This Dumbbell Circuit Is Designed to Do Just One Thing: Transform Your Triceps
Arm exercises can often focus heavily on your biceps, but the back of your arms are just as important. In order for your arms to look defined, you have to make sure you're working your triceps just as hard as the front. If you don't, you may wind up with a muscle imbalance, with your arms being stronger in the biceps area and weaker — and probably a little flabbier to boot — in the back.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and try these moves designed to target your triceps from Devan Kline, an NASM-certified personal trainer and cofounder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp. With a mix of dumbbells and body weight, you'll feel your muscles firming up in no time at all. To make sure you've got the proper form for each move, start with three sets of 10 of each exercise. Once you get more comfortable, increase the circuit to four to five sets of 12 reps. Before you start, use this guide to help choose the right weight for you.
Prone Single Arm Triceps Kickback
- Start with the dumbbells placed shoulder-width apart, grasping the handles and pushing yourself up into a high plank position.
- Begin on your right side. Grabbing the dumbbell, pull your arm back until the weight reaches your chest at a 90-degree angle, elbow tucked into the rib cage. Then, kick the weight back behind you, straightening out your arm, as shown.
- Bring the weight back in toward your chest and place it back onto the ground.
- Repeat on the left side.
Hex Floor Press
- Begin by laying on the floor, knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Grab the dumbbells in your hands and lower them onto your chest, making sure they are touching.
- Press the dumbbells up, while keeping them together, until your arms are straight. Then lower them back down to complete one rep, making sure to stop just slightly above your chest.
- Don't be afraid to use heavier dumbbells for this exercise. Because you are laying on the ground, you have more stability, which can help you increase the weight, reps, or both.
You can use a pair of dumbbells or any two sturdy surfaces (pictured here are plyo boxes) for this move. If you're a beginner, start with a standard triceps push-up before advancing to this version.
- Place the dumbbells on the ground shoulder-width apart, rotating them so they're perpendicular to your body. Put yourself into a high plank position, holding on to each dumbbell, with your knuckles facing away from you. If you're using another flat surface, plant your palms on the top edges.
- Make sure your toes are flexed on the ground and you form a straight line from the tops of your shoulders down to your toes. (Beginners can also do this move on your knees.)
- Bracing your triceps, lower your body down until you barely touch the tops of your hands. Push yourself slowly back up, making sure to squeeze and engage your triceps the entire time. Using dumbbells or boxes will allow you to dip lower to the floor, requiring full use of your triceps in order to push yourself back up to the starting position.