Triceps! Get Your Defined Triceps!

Posted: June 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Picture me as one of those old-school newspaper boys that would stand on the corner shouting out the next big news for passersby to pick up and read. Why? Well, because I have the next big exercise moves post right here for you. Okay – that may not be “breaking news” material, but you all clearly wanted it!

After sharing some of my favorite back exercises, I had more than a few requests for similar posts with different body parts. So, I got myself decked out in my cute new 4all by jofit top – because if I’m taking a ton of pictures I want something quality, sweat-wicking, and flattering 😉 – and got to work.

4all top

Today, I’m delivering just like that old school paperboy. Triceps! Get your defined triceps!

One Armed Triceps Push-Up

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Lay on your right side with your right arm crossed over your stomach. Place your left hand on the floor with your arm bent, in front of your chest. Complete a push-up motion and squeeze your tricep muscle for a full contraction at the top.

Double Arm Kickbacks

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Bend over at the hips. Keep your back straight with your abs pulled in. Bring your arms up by your side, with your elbows in, to form two 90 degree angles. Extend arms back slowly. Return to start position and repeat for reps.

Triceps Plank Hold

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Start in a straight leg, straight-arm plank position. Make sure your arms are directly under your shoulders. Lower your chest straight down to a couple inches above the floor and hold for 15-20 seconds. Push back up to the top. Go slooowllly for a good burn!  Repeat

Overhead Cable Extension

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Set a cable machine at the highest height with a rope attachment. Grab the rope and face away from the machine. Start with your arms in a 90 degree position close to your ears. Extend your arms out straight, then move back to start position.


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I think dips are my all-time favorite triceps exercise…and you need no weights! Place your hands just outside your hips while sitting on a bench with your elbows pointing back. Move your hips off the bench and lower down, then back up. Make sure your butt/back stay close to the bench as they go through the motion. The further you move your feet and straighten your legs, the more challenging the move becomes.

Lying Triceps Press

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Hold a barbell with your hands in a narrow grip. Arms should be right at sides and the bar should come across your ribcage. Extend straight up at a controlled tempo.

Overhead Extension with Stability Ball

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This is just your basic triceps overhead extension but with a balance component. Lean against a stability ball with your leg extended for balance/support. Drop the weight behind your head and then extend the weight back up.

Well, there you have it! Some of my favorite triceps moves to help you add some variety. Of course there are plenty more – cable pushdowns, lying extensions, skull crushers, etc. Plus, never forget that you work your triceps during many other exercises since they are a smaller muscle that will assist in bigger movements, such as chest work. A little bit will go a long way with working the back of those arms. 😉

  • Do you like working your triceps? What is your favorite move?
  • Of Possible Interest: 4all, my lovely blog ambassador partner, was recently featured in MORE magazine and has a special coupon code now through 8/7/11. Use MORE50 at checkout for free shipping on orders over $50. Get one of the cute tops for yourself! Or a nice running skort. Or capris tha tmake any woman’s butt look great. Or a longer fitting tank. Or…or…or…endless possibilities!


Disclaimer: I am NOT a certified trainer. Use any of the above at your own discretion.


70 Comments to “Triceps! Get Your Defined Triceps!”
  1. I like the double-arm overhead tricep press. I have a really hard time with the lying side pushups. I have one elbow that is super weak and I just almost cannot do them at all. I need to remember to do the side ball extensions. I like dips too actually.

  2. Sam says:

    love these! triceps burn so much, but i love the end result 🙂

  3. Kacy says:

    Tri’s are my second favorite muscle to work, after back 🙂

  4. As a swimmer – specifically, a backstroker – I LOOOOOOVE working my triceps because it makes me much faster in the water. I hate kickbacks, though. I like one-arm-at-a-time rear cable press-downs because it simulates powerful backstroke nicely.

  5. Love these moves – my strapless wedding dress demands tone triceps! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Triceps are one of those muscles that I always kind of just half-heartedly add in at the end of my workout…maybe because the moves for them burn so much, ha!

  7. Jess says:

    I have to say – and Jo will agree with me on this one – triceps are a love-to-hate workout for me. I NEED to work them a lot to get results and it always surprises me how big of a muscle they actually are in comparison to other muscles so they need a lot of work to get far. Dips are my love to hate move, if you must know. 😉 Great post!

  8. Mellissa says:

    I love to work arms and shoulders and feel like that is the area that I see the greatest results. I’ve noticed yoga has really helped with my arms too.

  9. Ok I love all of those moves but I’ve never done the first one! One handed pushups sound super intense but doable…love this!

  10. Erica says:

    That top is SO cute! I love it. And you are looking FABULOUS! Dips are by far my favorite & least favorite (at the same time ;)) triceps exercise. They just KILL…but in a good way

  11. The one armed tricep push up is so hard (regular triceps push ups are hard enough!) but very effective. I also like anything involving an overhead extension for working the triceps.

  12. You just gave me some more tricep moves for my upper body workouts. BFL gives examples of some, but I get so bored!

    My triceps are finally just now starting to show…and I might have to try that one armed tricep push up. 🙂

  13. Avery says:

    This is great. I’m so clueless when it comes to working out my arms! Just what I needed! Bookmark!

  14. Becca says:

    I love your workotu series! Such a great idea!

    … and my fav tricep exercise is definitly weighted dips. LOVE them

  15. Awesome post Tina!! You look great and clearly are enjoying your workout! I definitely enjoy working my triceps but boy do they hurt afterwards 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    That is an adorable workout top. I like doing tricep dips and kickbacks but I have to do my tricep, bicep, and shoulder work before I do chest and back or else I won’t be able to finish ’em!

  17. Jill says:

    I LOVE your top! I am going to buy myself one right after I write this comment. I like doing skull crushers the most. I know I have done a really good tricep workout when I cannot blow dry my hair the next day!!!

  18. Whoah, those one-armed tricep pushups are intense! I need to try those. And I like the “Get ya triceps!” image, lol! 🙂

  19. Maria says:

    Great post, Tina! I absolutely love dips and you can really feel the triceps working. I also love doing rope pull downs (not the official name, but using the rope). It makes them burn!

  20. Ugh, triceps are the hardest to workout! I always feel so drained afterwards.

  21. I love bench dips! I think they’re so effective because they really burn and my triceps aren’t half bad.

  22. I love working my triceps! I think tricep dips are my favorite way to exercise them.

  23. vivoir says:

    ….All of the above and get yourself to a bodypump session where they’re playing the Ke$ha 3Oh!3 track!!!

  24. YES!! Thank you so much for posting these! I need to work on my triceps, and I keep meaning to google exercises. 🙂

  25. Love workin triceps! I can usually get a good burn going on with these kinds of moves. And I like the looks of the ones I have never tried before, like the overhead extension on the ball!
    Thank you for this post Tina 🙂

  26. dips baby! and one armed side pushup 🙂

  27. Jolene says:

    My tris are definitely one of least favorite spots but I am focusing on working them as hard as I can for more definition! Love these moves, remind me of Cathe 🙂

  28. Great exercise ideas! So unique, I’ll need to incorporate some of those in my classes at work 🙂

    You look great by the way….love your workout outfit!

  29. Christie says:

    Love the workout! I tend to neglect strength, but I am definitely going to add the stability ball extension to my repitoire. Thanks for sharing!

  30. AWESOME moves, and so helpful! My triceps need the most work, and I’m glad you gave easy-to-follow workouts, and with pictures too. Thanks!

    • Tina says:

      I’m such a visual person I always need the pictures. I know they help me more than any detailed description ever could.

  31. Cynthia says:

    Great exercise ideas. I love working the triceps. I am trying so hard to get the defined triceps I crave. I love doing tricep kickbacks and pushups. Those seem to be the exercises where I feel it the most. You have given me some great ideas for new exercises. Love the tricep plank since the plank is one of my favorite ways to work the core.

  32. Great post! I feel like I need to give my triceps a bit more love and attention.

  33. Megan says:

    I love that you are putting photos of your exercises on here! The one-arm tricep pushups are on a few of the Jillian Michaels DVDs I have – therefore, they must be effective 😉 Keep them coming – you’re doing great!

  34. I do love working my triceps! I love hwo you are showing pictures with your descriptions. Who is taking these pictures of you anyways? 🙂

  35. Lauren says:

    Triceps workouts and I have a love hate relationship. I love that I ALWAYS feel a burn after I do them but I hate actually doing them. LoL

  36. I love working out my triceps Tina! Great exercises! but guess what…haha, this is funny to me but I’m trying to see if I should just do high high reps and super low weights (b/c i’ve moved on to 15 lbs each arm when I do strength) someone told me I’m too muscular especially for my size. 🙁 I mean, it’s not important really b/c anyway I like to be muscular. But they’re afraid I’m becoming butch, and they think I have too much testosterone! 😛 whatcha think?

    • Tina says:

      I think muscle shows determination. A lot of times I think people confuse “definition” with “bulk”. I say keep working strong! You can mix it up with lighter weight, higher reps but I don’t think you would look butch at all keeping up the heavier weights too.

  37. I am a huge fan of working out the triceps! I never want to complain about them sagging. Since I’m missing abs, I always focus on my back and since I know we are more likely to forget about working the back of our bodies, I make a special effort to get those muscles first!

  38. Oh man – these moves look awesome! I get stuck in a rut with my tricep and bicep workouts, so these are very much appreciated. I have a feeling I’d have one of those “arms can’t stop shaking” mornings after this workout.

  39. Dang girl, you look so good. These are some of my favorite exercises. I love having strong, toned triceps. Love the cute top!

  40. Love your workout posts! And tricep plank holds are KILLER!

  41. Than you for posting this—I now have new stuff to do for my triceps, woo hoo! I usually do extensions, push downs and kickbacks but I’ve never heard of the plank or one armed pushed up. I will definitely be incorporating these into my next workout.

    PS-Love the top, you’re looking marvelous!!

  42. Ok, those tricep plank holds look A LOT like a chaturunga and those are KILLER! I dread them everytime I pop in my Yoga Meltdown DVD from Jillian.

  43. The triceps are my favorite arm muscles to work out! That is SUCH a cute top!!!

  44. Great tricep exercises! I like how you have photo’s demonstrating start to finish. You have some intense tricep exercise….tricep plank holds and one armed tricep push ups! Triceps are my weakest body part, funny I’m suppose to work on them tomorrow morning! lol Thanks for sharing!

  45. Trisha says:

    i love working my triceps! my favorite are chair dips

  46. Triceps are a really hard body part to tone, I feel. My favorite way to work them is a full form tricep pushup and plank hold.

  47. Ela says:

    Wow, those look intense! I don’t know if I could even do most of those, but I’d like to try!

  48. Karolina says:

    I definitely don’t focus on my arms as much as i would like to in my workouts. Actually, I’m thinking i just need a better workout plan for myself to add in some variety…

  49. Triceps are my favorite to work! I love doing push/pull downs and diamond push ups.

  50. Khushboo says:

    Great post- I’m always looking for new moves to incorporate into my strength training workout! My current favorite for triceps is overhead extensions! It’s so satisfying to see progress being made in terms of weights lifted!

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