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December 7, 2021

Proven Tricep Exercises for Women & men – Home or Gym

The triceps is the muscle at the back of your upper arms. It makes up two thirds the width of the arm, making it crucial to develop fully if you’re a guy who wants to look massive in a t-shirt. Women often have the problem of fat accumulation in this part of their body. While working the triceps won’t get rid of that fat, it will strengthen and shape the muscle that lies beneath.

 

In this article, I’ll lay out a complete triceps training plan for beginners and intermediate trainers, with separate programs for those who train at home and in the gym.

Men & Women: Same or Different?

Men and women should train the triceps the same way. That is because the muscle structure, function and muscle fiber direction is exactly the same for both genders. So, the same exercises that work for a man will work for a woman.

 

As mentioned already, women have a tendency to store excess body fat in the triceps area. This can give rise to what are sometimes referred to as ‘batwings’. You cannot, however, get rid of this fat accumulation by doing targeted exercises for the triceps. The only way to get rid of the fat is to combine a reduced food intake with cardio exercise to burn calories. This will result in a negative daily calorie balance which forces your body to draw on its fat reserves for energy.

 

Triceps Structure & Function

The triceps is the three headed muscle at the back of the upper arm that operates as the extender of the elbow. It is the antagonist muscle to the biceps because it operates the elbow in the opposite direction. Whereas the biceps decrease the angle of the elbow joint, the triceps increases that angle.

Contrary to what some people believe, the triceps is one single muscle. But it has three parts to it, which are known as heads. Each head has a distinct point of origin where it is attached to the body. However they all have the same point of insertion, which is the ulna (the larger of the two forearm bones).

 

Again contrary to the popular view, you cannot preferentially work any of the triceps heads. The elbow is a hinge joint, so it can only extend in one direction. There is only one tendon that causes that action, so all three triceps heads must participate equally in that movement. If you could work each head separately, there would have to be three separate triceps insertions, each able to pull in a slightly different direction and a joint that moves in multiple directions, such as the ball and socket joint of the shoulder, for the heads to work separately.

Home Workout Arm’s Beginners:

Resistance Band Triceps Pushdowns

  • Securely attach a resistance band to the top of an internal door or you can so it outside like the video.
  • Stand three front in front of the door, facing it. Grasp the band in both hands and hold it at chest level with your elbows at your sides. Adjust your positioning so that the band is taut in the start position.
  • From a starting position with your hands at mid chest level, extend your arms down to full extension.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the start position, being sure to keep your elbows at your sides.

Reverse Dips

  • Position two chairs about four feet apart, facing each other.
  • Place your hands on one chair behind you and put your feet on the other chair. Readjust your position so that the distance between your thumbs is about eight inches and your knees are slightly bent.
  • Assume a start position with your arms fully extended. Now bend at the elbows to descend toward the floor until your elbows are at full extension.
  • Push through the trices to return to the start position.
  • To make the exercise harder, move your thumbs closer together.

Diamond Push Ups

  • Get down on the floor and assume the start push up position. Now place your hands together under your chest so that your thumbs and first finger are touching. They should form a diamond position.
  • From the top push up position, lower toward the ground. Your elbows will flare out as you go down. You will not, though, be able to go down as low as you would if you were doingstandard push up.
  • Once you have gone down as far as comfortable, push back to the start position.

The Workout:

●     Resistance Band Triceps Pushdowns: 3 x 12-15

●     Reverse Dips: 3 x 10

●     Diamond Push Ups: 3 x 10

Home Intermediate Arm’s Workout

Band Overhead Triceps Extension

  • Securely attach a resistance band to the bottom of an internal door or stand on it near your heels. Stand three feet in front of the door, facing away from it. Grasp the band and hold it above your head with arms fully extended.
  • Keeping your elbows in at the sides of your head, bend the elbow to extend your hands down and below your head to full contraction.
  • Reverse the movement to extend your arms back to the start position.

One Arm Pushdown

  • Securely attach a resistance band to the top of an internal door.
  • Stand three front in front of the door, facing it. Grasp the band in your right hands and hold it at chest level with your elbows at your sides. Adjust your positioning so that the band is taut in the start position.
  • From a starting position with your hands at mid chest level, extend your arm down to full extension.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the start position, being sure to keep your elbow at your sides.

Triceps Chair Dips

  • Place a chair behind and sand in front of it as if you are about to sit down.
  • Place your hands on the top of the seat back and lower yourself down. Pull yourself up to full arm extension and keep your feet straight and stable.
  • Bend at the elbows to lower directly down to full elbow bend.
  • Push through the triceps to return to the start position.

The Workout

●     Band Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 x 12-15

●     One Arm Pushdown: 3 x 12 each arm

●     Triceps Chair Dips: 3 x 8-10

Gym Beginner Arm’s Workout

Triceps Cable Pushdown

  • Set the pulley on a cable pulley machine at head height and place a short bar on it. Stand three feet in front of the machine, facing it and grasp the bar at chest level, with your elbows in at your sides.
  • Extend your arms down to full arm extension.
  • Reverse the action to return to the start position.

One Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension

  • You can do this exercise by sitting on a bench or standing up and start with a dumbbell held in your right hand. Hold the arm over your head at full arm extension with your elbow in at the side of your head. Use the other arm to support your right upper arm.
  • Extend the elbow to lower the dumbbell down behind your head to full extension.
  • Reverse the action to return to the start position.

Triceps Kickback

  • Grab a light dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your torso at a 45-degree angle and your left hand resting on a support.
  • From a starting position with your arm at your side and elbow bent at 90-degrees, straighten the arm back to full extension.
  • Revere and repeat, making sure not to use momentum to lift the weight.

The Workout

●     Triceps Cable Pushdown: 3 x 12

●     One Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension: 3 x 10-12 each arm

●     Triceps Kickback: 3 x 12 each arm

Gym Intermediate Arm’s Workout

One Arm Cable Pushdown

  • Set the pulley on a cable pulley machine at head height and place a single grip handle on it. Stand three feet in front of the machine, facing it and grasp the handle in your right hand at chest level, with your elbow in at your sides.
  • Extend your arm down to full arm extension.
  • Reverse the action to return to the start position.

Skullcrusher

  • You can do this exercise with dumbbells or a barbell. Lie on a bench with a pair of dumbbells or barbell in your hands held at arm’s length above your chest.
  • Keeping your elbows in at the sides, lower the dumbbells or barbell down to the sides of your head. The only movement should be through your forearms; your upper arms should remain static.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the start position.

Triceps Pressdown Machine

  • Sit on a tricep pressdown machine and adjust for your height. Set the weight and then grasp the handles.
  • Push down to fully extend your arms
  • Reverse and repeat.

The Workout

●     One Arm Cable Pushdown: 3 x 10-12

●     Skullcrusher: 3 x 8-10

●     Triceps Pressdown Machine: 3 x 12-15

Conclusion

The four workouts programs provided here will take you through several months of effective triceps training, whether you’re training at home or the gym. Training your triceps once every 5 days to allow for optimum recovery and rebuilding of the muscle fiber. Work at consistently increasing your resistance and you will soon develop a pair of impressive triceps.

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Steve


Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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