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If you’re a gym enthusiast who’s made it your mission to build bigger triceps, you’ve come to the right place. According to Muscle & Fitness, the triceps—aka “triceps brachii”—are comprised of three muscles: the medial, lateral, and long head. The lateral head, specifically, can help you achieve a defined, toned look in your upper arms, along with boosting the strength of your triceps. But sculpting larger, stronger triceps goes beyond aesthetics. Working this area of your arm will enhance the health of your elbows and shoulders, along with improving your performance in sports, Muscle & Fitness explains. To help ensure you’re on the right track, we found out the five best dumbbell exercises for bigger triceps.
Josh York, founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ, tells Eat This, Not That!, “Dumbbells are effective tools to sculpt bigger muscles and arms because of the contraction they are putting on the muscle and the way the dumbbells isolate the muscle group.” So grab a set, and let’s get to it!
Keep reading to learn York’s five best dumbbell exercises for bigger triceps. And next, don’t miss 7 Kettlebell Exercises for Men To Get Bigger Arms.
1. Tricep Skull Crushers
You’ll begin tricep skull crushers by lying flat on your back on a workout bench, BarBend explains. Your arms should be fully extended with the dumbbells over you. Keep your arms close to your body and use control as you lower the weights toward your forehead and then behind your head. Make sure your elbows stay tucked. Press the weights back up to the starting position.
2. Tricep Extensions
This exercise is a stellar way to hone in on your triceps, PureGym explains. You’ll begin by assuming a shoulder-width stance and holding a single dumbbell with both hands, PureGym instructs. Bring the dumbbell overhead so that your arms are completely straight. Your palms should be up toward the sky. Bend your elbows to lower the weight to the back of your head. Then, activate your triceps to bring the dumbbell back overhead.
3. Overhead Dumbbell Presses
To set up for the overhead dumbbell press, make sure your feet are hip-width distance apart and you have a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees just a bit, and tuck your chin, MasterClass instructs. Start the upward motion by pressing the weights toward the sky. Once you reach the top, there should be a small bend in both elbows. Then, lower the weights until they’re just over your shoulders.
4. Tricep Kickbacks
Tricep kickbacks begin by setting yourself up on a workout bench. Your left arm and left knee should be planted on the surface. Your right arm should be extended, holding a dumbbell. Row the dumbbell upward so that your ribcage and upper arm form a straight line, BarBend explains. Then, gradually extend your arm back until it’s fully straight and the dumbbell is behind you. Using control, bring the dumbbell back to the position you started in. Repeat on the other side.
5. Incline Alternating Tricep Extensions
For this final exercise, you’ll set yourself up on an incline bench, Fit Life Regime explains. Lie flat on your back with a dumbbell in both hands. Your feet should be pressed into the floor. Since this is an alternating tricep extension, you’ll focus on one arm at a time. Bring one arm up above your shoulder, fully extending it before bending your elbow to lower the weight to the back of your head. Repeat the same motion on the other side as you alternate arms.