3 Best Triceps Exercises for Firm Arms

By Robin Reichert

They’ve been called many things, batwings, granny arms, but the result is the same: embarrassing flabby triceps on the back of the arm. Women are particularly susceptible to weak flabby triceps. The triceps are muscles found in the back of the upper arm and run between the elbow and the shoulder. The muscles help to bend and extend the forearm as well as stabilize the shoulder joint. Tightening and toning the back of the arm can be a challenge, but there are three very effective exercises that you can do today to start getting rid of those batwings. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) took part in research to determine the most effective exercises to help women to firm up their triceps muscles. ACE found that triangle or diamond push-ups, triceps kickbacks and triceps dips were the most effective exercises targeting the back of the arm.

Triangle Push-Ups

The push-up is a powerful exercise that works the whole body, but is especially effective for the arms, chest back and abdominal muscles. Perform the triangle push-up the same way a regular push-up is performed, except you place your hands in a triangle pattern on the floor. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders so that the tips of your index fingers and thumbs are touching to make a triangle shape. Push your elbows back and then lower your chest toward the floor, but don’t allow your chest to actually touch the floor. Placing your hands in this triangle shape engages your triceps. In addition to your triceps your chest muscles, back and abdominal muscles get a great workout, too.

Triceps Kickbacks

Perform the triceps kickback exercise by grasping a 2-pound to 5-pound dumbbell in your right hand. Put your left knee on a bench so that your left shin is parallel to the floor and lean slightly forward. If the bench has an arm rest, use it to support your body with your left arm, otherwise rest your left arm on your left thigh. Extend your right arm back behind your body toward the ceiling until your arm is straight. Try to do 10 to 15 or more repetitions on each side. You can work both arms at the same time by standing up while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lean slightly forward and place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Bring both elbows up to your waist and then extend your arms backward and upward. Squeeze your triceps to hold the position for 2 seconds and then return to the start position. Try to do 15 repetitions.

Triceps Dips

The triceps dip is a more advanced exercise that will leave you really feeling the burn in the back of your arms! Use a shoulder width dip bar at your gym to work out both your triceps and your shoulders. Grasp the bar so that your palms are on top of the bar on each side and lift your body straight up off the floor. Your arms should be straight and against your sides. Slowly lower your body straight down. Your elbows should bend and point back and slightly upward. Continue lowering your body until you feel the stretching in your triceps and shoulder. Lift your body slowly back up again until your arms are straight. A variation of this exercise can be done at home with a short, sturdy chair or a step-stool. Place a sturdy chair against a wall to prevent it from moving during this exercise. Sit on the chair and place your hands on the front edge of the chair just under your thighs. Bend your elbows and lift your bottom off the chair using your arms. Bring your hips forward and lower them toward the floor. Keep your shoulders down and your back straight. Lift your body up and hold for 2 seconds and then lower your body and hold for 2 seconds. Try to do 15 repetitions.

Robin Reichert is an AFPA certified nutrition consultant, AFPA certified personal trainer and freelance writer, specializing in health and fitness. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. Robin’s goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for her clients. Her services include both in-person and online personal training at http://www.trainwithmeonlinetoday.com

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