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How To Effectively Work Your Triceps

Skip It: Triceps Kickback

Sometimes referred to as "bingo arms," the back of the upper arm can be toned and tightened by working the triceps. Unfortunately, most of us chose to do kickbacks to work the muscle group, and this might not be the most effective way to work your triceps. The body position required for the exercise — leaned over with elbow pinned to your side — not only makes it hard to overload the muscle to really work it, but you are only really working the muscle for the last quarter of the motion. Plus, you're just working one muscle when you could be saving time by challenging multiple muscles at once while working the triceps more effectively. See some alternative exercises, when you


  • Triceps dips: This move is simple and as a full body exercise you will be working more than just one muscle. If you do this exercise on the floor, try alternating it with crab walks, by staying in table top position and walking 10 steps forward and then ten backward.
  • Push-ups: When you place your hands directly under your shoulders and keep your elbows in, you will effectively work your tris.
  • Triceps Presses: This exercise is not a full body exercise, but because of the arm position you work your triceps as you press the weights up, as well as when you lower them back to starting position due to your relationship to gravity. To make this exercise a full body move, make a tabletop position with your head and upper back on a physio ball.


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Bingo wings?? :D
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
I will def, try walking my legs out and see how much resistance that gives me. .... seriously never thought of that --- what kind of a bubble do I live in?
stefina stefina 8 years
Evalicious, try adjusting how far out you bring your legs out to adjust weight. The straighter your legs, the heavier the weight you'll be lifting. Hope it helps! :)
SunnyMutt SunnyMutt 8 years
I replaced my kickbacks with dips today and my triceps felt great. What a great alternative.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Ever since I've started doing pushups regularly, my triceps have gained a lot of definition and strength. I don't usually do any other real triceps exercises except the pushups and I'm not really complaining about what they're doing for my arms.
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
I do Tricep Dips (Chair Dips) and honestly never feel a thing. Should I????
kclulu kclulu 8 years
I find tricep kickbacks really uncomfortable because it is not a natural motion for your arms. It puts pressure on your elbow and you cant do a lot of weight or have as great a range of motion as with other tricep exercises. People also have a tendancy to do them incorrectly because of the awkward positioning. Reverse grip pulldowns are my favorite tricep exercise and I find them very effective.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
I alternate between a variety of triceps moves, including kickbacks, presses (I think that's what you're describing, glowingmoon), and cable exercises. I find kickbacks kind of awkward and not enjoyable, but I'll probably keep doing them anyhow.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
There's a way to condition the triceps by putting one's arms above one's head and using a single (fairly heavy) dumbbell. It's hard to describe with words. It's much easier to demonstrate. The exercise is full-range motion, and it isolates the triceps. I've been doing this exercise for years, and my triceps are shapely.
crystalvillage06 crystalvillage06 8 years
I like doing tricep kickbacks with a combination of other exercises as well. My arms are pretty toned so I think I'll stick with them.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Hrm. I like my tricep kickbacks (as well as dips and tricep extensions)... they seem to be doing a pretty good job toning up my upper arms.
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