The 4 Best Triceps Exercises With Dumbbells At Home

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Last Updated on December 25, 2022 by admin

Working out at your local gym gives you access to so much more equipment but nothing beats a relaxed workout in the comfort of your own home. No one looking at you, no waiting on the machine you need to become free. 

However, working out at home means you probably don’t have as much equipment available. Getting a solid workout in can be rather tricky. 

That’s why we have 4 of the best triceps exercises with dumbbells that you can do at home. Just because your local gym shuts down doesn’t mean you can’t make some gains!

Keep reading to find out more!

1. One Arm Tricep Extensions 

The one arm tricep extension is an exercise you are probably most familiar with. This exercise is great as you are working one arm at a time. Meaning you can spot any discrepancies between both arms and work on rectifying them. 

It can be especially effective at developing the long head of the triceps when carried out with the arms overhead.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Grab a dumbbell that you can comfortably lift over your head and sit upright on a flat bench. 
  • Extend the dumbbell up over your head until your entire arm is at a 90 degree angle with the floor. 
  • As you hold the upper arms still, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head in an arc while keeping your elbow fixed and close to your head.
  • Complete for the desired number of reps before bringing the weight to the starting position. 
  • Repeat with the other arm. 

When performing the one arm tricep extensions it is important that your triceps feel uniform pressure from the linear movements.

In the event of a sharp pain in your joints, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position, rest, and perform again with proper form. 

This exercise has a whole host of benefits. Because it guarantees that both triceps receive similar effort, the one-arm dumbbell tricep extension is a crucial exercise for minimizing upper arm muscle imbalances.

This exercise separates the three heads of the tricep, working the entire muscle.

2. Lying Dumbbell Extensions 

If you really want to feel those triceps burn then you need to add the lying dumbbell extension into your workout. 

This is an oscillation movement meaning it engages the triceps and nothing else. The elbow eventually straightens as a result of treating all three, the long, lateral, and medial.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells that you can comfortably move over your head and sit upright on a flat bench. Dumbbells resting on your thighs. 
  • As you begin to lie back on the bench, head at the end of the bench, kick the dumbbells back until they are overhead with arms straight. 
  • Palms facing forward, lower the dumbbells on either side of your head while maintaining a fixed elbow position until your triceps are completely extended.
  • In a controlled motion bring the dumbbells back to the starting position, keeping the elbows locked. 
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps. 

This exercise can easily result with a dumbbell to the face. Ensure the entire movement is slow and controlled, if you feel the weight swaying you may want to go down a pound or two to feel more comfortable.

The elbows should be tucked in towards the hips at all times, control them to prevent them from flaring out. 

The lying tricep extension helps to stabilize the shoulder joint in addition to strengthening the triceps and giving the upper body more definition.

After completing this exercise, you’ll see an improvement in the strength and flexibility of your arms as well as the range of motion in your shoulders and elbows.

3. Tricep Kickbacks 

Tricep kickbacks are extremely efficient for building strength in the arms and throughout the upper body. If you are looking to advance your performance in other areas, then the tricep kickback is essential for your workout routine

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin in a position similar to a dumbbell row. One knee on a flat bench, the other on the floor with a slight bend. One hand flat on the bench with the other holding the dumbbell. Keeping the back flat. 
  • With the hand holding the dumbbell in an overhand grip, raise your arm to be in line with your body. Keeping your elbow at a 90-degree angle at about shoulder height, tucked into your side.
  • Keeping the elbow locked, extend your arm back using the triceps until your arm is parallel to the floor. 
  • Hold for a few seconds, giving the tricep muscle a squeeze then lower the forearm back to the 90 degree angle. 
  • Repeat for desired reps. 

To feel the full effects of this exercise, it is important that only your forearm moves. This isolates the tricep giving you full range of motion (ROM) and targets the correct muscle group. 

The dumbbell triceps kickback targets the lateral head of the triceps, which is the most visible. This workout will improve your physical fitness, help you get stronger, and help you lose body fat in addition to shaping your arms.

4. Lying Cross Face Dumbbell Extension 

While this may seem a little overkill, changing the angle of an extension exercise can work the muscle in a whole new way. When performing the lying cross face dumbbell extension the long head is worked the most than in other exercises. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie down on a flat bench and grab a dumbbell you are comfortable with. 
  • Keep the arm straight out with the palms facing the most forwards. 
  • Slowly lower the forearm across the body towards the opposite shoulder, keeping the elbow stagnant. 
  • Slowly raise the dumbbell back to the starting position, keeping the elbow locked and giving the tricep a nice squeeze. 
  • Repeat for desired reps and repeat with the opposite arm. 

When performing this exercise you want the motion to remain slow and controlled with the elbows tucked towards the hips. 

Because it totally isolates your triceps and balances the workload placed on each arm, the cross-body unilateral triceps extension is good for gaining muscle.

Giving you the ideal definition, it establishes muscular balance and trains the long head of the tricep.

As the tricep is a small muscle group, it can take a lot to build them in strength and to make them pop. However, it is also easy to overwork them.

Be sure to rest between sets and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. 

Why Is  Training Your Triceps Important?

When starting your fitness journey into weight lifting, you may want to focus on the bicep in order to tone the arm and build muscle. Forgetting that there are other muscles there too. 

Often when the arm looks toned and is beginning to show muscle, the tricep is the culprit. So, you can lessen the bicep curls and give the triceps some love. 

You might not be aware of this, but the triceps muscle makes about 60% of your upper arm. This makes it crucial to routinely exercise the upper body, so pay attention if you want to develop, define, and strengthen your upper body.

The triceps muscle runs along the back of your upper arm and has twice as many muscle fibers per square inch as your biceps.

The triceps muscle begins from the shoulder blade and upper arm joint, travels down the back of the arm, crosses the elbow, and inserts behind the back of our forearm bones.

Meaning that they are extremely important when strengthening the shoulder joint and stabilizing the elbow. 

Working the triceps will not only build arm strength, it will help define and strengthen your shoulders and elbows. This can then go on to enhance your everyday performance in other activities that require strong arm movements. 

Additionally, it will broaden the range of motion, flexibility, and use of your arm.

Essentially training the triceps is as important as training every other muscle in order to build strength and gain muscle. 

The 4 Best Triceps Exercises With Dumbbells At Home

Tips For Tricep Training 

When it comes to training the triceps, having knowledge and experience is crucial. Don’t be afraid to watch videos or read up on the exercises you are performing. If it is a new exercise, start with a lower weight to perfect the form before increasing. 

No matter your training level we have some helpful tips to training the perfect triceps:

Technique Over Weight. Whether you have been performing a movement for years or are completely new, taking the time to perfect the form is essential. 

Get the technique down before you begin adding weight to avoid injury and ensure maximum result. 

Squeeze. At the top of the movement, give the muscles a squeeze for a few seconds to fully engage the muscle. 

Go Heavy. Once you have mastered the form of an exercise, go heavy. Use a heavyweight in order to build muscle but not too heavy. Otherwise you may injure yourself. 

Now that we have covered the tips for tricep training in general, we can begin to break it down by level. 


Have you just begun your training and want to build sculpted triceps from the beginning. Follow these tips. 

Work on the entire tricep muscle group. Training your triceps doesn’t have to be full of hard or fancy movements.

Sometimes simple is best. To train the entire tricep muscle group, focus on basic movements such as presses and extensions. 

You run the danger of being hurt if you start working out your triceps before gaining any strength.

Concentrate on Solitary/Isolated Movements. As the tricep overall, is a small muscle group it often benefits more for isolated movement over compound movements.

This allows the tricep to work rather than relying on other muscles to do the work. 

You should really isolate the various triceps heads using different exercises for each head if you want to develop your triceps to their full potential.

Give Them Attention. You wouldn’t neglect your quads over your glutes, so why neglect your triceps over your biceps?

While training your triceps through other movements will give you strength, it won’t add to your mass or your definition. 

Give your triceps the attention they deserve and watch as they become defined and aid in your progress in other exercises. 

Old Timers 

For those who have spent more than a few years in the gym, there are a few things you can do to take your triceps to the next level

Triceps First. As the tricep is a smaller muscle, it can easily get overworked and tire. By training the tricep before any other muscle you give them more attention and perform to a higher quality. 

Bodyweight Exercises. While everyone rushes to grab dumbbells, plates, or the cable machine, you can take it easy by performing bodyweight calisthenic movements. 

Using bodyweight exercises such as tricep dips can help put more stress on the triceps allowing them to strengthen and define. 

Add Supersets. Super setting is a strength training technique where two exercises are performed one after the other before a break. You can train much harder because of this.

How Often Should You Train Triceps?

Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle building, it is recommended that a total of 12-16 working sets are completed throughout the week.

However, if you are new to the gym 6-8 working sets may be more viable and will provide an optimal result. 

The triceps can be loaded in the light (20–30), moderate (10–20), or heavy (5–10) rep ranges, although it is advised to employ a combination of all three throughout a training program, commencing with heavier lifts first if several rep ranges are used in one day.

However, the main focus should be on getting a full range of motion during even rep. 

People frequently forgo deep muscular strength and intense levels of muscle strain in favor of quick, limited-range reps.

This can be as a result of using excessive weight or just a lack of awareness of movement mechanics.

To stimulate triceps growth, a full range of motion is crucial, along with full elbow extension and a strong isometric contraction at the peak of the movement.

You are either moving too quickly, lifting too much weight, or not using your entire range of motion if you are not experiencing localized muscle fatigue.

Overall, the tricep should be worked on at least 6 working sets a week. This can be through both isolated and compound movements that provide strength and flexibility to the muscle and joints.

More experienced lifters may feel comfortable training the tricep for up to 16 working sets a week. 

What Makes A Good Tricep?

Only with a well-trained tricep will your arms actually start to seem spectacular even when they are not flexed. Well-developed triceps offer the arms that much-desired size and look of bulging muscles.

Not the biceps like many believe. 

However, just because a tricep is big and bulging does not mean that it is a good tricep. A good tricep will have definition between all 3 of the heads. This will involve providing attention to each head individually and correctly. 

As you continue to train the tricep muscle heads correctly, you will see clear definition and sculpting.

You want to build all of the heads of this very large muscle, which stretches from the back of the deltoid to the elbows; this can be done by doing a variety of presses and extensions.

Training the tricep incorrectly can still lead to strength, however, there will be little to no mobility and no definition throughout the muscle.

Training your triceps is similar to training any muscle, it requires dedication and attention. 

If your goal is slightly more subtle in terms of definition, you should still pay great attention to the tricep throughout your upper body sessions as they provide great assistance to the back, shoulders, and chest.

How To Avoid Tricep Tendonitis 

As you train your triceps, small tears or microtears will often occur. These are healed through rest and nutrients. 

Larger tears occur more quickly than your body can heal them if you don’t give your triceps a break and keep working them.

This may cause pain. The tears could result in tricep tendonitis and weaken your tricep tendons.

Avoiding tricep tendonitis is rather simple, drink lots of water, eat good nutritious food and get plenty of rest.

However, if you do happen to have tendonitis make sure to keep the area stationary for around 203 days, ice it to prevent swelling, and use a brace for support. 

Wrapping Up 

Even with the triceps being such a small muscle group, they cover a large surface area and offer great support and stability throughout the arm. 

With 4 simple exercises you can easily grow your triceps, gain definition and excel in other areas of your fitness. 

Remember to keep your elbow locked and perform the movements in a slow and controlled motion. 

It’s time to grab a pair of dumbbells and train your triceps!