At-Home Triceps Building Exercises

You can effectively work your triceps at home. Regular workouts and a proper set of exercises are everything you needYou can effectively work your triceps at home. Regular workouts and a proper set of exercises are everything you need


Preparation for Workouts

The triceps are the muscles that can visually increase the size of the arms and make them bigger. If your goal is to add a few inches to your arms as fast as possible, despite popular belief, you should focus on doing triceps exercises rather than working out your biceps.

The key to success is the regularity that means that the exercises described below should be performed on a regular basis. Gradual increase of the load is also essential. For better results, you should stick to a healthy diet and have a good sleep.

You can speed up your progress by consuming more protein and cutting alcohol, soda, energy drinks, and confectionery products out of your diet. Pay special attention to a healthy diet, because exercise and proper nutrition constitute the basis for good muscle growth.

Before working out, you should always warm up your muscles and joints. For this, you can not only perform light gymnastic exercises, but also do some cardio in the form of running or using an elliptical trainer if you have it at home.

Remember that the effectiveness of training depends on your desire, persistence and work. The exercises described below are suitable for both men and women. Besides, you should learn the structure of the muscles that are being worked out during the exercise to understand how to isolate them. We will discuss this matter further.

The Structure of the Triceps

Before you start an exercise routine, you should learn the structure of the triceps. This knowledge can help you build a proper workout plan and feel the part of the muscle involved during the process.

The first important thing to understand is that the three-headed muscle is responsible for any arm movement. Besides, it connects the ulnar bone to the humerus. The muscle is called "three-headed" because it consists of 3 "components", or heads:

  • Lateral;
  • Medial;
  • Long.

It runs down the back of the arm, closer to the shoulder joint. It makes up about 70 percent of the upper arm size. The triceps works in such movements as abduction of the arm backward and overhead arm extension.

Lying French Press

The elbows should remain stationary throughout the exerciseThe elbows should remain stationary throughout the exercise

To perform the exercise, you need a bench or a pair of stools placed next to each other, but you should make sure that they can support your body weight.

Professional coaches still recommend purchasing a special exercise bench that can be found in any sports store. Execution:

  • You need to lie down on a bench with your back fully relaxed.
  • You should select two dumbbells or a barbell of suitable weight. You should gradually increase the load with each workout.
  • When you grab the barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, the distance between your hands should be 40 cm. Raise the weight in front of you at arms’ length. Make sure that the elbows are tucked in and do not let them flare out. This is the proper position of the arms.
  • Bend your elbows and slowly lower the weight behind your head. Try to keep your elbows stationary.
  • Do not forget to breathe deeply as you bend and extend the elbow joints. Perform 10–12 repetitions. The recommended amount of sets for this exercise is 3–4.
  • After you complete the last set, stand up, breathe for a few minutes, and have a few sips of water. Now you can proceed to the next exercise.

French Press Variation with Dumbbells

You can use either a single dumbbell or two dumbbellsYou can use either a single dumbbell or two dumbbells

This exercise can be an alternative to the previous one, even if you have a single dumbbell at home. You should:

  • Lie down on a bench or a chair seat with your shoulder blades resting on it.
  • Grab the dumbbell with an overhand grip (your palm facing out from you).
  • Holding the elbow of the working arm with your free hand, raise the weight up and start to bend and extend your elbow. Complete 10 reps. Be sure to keep your elbow fixed and do not move it forward. Once you complete the set, change the arm. In total, you should perform 3–4 sets. Remember to breathe properly – lower the weight as you inhale, and press the dumbbell up as you exhale.

It is important to breathe properly while exercising. Also, you should try to measure your heart rate and blood pressure before and after a workout to control your health and prevent overtraining.

Parallel Bar Dips Exercise

This exercise is one of the most effective triceps exercises, because it involves many muscle groups. The proper technique of execution is as follows:

  1. Place your hands on the parallel bars at shoulder-width.
  2. Your torso should be perpendicular to the floor throughout the exercise.
  3. Do not lean forward or place your hands too wide apart, because it makes the exercise less effective.
  4. You should lower your body towards the floor until your elbows are at an angle of 90 degrees.

If you want to do this exercise at home, you need 3 stools. You should arrange them in an isosceles triangle shape. Two of them should replace the bars, and the third one serves as a support for your legs – it allows you to lower your body according to the proper exercise technique.

It is important to place both hands and legs in the center of a stool, with your feet on tip-toes.

Bench Dips

If the described variation is too difficult for you to perform, you can place your feet on the floorIf the described variation is too difficult for you to perform, you can place your feet on the floor

This exercise is better performed with two benches or a couple of stools. If you have neither of them, you can place your feet on the floor.

  • Place two benches or stools parallel to each other at a distance of 80 cm.
  • Sit on one of the benches with your hands on its edge, and place your heels on the other bench.
  • Slide off the bench and slowly lower your body by bending at the elbows. Try to go down as far as you can, and then push back up to the starting position using the triceps.
  • Perform 10–15 repetitions. Remember to breathe properly.

After you complete the exercise, drink some water and have a little rest. Perform 3–4 sets. If you want to increase the load for triceps, you should do 10 close-grip push-ups after each set.

Seated Single Arm French Press

  1. Sit up straight on a chair.
  2. Grab a dumbbell with one hand. Your other hand should be free.
  3. Raise the dumbbell above your head, with the back of your hand facing up toward the ceiling.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head. You should feel your triceps stretching.
  5. Pause, and then raise the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Complete 10–15 repetitions and change the arm.

Focus on keeping the elbow of the working arm fixed and do not let it flare outFocus on keeping the elbow of the working arm fixed and do not let it flare out

This exercise is not recommended for the people during the first six months after arm injury, and for those who have not done sports before. Perform no more than 5 sets to prevent ligament rupture. You should gradually increase the intensity of the activity and the frequency of reps. While exercising, do not forget about proper breathing.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickbacks

Your elbow should be fixed as well as in the previous exercisesYour elbow should be fixed as well as in the previous exercises

  • Get into standing position.
  • Bend forward, and place one of your hands on a bench or stool.
  • Grab a dumbbell with your other hand, with the palm facing your body. Push the dumbbell back by extending your elbow. The elbow should be at shoulder level. Your arm should be straight and tucked to your side.
  • Lower the dumbbell until your arm is bent into the shape of a letter "L".
  • Extend your arm to the starting position.
  • Alternate after a set.
  • Do three sets with each arm, rest for a minute, and perform a few sets again.

If you feel pain during the exercise, you are not ready to do it yet. Remember that excess physical load during the first days of training may result in negative consequences.

Close-Grip Push-Ups

Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises that can be performed at home. This push-up variation is especially beneficial after you do the previous exercises.

  1. Lie on the floor face down, holding your torso up at arms' length.
  2. Place your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows tucked by your side throughout the exercise.
  3. Lower yourself, bending your elbows.
  4. Using your triceps, press your body back up to the starting position.
  5. Perform 10 sets. Increase the number of reps with each workout.

To get more out of your push-ups and hit the triceps harder, place your hands closer to each other, straight under your chest.


Using Rubber

You need to purchase a rubber resistance band and attach it to a stationary object, for example, a locker or a bedside table. This elastic band should reach the level of your shoulders.

At the gym, the athletes use a rope handle attached to the exercise machine. But it is hardly possible to create such a system at home. To perform the exercise, you should:

  1. Grab the attached rubber resistance band with both hands (palms facing down) and bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Push your arms down until you touch the front of your thighs, fully contracting your triceps. Then bring your arms to the starting position.
  3. Make sure that the rubber cable is stretched well – the tension should be slightly harder than comfortable.

Workout Programs

There are several triceps building workout plans. The exercises, number of sets and reps within a set are described below.

Basic Triceps Routine

This program is good for the basic development of the triceps, sculpting it, and increasing the triceps mass. The following exercises should be performed regularly:

  1. Lying French Press;
  2. Seated Single Arm Press;
  3. Triceps Kickbacks.

Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 12 reps.

Strength Building Triceps Exercises

To increase the strength parameter of your triceps, you need to perform the following set of exercises:

  1. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press;
  2. French Press;
  3. Bench Dips.

Perform each exercise for at least 5 sets of 8 reps.

Lighter Load on the Elbows

If your goal is to build bigger triceps, but you do not want to put too much load on your elbow joints, this program is right for you:

  1. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press;
  2. Triceps Kickbacks.

Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 15 reps within a set.


  • Regular exercise and proper execution of the programs can help you achieve the desired result;
  • Healthy eating is essential for muscle building and gaining muscle mass. You should supply your body with adequate amount of protein;
  • You should consume protein 40 minutes before and half an hour after a workout;
  • In pursuit of toned arms, you should avoid overtraining and using heavy weights. Otherwise, you will not get the desired results, and moreover, it can do more harm than good, because an injured muscle needs time to recover;
  • It is very important to feel your triceps working and distribute the load properly. It helps to control and correct the training process.


Shalukhin Alexander
Shalukhin Alexander
Personal trainer, sports doctor, physical therapist
  • Builds individualized exercise programs and leads personal training sessions;
  • Specializes in sports traumatology and physiotherapy;
  • Provides classic therapeutic and sports massage sessions;
  • Conducts research studies on new exercise and recovery techniques;
  • Chief website editor. Writes articles on sports injuries and sports supplements reviews.


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