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.
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.
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.