It’s important to have tricep exercises in your strength training routine if you want big arms. The triceps make up a bigger portion of your arms and to make the muscles big and strong, it’s important to focus on all three tricep heads.
A single muscle unit is made up of the medial, lateral, and long heads. Essentially, you need to do tricep exercises that focus on all three heads. When you do that, the tricep takes the shape of a horseshoe, which is how you would want to flaunt the muscle.
7 best triceps exercises with dumbbells
Tricep exercises can be done with a dumbbell or a barbell. However, since the movements are usually isolation movements, it’s better to do it with a dumbbell. It’ll help you maintain the muscle-mind connection required during each exercise.
Dumbbell overhead extensions
In this exercise, you can sit or stand. Take a pair of dumbbells and hold them above your head. Next, bend it backwards from the elbow, and the weight should be aligned with the back of your neck, and go down in the line. Once you feel the stretch on your triceps, pull the weight up.
This exercise works on all three tricep heads. You can do it with both hands or one hand at a time.
Dumbbell skull crushers
Lie down on the bench with a pair of dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells above your forehead, and bend them towards your forehead from the elbow. Make sure your elbow is stable and you will feel a stretch on the triceps. Once you feel this stretch, pull it back up.
This is one of the best dumbbell tricep exercises which targets the lateral head.
Close grip dumbbell press
Take a pair of dumbbells and lie down on the bench. Join the dumbbells and hold them above your chest. Next, bring the dumbbells towards your chest and push them back up with your triceps.
This is a compound exercise that targets the tricep lateral head and chest.
Bent over tricep kickbacks
Stand straight with a pair of dumbbells. Bend over from your hips and keep your back straight. Next, pull the dumbbell up to your side. Ideally, your triceps will be parallel to your body while your forearm will make a right angle to your torso. Take the dumbbell backwards from your elbow and keep it as stable as possible. Hold it for two seconds before coming back to the neutral position.
You can do this exercise with both arms at the same time or one arm at a time.
Lie down on a bench and hold the dumbbells above your chest. Turn your thumbs towards each other and palm forward. Bring down the dumbbell so that it touches your chest before moving it back up. Ensure your shoulders do not round forward when doing this exercise.
Dumbbell push up
Hold the dumbbells and move into a pushup position. Keep the grip small to ensure the pressure comes on your triceps. Next, proceed to close-grip push-ups while maintaining the pressure on your triceps.
You may not be able to do close grip toe pushups immediately when using dumbbells. Get used to the form first and move to toe push-ups at your own pace.
While this is not essentially a dumbbell exercise, it is one of the tricep exercises that should never be missed regardless of whether you’re using dumbbells, barbells, or machines.
Dips is an extremely important exercise and it targets the short head in a way that other exercises don’t. It’s important for you to grow a short head as well if you want thick and strong tricep muscles!
Tips to keep in mind when doing tricep exercises
You need to always remember that triceps are smaller than legs, chest, or back. Therefore, the intensity used for these exercises need to be modified.
Start slow: If you’re new to tricep exercises, don't pick up heavy weights. You’re putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Instead, start with a lighter weight before moving to a heavier one.
Warm-up: It is absolutely important that you warm-up your triceps before moving to exercises. Even though they have smaller muscles, you shouldn’t dive into dumbbell exercises without warming up.
Focus on the negative: The negative is the moment during the exercise when the muscles feel the most pressure i.e., when you’re moving back to the neutral position. You should focus on the negative and move back to the neutral position slowly. This maximizes the pressure on the tricep muscles, making the muscle fibers grow back stronger and thicker.
Start incorporating dumbbell tricep exercises into your workout routine as much as you can. In fact, you can club them with your chest days!