2 min read

5 Moves Your Triceps Will Love (and Hate)

Woman training her triceps
By: Kristina Lauer

Tendinitis is the bane of all athletes—and everyone else, for that matter. It’s hard to treat since one of the top remedies is rest, and no athlete wants a forced rest period. And it can keep coming back. The best way to solve tendinitis is not to get it in the first place — and one place that’s prone to the issue is the triceps, which is a large muscle on the back of each arm between the shoulder blade and the elbow, on the opposite side of the bicep. Take time to learn the proper way to perform triceps exercises and don’t overwork yourself. This reduces your risk of injury and gives you better results.

And besides injury prevention, there are plenty of reasons to train your tris. For instance, it’s useful in sports like tennis, swimming, basketball, rowing, cricket, golf, and any sports that involve throwing. And also everyday movements like swinging a hammer or pushing a wheelbarrow. (Some people push wheelbarrows on the regular.) And if you like doing chest and overhead presses, you’re going to need to have strength in your triceps. Here’s how.

The Warm-Up:

Get your body moving and warm—jog, do some jumping jacks, or bust out a few push-ups. As tricep exercises also involve shoulder movements, do some PVC or resistance band pass-throughs and shoulder circles. And if you want to give your workout some extra oomph, try our BCAAs before you train. The vegan capsules contain leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are essential amino acids that your body needs.

The Workout:

Pick 3 to 5 moves, and do the number of reps prescribed in each move. Perform the movements at a steady pace without sacrificing form. After you’ve finished the set, move on to the next move. Rest for 2-3 minutes between rounds, and repeat 2 times.

The Moves

#1 Triceps dips (12-20 reps)

Sit on a plyo box or bench, palms on bench on either side of your butt. Press through palms and walk feet out until body is in front of the box or bench, heels resting on the floor, to start. Bend arms to drop torso toward the floor until elbows reach a 90 degree angle, then reverse to start for one rep.

#2 Overhead triceps extensions (8-12 reps)

Stand or sit on a bench, torso tall and core engaged, holding a medium- to heavy dumbbell in both hands overhead, to start. Bend elbows to drop dumbbell behind your head, then reverse to start for one rep.

#3 Skull crushers (8-12 reps)

Lie on a bench, feet on the floor, holding a medium- to heavy- dumbbell in both hands, arms extended to create a 45 degree angle with torso. Bend elbows to drop dumbbell behind and below your head, then reverse to start for one rep.

#4 Triceps Kickbacks (12-15 on each side)

Stand on the right side of a flat bench, a medium dumbbell in right hand. Place left knee on bench, thighs parallel, and left hand on bench, underneath left shoulder, head neutral. Maintaining a flat back, raise right elbow until dumbbell is just below chest level, to start. Activate tricep to straighten arm behind you, then return to start, for one rep. Do all reps on right side before switching sides.

#5 Diamond Push-ups (9-12 reps)

Start in a high plank, hands below sternum, tips of the pointer fingers and thumbs touching to create a diamond shape, a straight line between heels and head. Using shoulders and triceps, bend elbows to lower chest as close to the ground as possible, then reverse to start for one rep. To make it easier, do it from knees, or do a negative push-up by lowering slowly to the ground, then pushing through knees to return to start.

Done? Good job! Time for a cool down. Learn how to cool down properly here.

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