arm muscles – but they sometimes get overlooked in favor of chest and bicep work. Strengthening your triceps is a must for building arm stability while improving elbow and shoulder movement. With these five bodyweight and dumbbell tricep workouts, you can meet your arm workout goals. Like most exercises, you should aim for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps with short breaks in between.

1. Neutral Grip Bench Press

The bench press has long been a way to target the pecs and front deltoids. With dumbbells, you can change the grip to emphasize the triceps for a double dose of arm exercise.

  • Lie back on a workout bench with a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight up and palms towards each other.
  • Slowly lower your arms to mid-chest while keeping the elbows tucked in by your sides.
  • Press the dumbbells up to the starting position.

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2. Advanced Triceps Dips

Dips are one of the most effective arm exercises for growing muscle — especially when you want to switch up your routine or don’t have dumbbells handy. Keeping your body vertical activates the triceps; leaning forward puts more load on the chest and deltoids.

  • Grasp parallel bars or a bench dip attachment with either hand.
  • Lift yourself until your arms are almost straight (don’t lock the elbows) and bend your knees.
  • Lower yourself with control until your shoulders and elbows are level.
  • Push yourself back up.

3. Triceps Bench Dips

This modified version of the triceps dip is excellent for beginners who can’t yet do advanced dips. It’s also more convenient since you don’t need any bars or attachments.

  • Sit on a workout bench or chair and grasp it on either side of your hips.
  • Walk your legs out while lifting your posterior in front of the bench. Your legs and arms should be straight with heels touching the ground.
  • Slowly lower yourself until your arms form a 90-degree angle.
  • Push yourself upward until the arms are straight again.

4. Overhead Triceps Extensions

Dumbbell extensions hit all three parts of the triceps, making them a must for a tri workout. They also activate the full range of triceps motion better than lying-down extensions.

  • Stand straight or sit on a bench with your back straight. Hold a dumbbell in both hands and extend it over your head.
  • Lower the dumbbell behind your head by hinging at the elbows. Point your elbows forward and tuck your biceps in.
  • Lift the dumbbell and straighten your arms to return to the starting position.

5. Diamond Push-Ups

Perhaps the hardest exercise listed, the diamond push-up shifts this traditional chest exercise to a triceps blaster. You can start with knee push-ups if you’re a beginner or put your feet on a bench for added difficulty.

  • Assume a plank position while touching your thumbs and index fingers together in a diamond shape. Keep your fingers spread. (If the diamond shape hurts your thumbs and wrists, you can make a triangle instead.)
  • Lower your chest to the floor. Keep you back straight and your elbows tucked.
  • Press yourself back up to the plank position.