Best Tricep Exercises for Women
Biceps tend to get most of the attention when you’re working out your arms, but what about the triceps? This is an overlooked and frankly underworked part of the arm, and I want to share with you some of the best tricep exercises for women that put the focus squarely on these muscles.
The triceps are made up of three distinct muscles called the lateral head, medial head, and long head. These muscles work together to assist you in straightening your arms and extending your elbows out. They run along the back of the upper arms and provide power for a large variety of chest exercises.
There are a number of different tricep-focused exercises you can do, with some of them working different areas of the triceps than others. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a few different kinds of tricep exercises so that this muscle group becomes well rounded.
Today, I’m sharing some of the best tricep exercises for women at home- exercises you can do with minimal equipment and without the need for a gym. As you do these exercises, it’s important that you focus on doing them in smooth, fluid motions. Avoid jerky motions when possible, as that can sprain a muscle or cause other injuries. Pay attention to your form as well, and if you need some assistance with your form, you can watch instructional videos online for each of these exercises or work out in front of a mirror to check your form.
Dumbbell Floor Presses
The best bicep and tricep exercises for women typically involve dumbbells. If you want to focus on triceps rather than biceps, you may just need to take an ordinary curl, press, or lift exercise and invert it or change it up in some way. By changing your position and doing the exercise from a different angle, you can target different muscles.
For dumbbell floor presses, you’re lying on the floor while pushing the dumbbell upwards. As you press the dumbbells upward, make sure you’re lifting them over your chest rather than your head. That’s a much safer angle for you and there’s less risk that you’ll drop a dumbbell on your head.
With this exercise, you’re working from a very stable position. It allows you to the focus squarely on your triceps and use heavier weights than you might otherwise.
Start by lying down on your back and bending your knees. Keep your feet down flat on the floor and hold a dumbbell in each of your hands. Your elbows should be pointed out to your sides at about a 45-degree angle. From this position, press the weight straight up from your chest, extending your arms while your lower back is pushed down into the floor. At the peak of this movement, pause and then lower the weight slowly back down until your upper arms are resting on the floor. This is a single rep, and you can do ten of these for a set before taking a rest.
A great variation of this exercise is to do it with a single arm, which engages your core and ensures there’s no imbalance in your weight training regimen. You could also try alternating arms, keeping a dumbbell in each arm, but only lifting one arm at a time. This helps to work your core more.
Negative Tricep Dip
You’ll need a bench for this exercise, and you start by standing away from the bench with about a single step distance between you and it. Put your hands on the edge of the bench below your glutes and lined up with your shoulders. Your fingers should be facing in front of you.
Bring your glutes forward off the bench while keeping yourself suspended with your hands. A lot of your body’s weight during this exercise will be resting on your arms and hands, so if you have weak wrists or shoulders, this may be a very difficult exercise for you.
From this position, take a breath in and bend your elbows to lower your glutes and thighs. Continue to lower yourself until your arms are both at 90-degree angles. If you’re doing this exercise correctly, at the low point of the movement, your wrists, elbows, and shoulders should all be lined up with one another. Then, breathe out and use the heel of your hands to straighten your arms and come back up to the beginning position. There’s a temptation to use your legs to help you up, but try to avoid that. You also want to make sure that your body stays in an upright position the entire time. You can do this exercise 10 times for a single set of reps, take a break for 30 seconds and then do an additional few sets.
These are some of the best exercises for tricep definition for women, not just because they require very little equipment but also because of the burn they put on your triceps. They really work this muscle group to give it definition and musculature.
This classic exercise is one I recommend for almost any workout session. It works quite a few different muscle groups, including the core, shoulders, triceps, and more. It’s one of the best body weight tricep exercises for women because you can do it almost anywhere, and there are modifications that make it a good choice for people who aren’t very fit and who are trying to get more defined arms.
The push up is definitely a power move, as it works triceps, biceps, chest, back, glutes, and core. If you want strong looking triceps, this one the fastest ways to get them.
A proper pushup starts in the high plank position with your shoulders lined up with your wrists. The majority of your body weight will be suspended by your palms, with your shoulders providing a lot of the upper body support. As you do the exercise, you want to keep your core tight and engage and bend at the elbows. Lower your body to the floor until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Your head and chest should be very close to the floor at this point. Then, press immediately back up to your beginning position. You don’t need to hold the low point of this exercise, because you’re not doing planks. When you push up from the low point of the exercise you should be coming up explosively. This will help create a burn in your biceps and triceps and really work those muscles. Try to do about 10 to start with, taking a break and then doing an additional 10.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Let’s end with a fairly simple exercise that is really good movement to build up tricep strength and definition. Dumbbell shoulder presses are something you can do standing up or sitting down, and it’s one of the best free weight tricep exercises for women.
I recommend starting off with a lower weight that you can easily handle, and then working your way up to a heavier weight, once you’re comfortable with the exercise. Remember to keep your motions smooth and fluid so that there’s no risk of injury and so that you get the most benefits from this exercise. Keeping fluid movements and controlling your breathing as you work will ensure that you can do more reps before you need to take a break. You should breathe out as you push the dumbbells upwards and then breathe in as you lower them back down.
Start with the dumbbells just off to the side of your shoulders with your palms facing forward and the dumbbells held just above the height of your shoulders. Then, push up and bring the dumbbells together to where they’re almost touching over your head. Come immediately back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Working these exercises into your regular workout session will make a huge impact on your triceps, and they can be mixed in with other exercises to work different parts of your body and to build up your tricep muscles over time.