Some of the most well-known tricep exercises are done with a barbell or pully system. If you don’t own a barbell and you not lucky enough to have a cable pulley system in your home gym, you will be happy to know there are some great tricep exercises with dumbbells that will help develop the different areas of the tricep. All 4 of the exercises can be done with a set of dumbbells and a weight bench.
Just like the biceps, we want our triceps to look good from any view, which is why they need to be trained from different angles. The bicep is a relatively small muscle mass compared to the tricep, so the tricep demands just as much if not more training than the bicep.
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. Well developed triceps give the arms that much-wanted size and it’s only with a well-trained tricep will your arms truly 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 and this is achievable through different kinds of presses and extensions.
Beginners and Intermediate
For those of you who have just started training, I would suggest to first build up the strength and mass of the tricep muscle structure. This is normally done by doing basic presses and tricep extension movements. There are many different kinds of exercises, both presses and extensions, you can do. Shoulder presses put tremendous stresses on the tricep and so do dumbbell bench presses, these will help with both mass and strength.
I know a few guys who neglect to train their triceps, believing they get enough of a workout with all of the other exercises in their routines, and to a certain point, they are right. But training like this you may develop size but you will not develop the three heads to the max. For maximum tricep development, you really do need to isolate the different heads of the triceps using different exercises for each head.
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 tricep, there are a few little tips you could try;
- I’d recommend you try and train your triceps first in your workout,
- Supersetting the triceps can also give them a good shock into growth.
- One other good idea is to sometimes train the triceps alone, this will allow total shock to the triceps giving the tricep as much stimulant as possible.
I also found when my triceps were lacking, weighted dips worked a charm.
Tricep Training Tips
- Try to always practise strict form, concentrate on locking out each movement.
- Hold the full contraction of each movement for a few seconds at the top of each repetition.
- For mass use a heavyweight in each exercise.
Lying Dumbbell Extensions
- Grasp two dumbbells and sit on the end of your flat bench with the dumbbells resting on your thighs
- Lie back on the bench with your head even with the end of the back support
- Palms facing forward, hold one dumbbell in each hand, overhead arms straight
- Keeping your elbows fixed, lower the dumbbells down on either side of your head until the triceps are fully stretched
- 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
Lying Cross Face Dumbbell Extension
- Lie on a flat bench feet flat on the ground
- Grasp dumbbell with an overhand grip
- Keep your elbow pointing straight up and now bring the dumbbells across to the opposite shoulder
- Squeeze the tricep for a few moments at the top of the movement
- Repeat with the opposite arm
- Start with your knees slightly bent, place one foot in front of the other and place one hand on a flat bench
- 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
- Whilst keeping your elbow stationary, extend your arm using your triceps until your forearm is parallel to the floor
- Hold for a few moments giving the triceps a good squeeze and slowly come back down to the starting position
Make sure only your forearm moves in this exercise keeping your upper arm still as you can.
One Arm Tricep Extensions
Works the whole of the tricep, separating the three heads
- Grab a dumbbell and sit on a flat bench, extend the dumbbell over your head so your whole arm is perpendicular to the floor
- Keeping your elbow fixed and close to your head, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head in an arc as you hold the upper arm stationary
- Press the weight back up to starting position
- Now repeat with the other arm
As you can see from the descriptions you will need a bench and a set of dumbbells to get the most from these exercises.
If you haven’t already got a bench I strongly recommend buying an adjustable bench, why? Because adjustable benches offer you both flat and various incline options for countless dumbbells and barbell exercises, so if you haven’t already bought one and you are thinking of buying. Please check out our detailed bench reviews and comparisons;
Just click on any of the three pictures below to take you to the best online adjustable bench reviews. Also included is a link to the best adjustable dumbbells of 2018.