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Dumbbell Tricep Exercises



Take advantage of the fact that dumbbells allow for a much greater range of motion than barbells. It’s not as obvious when doing an exercise like skull crushers. However, there are various other dumbbell tricep exercises that can really hit the tricep that you simply cannot do with a barbell. One of the first that comes to mind is the dumbbell tricep kickback. This is a great exercise for the outer tricep.

One Arm Overhead Tricep Extension

On an incline bench, you hold a dumbbell with one arm straight overhead. Then, you lower the dumbbell toward your opposite shoulder, eventually returning it to the starting position. This exercise highlights the beauty of using dumbbells instead of a barbell. The single arm makes use of a greater range of motion and lets you isolate one tricep at a time. Instead of forcing your elbows to point straight ahead, like with a barbell, you can drop the tricep in a more natural path down toward your opposite shoulder.


High Rep Tricep Exercises

In the overview of tricep exercises, we covered that some exercises are better for lower-reps, strength and size. While dumbbell exercises could work for both, one place they really separate themselves is in the high-rep training. Varieties of extensions and kickbacks are often used to get that high-rep pump in the gym. These workouts are also great for making the muscle ‘pop’. The trainers on Daily Spot incorporate dumbbell tricep exercises in a variety of ways. As an example, grant may complement lower-rep barbell exercises (close-grip bench press) with single-arm overhead extensions. This achieves the complete workout that we’re looking for. Strength and definition across the entire tricep.

Examples of Tricep Exercises Using Dumbbells

Below you will find select tricep workouts that use a dumbbell. In some cases, we've added cable exercises. Cable exercises are performed similarly to dumbbell exercises, simply swapping out the dumbbell for a cable handle.

Cable-Bar Pushdown

While facing cable machine grip cable bar with your palm facing downward. Extend your arm, pushing cable toward floor.


Cable-Rope Tricep Pushdown

While facing cable machine grip cable rope with elbows tight at torso. Extend your arms, pushing rope toward floor.


Dumbbell Kickback

While holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend over at the waist and raise your elbows up to your sides. Keeping your elbows locked at your sides and extend your arms out behind you. Return the weights to the starting position.


Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension

While lying on bench, hold a dumbbell behind your head with your elbows pointed toward the ceiling. Extend your arms, lifting the weight above your head.


Single-Arm Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

While seated on incline bench, hold one dumbbell over your head with your elbow facing outward. Bend your arm, lowering the weight to your head.


Standing Cable-Rope Tricep Extension

Stand with back to cable machine, slightly bent over. Hold cable ropes behind your head with your elbows facing forward. Extend your arms, pushing the ropes in front of your head.



Barbell Tricep Exercises

A fundamental part of adding size to your triceps is the low-rep strength training. It’s possible to do the low-rep strength training with dumbbells, but some of the key exercises are the barbell tricep exercises. Close-grip bench press is often used for this purpose. Barbells are very versatile when it comes to tricep workouts. They are great for adding strength and size through the low-rep exercises, and at the same time it’s easy to repurpose barbells to be used for higher-rep exercises: skull-crushers, overhead extensions and beyond.


Bodyweight Tricep Exercises

Bodyweight is not a limiting factor when it comes to triceps. There’s a wide range of bodyweight tricep exercises that are at your disposal and capable of doing the job. To get the most out of these tricep exercises, make sure you’re fully squeezing your muscles at the extension point of the workout. Focus on tricep isolation through the mind muscle connection so you can feel when your triceps are fully engaged.