Triceps Strengthening Exercises

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The following triceps strengthening exercises are designed to improve strength of the triceps muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Relevant Anatomy for Triceps Strengthening Exercises
Figure 1 – Relevant Anatomy for Triceps Strengthening Exercises

Begin with the basic triceps strengthening exercise. Once this is too easy, progress to the intermediate triceps exercises and eventually, the advanced triceps exercises.


Triceps Strengthening – Basic Triceps Exercise

To begin with, the following basic triceps strengthening exercise should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily. As your strength improves, the triceps exercise can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided it does not cause or increase pain.

Static Triceps

Begin this exercise with your elbow at your side and bent to 90 degrees. Your palm should be facing inwards with your hand in a fist as demonstrated (figure 2). Push down against your other hand tightening the muscles at the back of your arm (triceps). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible without pain. Perform on each side.

Triceps Exercises - Static Triceps
Figure 2 – Static Triceps (right arm)


Triceps Strengthening – Intermediate Triceps Exercises

The following intermediate triceps strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Resistance Band Triceps Extension

Begin this exercise with a resistance band held in both hands and tied securely at waist height as demonstrated (figure 3). Your elbows should begin bent. Keeping your back straight, slowly straighten your elbows against the resistance band tightening the muscles at the back of your arm (triceps). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible and comfortable provided the exercise is pain free. (N.B. This exercise can also be performed in standing).

Triceps Exercises - Resistance Band Triceps Extension
Figure 3 – Resistance Band Triceps Extension

Triceps Kickbacks

Begin this exercise holding a light weight, leaning forward with your back straight and your hand on a Swiss ball or bench as demonstrated (figure 4). Slowly straighten your elbows tightening the muscles at the back of your arm (triceps). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible and comfortable provided the exercise is pain free. Perform on each side

Triceps Exercises - Triceps Kickbacks
Figure 4 – Triceps Kickbacks

Triceps Dips

Begin this exercise with your feet on the ground and your hands supporting you on a stable chair or bench as demonstrated (figure 5). Keeping your back straight, slowly straighten your elbows tightening the muscles at the back of your arm (triceps). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Triceps Exercises - Triceps Dips
Figure 5 – Triceps Dips

Triceps Strengthening – Advanced Triceps Exercises

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