Triceps Extension

Triceps Extension

The tricep extension is an exercise that specifically works to isolate and target the triceps.

It is the most effective option to work and tone your triceps directly. It stands out from other triceps exercises because a majority only target triceps as a secondary muscle group.

Triceps are the New Biceps

Doing this exercise is relatively simple. However, it is imperative to be attentive to form for this exercise to live up to its full potential. Start with just a dumbbell. Start low so you can master the form before increasing. Start by standing with your feet shoulder length apart. The weight should be directly overhead, held with both hands extended. Then, slowly bend your elbows, so the weight lowers backward and gets to about the back of your neck. Your arms should be a little lower than 90 degrees. Pause when you hit that depth, and then raise back up to complete one set.

Here are some things to be aware of to make sure that you’re keeping good form:

  • Make sure that your shoulders and elbows are still. You need to be primarily engaging your triceps while keeping everything else still to do this exercise properly.
  • Avoid popping your elbows out to the side. They should be pointing forward at all times. This will keep you from injuring your shoulders.
  • If you are feeling pain in your shoulders or elbows, you are likely doing this exercise wrong, or you are starting with too much weight. Make sure that you are tending to those joints and listening to them if something feels wrong.

Targeting the Triceps

There are a wide variety of variations of equipment and positions to do this exercise in. However, the premise and motion remain the same. For instance, this exercise can also be done while laying on a bench. In this variation, you start with the dumbbell raised up above your face, and then bend your elbows back, so it ends up by the top of your head. This exercise can also be done with a barbell or cable while lying down, or it can be done in a sitting position. To add extra resistance, you can also do this with the bench on an incline or decline.

The triceps extension is known as being one of the most versatile, and one that everyone of every level should have in their workout routine. This is because the triceps extension, and its variations, are an isolation exercise. They are the only ones that just target the triceps. Paying specific attention to the triceps is vital because they need to be built in order to properly balance the biceps and other muscle groups in the arms.

This exercise will not only help build your triceps but will also help you strengthen and stabilize both your shoulder and elbow joints. The three work so closely together that, by building the muscles, the joints simultaneously strengthen.


The most important thing you can do during this exercise is to be aware of how your joints are responding. Joints can often be a bit more sensitive, so make sure that you are building up your tricep muscles while also taking care of your elbow and shoulder joints. This exercise will allow you to strengthen all three of those things in tandem, as well as isolate the triceps which are so often an afterthought to the biceps.

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