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Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

Updated on October 13, 2014

Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

Exercising your triceps are just as important as exercising your biceps. All too often, I have seen countless people in the gym, trying to build big biceps. That is entirely the wrong approach to building strength in your arms. The fact is that you should be interested in the development of the whole arm. Here are some of my favorite exercises using adjustable dumbbells to build your triceps. If you follow this advice, you will be able to take your guns to the next level.

images courtesy of bepositivelyfit under creative commons

Reclined Bilateral Tricep Extensions

Initial Position

Lie on your back on a bench with your upper arm still and elbows pointing toward ceiling. Hold a single dumbbell above your head by the inside of the weight with the other end of the dumbbell hanging down toward your forhead.


While keeping your elbows stationary, lower the dumbbell behind your head. Breath out while raising the dumbbell back above your head until your arms are only slightly bent.

Personal Trainer Tips

Be sure to begin with a light weight as this exercise will stretch your triceps. Too much weight can cause injury to your triceps. Repeat the exercise for 10 to 12 repetitions and 3 sets. Increase the weight over time as your triceps become strengthened.

Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps
Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

Standing Unilateral Tricep Extension

Initial Position

Stand straight up holding a dumbbell over your head.


Put all your weight on your heels and slowly lower the dumbbell. Go all the way down until your triceps is fully stretched. Then, bring the dumbbell back up.

Personal Trainer Tips

Start with a light weight to get an initial feel for the motion of the exercise. Be sure to keep your elbows stationary and your back straight. Don't use herky, jerky movements - keep it smooth and go all the way down with the weights until you feel the stretch.

image courtesy of admiller under creative commons

Reclined Tricep Extensions

Initial Position

Lie down on an exercise ball on your left side. Lower your left knee on the floor for balance. Extend your right leg straight out from your body keeping your body straight and balancing on the ball with your left hand. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and extend your arm toward the ceiling.


In a slow and controlled movement, bend your elbow and lower the weight behind your head until your elbow is about 90 degrees. Then pull your arm back up to a nearly straight position without locking your arm.

Personal Trainer Tips

Complete 10 to 12 reps on each side for up to 3 sets. Start with a light weight and gradually increase as your arms gain strength and conditioning.

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