You probably don’t have all the fancy equipment at home that’s lying around in your local gym, and I am guessing you’re more comfortable working out in the comfort of your house compared to going out and waiting for “that guy” to stop using the machine you want to workout with. If you agree with what I just said, then you’re in luck because I will cover the best tricep exercises with dumbbells you can perform at home.

Get Hold of a Cheap Pair of Dumbbells

In a gym, most tricep exercises are done with either a pully system or a barbell, but fortunately for us, you can replace them with cheap dumbbells that you can get from Craiglist or eBay and start working out from the comfort of your house.

While you can stick with traditional dumbbells, I highly recommend investing in a set of adjustable dumbbells. They will last a long time and won’t take as much storage space.

Get your dumbbell ready and get some work done Today!

Why Train Your Triceps?

When we train for an impressive looking arm, most of us think bicep, and because of this, the tricep can get neglected.

I’m sure you have seen a few guys and thought, “Damn, look at the size of that dude’s arm!” Well, it’s not the bicep giving off this effect; it’s the tricep.

You might not know this, but 60% of your upper arm is made up of the triceps muscle. This makes it an essential part of the body to work out regularly, and you should pay attention if you want to build, define, and strengthen your upper body.

With twice as many muscle fibers per square inch as your biceps, the triceps muscle runs along the back of your upper arm.

Triceps originate at the shoulder blade and the upper arm joint, descend behind the upper arm, cross the elbow, and insert behind the back of our forearm bones.

These muscles function as an extensor of the elbow and shoulder and assist in stabilizing your shoulder joint.

Your shoulders and elbows become more robust and stable as your triceps get stronger. This will improve your performance in daily activities and sports like tennis, swimming, and basketball, which require arm movements and upper-body strength. It will also increase your arm’s functionality, flexibility, and range of motion.

two arm tricep exercise

Difference Between a Good and a Bad Tricep

Well-developed triceps give the arms that much-wanted size, and it’s only with a well-trained tricep will your arms genuinely start to look impressive even when they are not flexed.

There’s a difference between big and good triceps. A good tricep allows you to see all 3 of the tricep heads, not just one overdeveloped head.

To achieve a good tricep, you can do different exercises to develop the separate heads of the tricep.

When you train the tricep correctly, it becomes very visible. It’s a relatively large muscle stretching from the rear of the deltoid to the elbows; you want all of the heads to be developed, which is achievable through different presses and extensions.

Tips for Training Your Triceps

The approach to training the biceps varies depending on your experience.

Beginners and Intermediates

I would suggest the following things for those who have just started training and want to build up good triceps and not just look for a big muscle.

  • Build up the strength and mass of the tricep muscle structure – This is usually done by performing basic presses and tricep extension movements. If you begin working out your tricep before building any strength, you risk an injury.
  • Don’t neglect your triceps – People who neglect to train their triceps, believing they get enough of a workout with all the other exercises in their routines, do get big triceps, but they are not good and lack definition.
  • Focus on Isolated Movements – For maximum tricep development, you really need to isolate the different heads of the triceps using different exercises for each head.

Hard Gainers

And for the few people out there who train both their triceps and biceps hard but still manage to have a disproportional sized bicep compared to a tricep, there are a few little tips you could try;

  • Train your tricep first – you try and train your triceps first in your workout. This will allow you to put more effort into your triceps and train better.
  • Super setting the triceps – Super setting is a technique used in strength training in which two exercises are performed back to back before a rest period is taken. This allows you to train much harder.
  • Weighted bodyweight exercises– Using calisthenics with weighted vests is something I found when my triceps were lacking; weighted dips worked a charm. Weighted bodyweight exercises, although compound exercises, can be slightly tweaked to put more stress on your tricep, helping them to develop more

General Tips to Keep in Mind

Following are some 101s of tricep building tips you need to know before doing the exercises mentioned below.

  • Try always to practice strict form and concentrate on locking out each movement.
  • Hold the full contraction of each movement for a few seconds at the top of each repetition.
  • Use a heavyweight in each exercise if you’re looking for mass but not too heavy to injure yourself.

The 4 Best Tricep Exercises with Dumbbells

Let’s dive into the best exercises you can do to train your triceps using dumbbells. We will discuss the benefits of each exercise and which tricep head it focuses on the most.

1. Lying Dumbbell Extensions

The lying triceps extension is an isolation exercise, as opposed to a compound movement; it targets the triceps, and only the triceps, natch across a single joint. It addresses all three, the long, the lateral, and the medial, ultimately resulting in the elbow’s straightening.

How to do it

  1. Grasp two dumbbells and sit on the end of your flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your thighs
  2. Lie back on the bench with your head even with the end of the back support
  3. Palms facing forward, hold one dumbbell in each hand, overhead arms straight
  4. Keeping your elbows fixed, lower the dumbbells down on either side of your head until the triceps are fully stretched
  5. Slowly press the dumbbells back up to the starting position, but lock the elbows before they are pointed straight up and squeeze the triceps for a few moments

Keep In Mind

  • Keep your elbows tucked in and facing your hips at all times. As you lower the dumbbells, be careful not to let them flare out.
  • Keep the reps slow and the weight under control the entire set.


Besides building stronger triceps and a more defined upper body, the lying tricep extension also aids in stabilizing the shoulder joint. You’ll notice a difference in your arm strength and flexibility, as well as your shoulder and elbow’s range of motion, after performing this exercise.


2. Lying Cross Face Dumbbell Extension

Training on a different angle on an extension movement works the triceps differently. The long head receives the most strain and mostly does all the work in this variation of Dumbbell Extension.

How to do it

  1. Lying on a flat bench, grasp a dumbbell in your left hand while performing the exercise.
  2. Keep the hand straight out in front of you with the palms facing almost forward.
  3. While maintaining the elbow position, move the weight across the body towards the right shoulder. You should feel a good stretch in the triceps as you do this.
  4. After that, bring your hands back to the starting position and squeeze your triceps at the top.
  5. After you have completed the required number of repetitions, switch arms and perform the exercise again.

Keep In Mind

  • Keep your elbows tucked in and facing your hips at all times. As you lower the dumbbells, be careful not to let them flare out.
  • Keep the reps slow and the weight under control the entire set.


The cross-body unilateral triceps extension is effective for building muscle because it completely isolates your triceps and equalizes the amount of work each arm receives. It creates muscle balance and trains the long head of the tricep, giving you the perfect definition.


3. Tricep Kickbacks (dumbbells)

Building strength in the arms and upper body can be accomplished straightforwardly and efficiently by performing triceps kickbacks. Including them in your routine can help you become more proficient in other types of physical activity. Although all three heads of the triceps work during a tricep kickback, the lateral head of the triceps is targeted explicitly during this exercise.

How To Do It

  1. Start with your knees slightly bent, place one foot in front of the other and place one hand on a flat bench.
  2. Pick up the dumbbell with your other hand using an overhand grip, raise your arm until it is in line with your body, keeping your elbow tucked into your side and bent to a 90-degree angle, about shoulder height.
  3. Whilst keeping your elbow stationary, extend your arm using your triceps until your forearm is parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold for a few moments giving the triceps a good squeeze, and slowly come back down to the starting position.

Keep In Mind

  • Make sure only your forearm moves in this exercise, keeping your upper arm as still as you can.


The triceps are worked with the dumbbell triceps kickback, specifically the lateral head, which is the most prominent. This exercise will help you to sculpt your arms, as well as increase your physical strength and contribute to the reduction of body fat.


One Arm Tricep Extensions

One of the most common exercises for the triceps is the single-arm dumbbell extension. This exercise works the triceps on one arm at a time. When performed with the arms overhead, it can be especially effective at building the long head of the triceps.

How To Do It

  1. Grab a dumbbell and sit on a flat bench; extend the dumbbell over your head so your whole arm is perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Keeping your elbow fixed and close to your head, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head in an arc as you hold the upper arms stationary.
  3. Press the weight back up to starting position.
  4. Now repeat with the other arm.

Keep In Mind

  • Make sure that your movements are linear and put even pressure on your triceps.
  • Stop in case of sharp pain in your joints, rest, and do it again with proper posture.


While training unilaterally will certainly lengthen your workouts, the one-arm dumbbell tricep extension is an invaluable exercise for reducing upper arm muscular imbalances because it ensures that both triceps receive equal work. This workout works the entire tricep, separating the three heads.

To Sum Up

You can now exercise your triceps in the convenience of your own home, which will help you achieve the well-defined and shredded body you deserve.

A good-looking balanced body is proportional to technique and effort, emphasizing the technique.

It is more important to have proper form than to spend a long amount of time performing the exercise. If you spend some time learning about human physiology, you will quickly become an expert.

If you incorporate these exercises into your routine, you will notice an immediate change in the appearance of your arms. Let me know in the comments which one you enjoyed the most and which others I may have missed.