The triceps make up a large portion of the upper arm and are recruited for important everyday activities like pushing and reaching. Effectively working the triceps involves extending the elbows against resistance, such as pushing your body away from the floor in a push-up or straightening the arm with a weight in your hand. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully challenge the triceps.
Position yourself on your hands and toes (or hands and knees, if needed), placing the hands directly beneath the shoulders and keeping the elbows tucked in close to the ribs. While keeping the abdominals engaged and the spine and neck in alignment, lower your chest toward the floor. How far you can lower your chest depends on your shoulder and wrist range of motion.
Plank Arm Marches
10 repetitions (5 cycles on each side)
Assume a plank position on the elbows and toes (or elbows and knees, if needed). While keeping the abdominals engaged and the spine and neck in alignment, push up onto the right hand and then onto the left. This places you in a hands and toes plank. Return to the elbows by first placing the right elbow down and then the left. “March” with the arms like this for five cycles and then repeat starting with the left arm leading for five cycles. Work on keeping the hips fairly still and avoid rocking them from side to side.
Alternating Triceps Overhead Extension
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor, arms extended upward and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the weight in the right hand toward your right ear by bending the elbow and keeping the shoulder stationary. Return the weight to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm while the right arm remains straight in the starting position. Alternating in this manner requires extra work from the abdominal muscles to stabilize the asymmetrical movement of the upper body, and for the triceps of the straight arm as it holds the elbow in extension.
Elbow Extension (Triceps Kickback)
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at the hips and lean the torso forward while maintaining a rigid, neutral spine by bracing the abdominal muscles. Lift the elbows behind the body by extending the shoulders and squeezing the shoulder blades toward each other. Repeatedly straighten and bend the elbows to work the triceps.
T Plank With Torso Rotation (dumbbell)
Start in a side plank position on the left hand and edge of the left foot, holding a dumbbell in the right hand. Maintain a neutral spine by bracing the abdominal muscles. Reach the right hand holding the dumbbell toward the floor, allowing the torso to rotate slightly, and then reach the dumbbell up toward the ceiling, un-rotating the torso, being sure to extend the elbow by squeezing the right triceps at the top. Complete all repetitions on one side and then repeat on the opposite side.