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Best 19 Dumbbell Tricep Exercises For Perfect Shape

- Written By

Brenda Galloway , ABMS

Updated on

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.

dumbbell tricep exercises

Dumbbells must be included in your triceps routine if you want thick, strong horseshoe triceps like a powerlifter. Seasoned bodybuilders know this and employ the same strategies and dumbbell tricep exercises. Dumbbells offer a unique range of motion that helps protect your joints while providing significant increases.

Most people stick to a few sets of cable press downs regarding triceps exercise. While press downs are famous, they aren’t perfect for packing size onto your triceps. As a result, the ordinary lifter lacks size on the back of its arms.

You’d be better off looking into powerlifting training rather than wasting time doing numerous cable press downs. The average powerlifter has massive triceps. This is due to a perfect balance of pressing solid and targeted auxiliary exercises, which often involve dumbbells.

As fitness fanatics, we seek new and effective techniques to increase muscle mass and strength. Dumbbells can be a game changer for triceps, which comprise a substantial amount of our upper arm muscles.

Related Article: Leg Extension With Dumbbells For Effective Workouts

Parts Of Triceps Muscles

The triceps muscles on the backs of your arms are divided into three sections:

  • The long head
  • The leteral head
  • The medial head
dumbbell tricep exercises
Illustration By Trend Of Health

We’ve compiled a list of our best dumbbell exercises for triceps that you can use into your routine to help you generate real power while still allowing you to focus on the precise part of the triceps you want to strengthen and improve.

Top 19 Dumbbell Tricep Exercises

Here are some next level tricpes exercises you can add in your daily workout routine.

Triceps Extension with a Dumbbell 

Dumbbell extension is a traditional workout primarily targeting the triceps’ long head. Sit on a bench with back support, grip a dumbbell with both hands behind your head, and completely extend your arms. Bend your elbows, lower the dumbbell behind your head, and then raise it back to the starting position. Maintain controlled motions and triceps engagement throughout the exercise.

  • Overhead One-Handed Dumbbell Extension
  • Overhead Two-Arm Dumbbell Extension
  • Dumbbell Triceps Extension to Gravity Press
  • Dumbbell Cross-Body Triceps Extension
  • Angled Single-Arm Overhead Extension
  • Standing Eccentric Triceps Extension

1) Overhead One-Handed Dumbbell Extension

The overhead dumbbell extension is the ideal “starter” exercise if you want to work your triceps.

Source / Howcast

2) Overhead Two-Arm Dumbbell Extension

When you transition from one-handed to two-handed, there is a trade-off: you gain improved stability and more power in the combined two arms, but your potential range of motion is constrained, and you cannot target particular muscle groups by modifying your form.

Source / Broser Built

3) Dumbbell Triceps Extension to Gravity Press

The dumbbell triceps extension to gravity press forces your arms to work in horizontal and vertical planes, giving you the most effective workout possible.

Source / Arkansas Online
Related Article: How To Perform Dumbbell Shoulder Flys Correctly?

4) Dumbbell Cross-Body Triceps Extension

One of the least frequently performed arm workouts is the cross-body triceps extension. The medial triceps head is the main target of this dumbbell skull crusher variation.

Source / Elliott Upton

5) Angled Single-Arm Overhead Extension

This exercise will be done on an incline bench with a 45-degree angle to the floor. When you raise at an angle, the back of your arms is constantly tense.

Source / Fit CG

6) Standing Eccentric Triceps Extension

To do the standing eccentric triceps extension, take a shoulder-wide stance and hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.

Source / Aim4Strength Fitness

Triceps Dumbbell Kickback

The dumbbell triceps kickback is an excellent exercise for targeting the triceps’ lateral head. Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand and slightly bending your knees. Keep your back straight and hinge at the waist. 

Return to the beginning posture by extending your arms backward and squeezing your triceps at the top of the action. Keep a consistent tempo and avoid swinging the weights. Tricep kickbacks are widely despised, with many dismissing them as entirely ineffective. Compared to other dumbbell workouts, extending and adducting the upper arm gives a distinct stimulus to the long head. Slowly lower the dumbbells to your chest and raise them back to the starting position.

Throughout the exercise, keep your elbows tight to your body. This is an upper-body complex movement that primarily targets the triceps and chest. Using a narrower grip than a standard bench press (elbows closer to your sides) requires your elbows to bend further, putting more stress on your triceps.

How to do

  • Lie on a bench and pick up a pair of dumbbells.
  • Lower the weights to the bottom of your chest, keeping your elbows stacked over your wrists and tucked into your torso.
  • Repeat by pushing the dumbbells back up to straighten the arms. 
Pro Tip

Vary the width of your hands according to your comfort level (too narrow can cause discomfort in the wrist and shoulders).
  • Single-Arm Tricep Kickback
  • Bent-Over Triceps Kickback
  • Incline Kickback
  • Plank Triceps Kickback
  • Prone Double-Arm Triceps Kickback
Related Article: 8 Best Arm Blaster For Bodybuilders In 2023

7) Single-Arm Tricep Kickback

The benefit of this exercise is that it’s simple to perform and usually calls for a small amount of weight. The “finishing” action maximizes triceps muscle development and strength.

Source / Functional BodyBuilding

8) Bent-Over Triceps Kickback

As opposed to the standard dumbbell kickback, you can do this one-handed or simultaneously with both arms, depending on your preferences.

Source / FYR Fitness Personal Training

9) Incline Kickback

Utilizing an incline bench gives your kickbacks more isolation. It enables you to attack the muscles from a slightly different angle.

Source / Chayse Fit

10) Plank Triceps Kickback

The plank triceps kickback is the exercise you need if you’re short on time and want to develop horseshoe triceps while also putting your abs on fire, enhancing core stability, and burning many calories.

Source / Alimacbean

11) Prone Double-Arm Triceps Kickback

The prone double-arm triceps kickback is a fantastic exercise for novices or anyone who struggles to establish a mind-muscle connection with their triceps in the bent-over position.

Source / Caitlin McLellan

Triceps Press with Dumbbells

The overhead dumbbell triceps press engages the shoulders and the long and lateral heads of the triceps. Maintain a straight posture while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lift the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended, then slowly lower them behind your head.

Maintain control of the movement and avoid arching your back. The sitting dumbbell overhead triceps extension can be performed unilaterally with one arm or bilaterally with one dumbbell and two hands. Because it emphasizes a full range of motion and may be performed for volume to gain muscle mass, either variant will aid in developing more prominent triceps.

  • Eccentric Dumbbell Skull Crusher to Press
  • Dumbbell Floor Press
  • Close-Grip Dumbbell Press
  • Tate Press
  • JM Press
  • Triceps Gravity Press
  • Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press
  • Single-Arm Neutral Grip Dumbbell Z-Press
Related Article: How To Do Stiff Leg Deadlift Properly?

12) Eccentric Dumbbell Skull Crusher to Press

The dumbbell triceps crush press is a one-of-a-kind workout that works the entire triceps muscle. Lie flat on a bench with your hands facing each other and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the dumbbells to your chest after pressing them together until they touch. Maintain the pressure between the dumbbells by pushing them back up.

This workout not only works the triceps but also works the chest. The dumbbell skull crusher, as intimidating as it may appear, is a popular and effective dumbbell triceps workout. Frequently found in bodybuilding programs and some of the most famous bodybuilders’ training routines. 

The skull crusher strengthens your triceps and chest, much like a dumbbell pullover but without the entire contraction. Compared to standing triceps extensions or other exercises where your upper arm is at your side, the skull crusher is a good triceps dumbbell exercise for activating the medial head of the triceps.

Source / Sheer Training

13) Triceps Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell triceps floor press is excellent for those looking to spice up their routine while targeting the general development of the triceps. 

  • Lie down on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing away. 
  • Lower the dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, then press them back up. The floor press is a limited range of motion exercise that primarily works the triceps while also engaging the chest. 

This partial range of motion targets the triceps more effectively because it forces the triceps to initiate the movements off the floor (rather than the chest muscles starting the campaign as they would in a traditional bench press) and to control the lowering portion of the lift (eccentric) back to the floor.

How to do

  • Lie on the floor and press two dumbbells above your head (elbows straight).
  • Slowly bend the elbows till they are softly touching the floor. This will happen before the weights reach chest level.
  • Maintain tension and return the consequences to straight arms.
Pro Tip

To find the most comfortable position, change the angle at which your elbows are flared or tucked into your body. To isolate the triceps, the elbows should be tucked rather than extended.
Source / Mike J2FIT

14) Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

Just be careful not to let your elbows flare out; if they do, the exercise’s emphasis will shift from your triceps to your chest.

Source / Get Fit This Year

15) Tate Press

The Tate Press, which is similar to the workout known as the “skull crusher,” can also be referred to as the “Chest Crusher” because the arms are moved inward into the body rather than upward toward the head.

Source / Anabolic Aliens

16) JM Press

The Skull Crusher and the Close Grip Dumbbell Press are two separate workouts combined into one “hybrid” exercise called the JM Press.

Source / Strength Asylum

17) Triceps Gravity Press

When you finish this exercise, your horseshoe muscles will be toast. This exercise seeks to keep your triceps under consistent strain throughout the raise.

Source / ADG Features

18) Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press

The reverse grip dumbbell press is an activity you should incorporate into your routine if you want triceps that resemble a horse kicking you in the back of your arms

Source / Tiger Fitness

19) Single-Arm Neutral Grip Dumbbell Z-Press

The single-arm neutral grip dumbbell Z-press is a helpful exercise that can help you put more muscle on the back of your arms and develop incredible pressing strength.

Source / Functional Bodybuilding

What are the benefits of Dumbbell tricep Exercises? 

Dumbbells allow you to regulate their position by twisting your wrist and moving them independently. This will enable you to tweak your technique to get the optimal mind-muscle connection and identify strategies to alleviate discomfort or joint pain. Anecdotally, laying barbell extensions can cause elbow pain in many lifters. The solution could be as simple as substituting dumbbells.

Imbalances are regular when focusing on one arm. We are all asymmetrical. Almost everyone has a dominant hand and intrinsic asymmetries due to having only one liver. While this is typical, employing one weight in two-arm workouts implies that the stronger side will take over, worsening the asymmetries. 

Dumbbells allow you to focus on one arm at a time, ensuring they exert the same amount of work and minimizing asymmetries. This is especially helpful if you have trouble connecting your thoughts and muscles.

Dumbbells let you train with compounds while getting the most out of your movements. You don’t have to limit yourself to isolated workouts if barbells aren’t your thing. A neutral grip dumbbell press, like a close grip bench press, targets the triceps, front delts, and chest. Dumbbells allow you to work out alone, closer to failure, without 

How Can Dumbbells Help Me Grow My Triceps?

If you want to bulk up your triceps (with dumbbells or any other weight), ensure you work all the heads. You should also train in several rep ranges (5-10, 10-20, and even 20-30) to see which content provides the best growth.

the bottom line

Including these seven most excellent dumbbell triceps workouts in your training program will undoubtedly help you increase bulk and strength. However, consistency and appropriate form are critical for attaining the best outcomes. Begin with lighter weights to master the proper technique and progressively raise the intensity as you grow, like with any fitness plan.

Remember that rest is essential for muscular building, so allow your muscles plenty of time to recuperate between workouts. Before beginning any new workout program, consult a fitness professional or healthcare practitioner, especially if you have any pre-existing health ailments or concerns.

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