Tighten Your Triceps With These Moves
If you want to tone the backs of your arms, you need to work your triceps. There are some classic moves that home in on this underworked muscle group, and there are even more full-body moves that strengthen the area. We've rounded up a bunch of our favorite exercises, and you'll be happy to note a lot of these moves will also work your abs. You know we like multitasking moves.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forward from your hips, bending the knees slightly. Bend your elbows behind you.
- Straighten your arms behind you, with your palms facing in. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Squeeze your triceps, and then return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
This is a classic triceps exercise.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bend your elbows behind you, keeping your upper arms even with your back.
- Bend your knees to come into a half squat while creasing at your hips so your spine is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your spine neutral with the pelvis and head, forming one long line.
- As you exhale, simultaneously extend your right arm straight out in front of you and the left arm straight behind you. Rotate both wrists so your front palm is down and your back palm is up.
- With control, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. This completes one rep.
This exercise focuses on the triceps from different angles.
Triceps Press With Resistance Band
- Hold on to either end of a resistance band and step onto the middle of it with both feet so your ankles are directly underneath your hips. Lean forward slightly, bending at your hips. It's OK if your knees are slightly bent.
- Bend your elbows straight back, focusing on pulling your shoulder blades together. Holding onto the band, slowly straighten your arms behind you, palms facing up. Go slowly as you return your arms to bent-elbow position to complete one rep. If you need to, adjust the length of the resistance band according to how difficult you want to make this exercise.
Similar to the kickback, this exercise really works the back of the upper arm.
- Begin in plank position, with the arms and body straight, shoulders over the wrists. Keep the core engaged.
- Bend the elbows behind you and lower your chest to the floor. Keep your upper arms tight to your body so your elbows are against your ribs on both sides.
- Straighten the arms, coming back to plank position.
- This counts as one rep. Do as many reps as you can with correct form.
Bringing the arms close to the torso makes the triceps work harder in the push-up.
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your hands behind you, with your fingertips pointed toward your butt. Lift your pelvis off the ground, straighten your elbows, and shift your weight back so your shoulders are directly over your hands.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your pelvis toward the floor, then press into the floor to straighten, but not lock, your elbows; this completes one rep.
Flip the push-up over, and you get this move that really works the tris.
- Begin in a strong tabletop position with your hands under your shoulders, your knees over your ankles, your pelvis lifted off the floor, and your fingers pointed toward the sides.
- Lift your left leg up and reach your right hand toward your left toes. Return your hand and foot to the floor, lifting the pelvis back to tabletop by squeezing the glutes — this is where the butt toning happens. This completes one rep. Switch sides for the next rep.
This exercise will tone your arms, abs, and butt.
- Grab a set of dumbbells, and start by lying on your back with the knees bent.
- With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
- Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent and pressing in toward your head.
- Lift your arms back to starting position. This is one rep.
Yes! You can work your triceps lying down, but you will need weights.
Overhead Triceps Extension
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
- Hold one dumbbell (go for your heavier weight) with both hands, bending the elbows behind your head.
- Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, and then slowly bend the arms to lower. This counts as one rep.
This exercise is similar to the skull crusher, but by standing you will be working your core more.
Lying Overhead Reach
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles, using your low abs to press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Reach your arms overhead, bringing the dumbbells back to tap on the floor above your head. Do not let your back arch away from the floor as you lower the weights.
- Raise your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
This move challenges the abs, but your triceps are working too.
Tabletop to Reverse Pike
- Start off sitting on your bum, so your hands are planted eight inches behind you. Bend your knees and place your heels about a foot away from your hips. Make sure they are hips-width distance apart.
- Inhale and lift your hips off the ground so your torso is parallel with the floor and your arms are straight. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders and your ankles underneath your knees, so make small adjustments if you need to. Lower your head behind you to increase the stretch in your chest and neck.
- Hold for a complete breath, and then, keeping your arms straight, exhale to lower your hips and straighten your legs, so your hips are hovering above the floor. Engage your abs and try to keep your spine long as you balance on your heels and hands. After a complete breath, inhale and push yourself back into the first position.
This exercise not only tones the arms but will also get your mid abs burning.
Reverse Plank With Leg Lift
- Begin sitting on your tush, with your legs straight. Bring your palms a few inches behind you, fingertips facing the toes.
- Press into your feet and lift your hips off the ground. Try to keep your body in one diagonal line. You can also do this exercise on your elbows if it bothers your wrists.
- Alternate between lifting your right leg up and then your left. Move with control, making the movements slow and steady, and keeping the hips lifted.
- This counts as one rep.
Holding the reverse plank is killer on the triceps — you'll love this move.
- Start sitting with your feet flat on the floor, with your hands behind you and your fingers pointing away from you.
- Push your pelvis up as you shift your weight into your left hand, circling your right hand across your body and ending with an overhead reach. Look down toward your left hand and feel an active stretch in your right side.
- Pull your abs in as you lower your pelvis to sit on the floor. This completes one rep. Repeat on the other side.
This exercise works your tris one arm at a time; it's also great for glute work.
- Start on all fours, and then lift your knees to hover over the floor.
- Lift your left hand and your right foot off the floor, and then pivot on your left foot to the left, kicking your right leg through and bringing your left arm to your chest.
- Swing your pelvis back and place your left hand on the floor and your right toes, returning to the hover position. Reverse directions, kicking the left leg to the opposite side.
This move really works the arms while challenging your coordination.