Next to burpees, tricep dips are my least favorite strength-building move in all of the fitness world. Anytime I'm streaming a workout class and the trainer says "time for dips," I swear I'm two seconds away from hitting pause and making a second cup of coffee instead.
Although I've never actually done my call-it-quits plan, I've definitely dreamed about it while I powered through each lift and lower. But as much as I dislike dips, I know that working all parts of my arms is important for building all-around upper-body strength. Not to mention, I love the idea of showing off my toned arms all summer long in a shoulder-bearing tank like the UA RUSH™ Seamless Tank ($60). But before I take another dip, I decided to tap ACE-certified personal trainer, founder, and head trainer of MF Strong Miriam Fried to get the details on toning my triceps sans a single dip.
"If you're looking to tone your triceps, you're likely looking to build your tricep muscles while possibly losing some overall body fat," she said. "In order to gain muscle, we need to continuously challenge our muscles with increased load over time, so we want to focus on exercises in which we can easily do that."
Basically, if I wanted to exercise my triceps, I actually needed to focus on building muscle and increasing the weight I'm using to train. Luckily, she gave me three moves I can try with my handy home dumbbells to begin this toning process. What's more, this workout doesn't take a huge commitment. Fried explained you can try this dip-free tricep toning workout two to three times a week and still experience the benefits.
Move #1: Dumbbell chest press
- Begin by lying flat on your back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows bent at your sides and your wrists stacked above your elbows.
- Extend both arms up, pushing the dumbbells together, so both hands land directly above your shoulders.
- Control back to the starting position for one rep.
- Complete three sets of 10 reps.
Move #2: Overhead tricep extension
- Grab a single dumbbell and interlace both fingers around the center. Hold your arms with the dumbbell overhead, keeping your core engaged.
- Bend your elbows, keeping them tight to your ears, and slowly lower the dumbbell.
- Exhale and extend back overhead for one rep.
- Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Move #3: Tricep push-ups
- Begin with your hands directly below your shoulders with your body in a plank position. Be sure to engage your core the whole time.
- Keeping your elbows tight to your body, slowly lower your chest all the way down, activating your triceps as you lower.
- Exhale and push yourself back up to the starting position.
- To modify, place your hands on an elevated surface. The higher the incline, the easier it will be.
- Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps