The triceps are the muscles that extend along the back of the upper arm. Exercises that effectively train the three main areas of the muscle are essential to strengthen and tone it. Training these muscles does not require a big time investment, and there are many exercises that require no equipment. The American Council on Exercise conducted research to evaluate the most effective triceps exercises. For the best results, include these moves in your training plan.
The dip requires only a sturdy bench or chair. Another challenging exercise that uses your body weight, you may find it difficult to lower completely. Begin with a small movement and increase the range of motion as you get stronger. You can also make the move more difficult by extending your legs out in front of you and resting your heels on the floor.
Sit on the bench and grip it with your hands at each side of your hips. Walk your legs out slightly so that your bottom comes off of the bench. With legs bent and feet flat on the floor, lower your bottom as you bend at the elbows. Lower just until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and then push back up to the starting position.
Benches and chairs have a tendency to slide during dips, so it’s important to push them against a wall before beginning.
Rated the top triceps exercise, researchers believe the use of body weight is what makes this move so effective. It’s difficult to use momentum to carry the movement, meaning you are engaging your muscles more with each repetition.
Get into a push-up position on your hands and toes. Move your hands to the center of the floor, under your chest, so that your index fingers and thumbs touch to form a triangle. Keep your body in a straight line as you bend at the elbows and lower your chest towards the floor. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
This is a challenging exercise so it is best to begin on your knees and move to your toes only after you grow stronger. You may also find that you can lower only a little at first. As you gain strength, it will become easier to lower yourself closer to the floor.
Triceps kickbacks can be performed with dumbbells or exercise bands. Stand to the left of a bench. Place your right knee and right hand on the bench, and keep your back parallel to the floor. Hold a weight in your left hand with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and your upper arm tucked close to your side and parallel to the floor. Move only the forearm to lift the weight and kick the arm back until your whole arm is parallel to the floor. Lower the weight to the starting position and repeat.
Triceps kickbacks can also be done without a bench. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend forward at the waist. Perform the movement as described above. To do the exercise with bands, step firmly on the band to secure it and complete the arm movement as you would with the dumbbell.