Dumbbell Triceps Extension: How-To, Benefits & Variations

The dumbbell tricep extension is a single-joint exercise that works the muscle on the back of the upper arm, called the triceps.

The triceps is a three-headed muscle opposite of the biceps and is responsible for 2/3 of upper arm mass. It consists of 3 heads : the medial head, the lateral head and the long head. Big Triceps make the arms look big, contrary to the popularity of big biceps, which are smaller in comparison. So, it’s essential to focus on and work the three tricep head muscles for maximum gains.

What Is Dumbbell Tricep Extension

The dumbbell triceps extension is a versatile movement that targets your tricep muscles by repetitively flexing the elbow joint against resistance.

The dumbbell triceps extension can be performed in several positions, such as standing, sitting, or lying down, and either flat or on an incline/decline. You can also choose to work one arm at a time or both arms together.

The advantage of doing triceps extension with a dumbbell in each hand is that you will be able to spot and work on any arm strength imbalances.

Muscles Worked During the Dumbbell Tricep Extension

The dumbbell overhead tricep extension is an isolation exercise rather than a compound motion. This makes it a great exercise for targeting your triceps.

The primary muscle group worked by the dumbbell tricep extension is your triceps.

There are a variety of secondary muscle groups that activates during cable tricep extension are biceps, forearms, lats, abs (rectus abdominis), obliques, pecs, and traps (trapezius). These secondary muscles engage to stabilize and support the motion.

Benefits of the Triceps Extension

There are many exercises that work the triceps muscle along with other major muscles in the upper body, such as the push-up or the chest press. But dedicating at least some time to targeting the triceps can help you to build strength that is effective because you won’t be limited by weakness in other muscles.

The dumbbell tricep extension exercises offer an effective way to train the triceps, let’s have a look at some other benefits of tricep extension with dumbbell.

  • Strong triceps help with shoulder stability and improve your range of motion
  • Triceps main responsibilities are extending the elbow joint or simply straightening the arm
  • Strong triceps help keep your joints healthy, particularly your elbow joint.
  • Increase in overall arm strength, power, and endurance.
  • Allows you to lift heavier during other lifts like bench presses and shoulder presses.

Dumbbell Tricep Extension Proper Form And Technique

It is important to know the proper form and technique that athletes and weight lifters uses when performing dumbbell tricep extensions. It will provide you with a better perspective on your form.

  • Keep elbow close. People tend to flare their elbows outwards. This can put unnecessary stress on the shoulder as well as elbow joint.
  • Always remember that this is a tricep workout and not back training. Do not bend your back while pushing down the weights.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Always use weights that you can handle comfortably.
  • Always use the longest range of motion possible and control the dumbbells throughout the set.
  • Exhale whilst pushing dumbbells upwards and do in a controlled manner.
  • Keep the head in a fairly neutral position, don’t allow the neck to jut forward, as this may place excessive pressure on the cervical spine.
  • Concentrate on keeping your elbows stable.

8 Best Triceps Dumbbell Overhead Extension Exercises

The dumbbell tricep extension and its variations are sure to stretch sleeves and help you set new personal records. This article will introduce you to 8 different triceps dumbbell extension exercises that you can incorporate into your triceps workout regime.

1. Dumbbell Overhead Extension

If you’re looking for straightforward dumbbell overhead tricep extension to add to your routine, Two arm dumbbell extension is a great staple exercise to get you started.

The seated dumbbell overhead tricep extension is a variation of the tricep extension and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the triceps.

Overhead dumbbell extension exercises are particularly useful in targeting the long head of the triceps muscle. Having a larger and denser long head will give you an overall appearance of a larger tricep.

Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

How To Do Dumbbell Overhead Extension

  1. Sit on a flat bench, grab a dumbbell with both hands
  2. Lift the dumbbell until your arms are fully extended with palms facing the roof and elbows pointing forward.
  3. Bend at the elbows and squeeze your triceps, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head.
  4. Slowly return to starting position and repeat the desired number of sets and reps.

2. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

The dumbbell overhead triceps extension is a single-joint exercise that targets the triceps while increasing stability throughout the core and the shoulder regions.

By using dumbbells instead of an EZ-bar for the overhead extension, you work each arm separately and ensure one stronger side isn’t carrying the weaker one, but it’s also worth doing the exercise with one arm at a time. This lets you focus on perfect form in that one arm and allows for a greater range of motion.

One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

How To Do One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

  1. Stand shoulder width apart and lift a dumbbell overhead with your right hand.
  2. Hold it straight overhead with an overhand grip (palm facing forward).
  3. Keeping your upper arm right beside your head, lower the dumbbell behind your head and toward your left shoulder until your elbow forms a 90-degree angle.
  4. Then slowly lift it back to full arm extension. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Tips

  • Weight should move in a controlled manner.
  • The chin should remain parallel to the floor and the core should brace during the exercise.

3. Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

The dumbbell lying triceps extension is an excellent move to begin your triceps routine. Triceps extensions are isolation exercises, which means they use just one joint.

Triceps extensions can be beneficial for fixing imbalances in the triceps or rehabilitating from injury. Tricep extensions put no pressure on the wrists, so they are an alternative for people with wrist strain or injury.

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and hold them directly above you with your palms facing inward (neutral grip) and your arms extended.
  3. Making sure that your upper arms and elbows are still, lower the dumbbell behind your head, feeling a stretch in your tricep muscles.
  4. Pause and squeeze the triceps and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Tips

  • Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Slowly lower the weights and do not use momentum

4. One-Arm Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

When doing a tricep workout with a dumbbell, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

The One-arm lying dumbbell tricep extension is one of the best tricep exercises you can do because it stretches the muscle and allows for a full range of motion during the movement. It’s a fantastic exercise for overall tricep development and can be performed in a variety of ways, One-arm lying dumbbell tricep extension is one of them.

One-Arm Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do One-Arm Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

  1. Lie on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell in your right hand with an overhand grip. Extend your arm so that the dumbbell is straight up from your right shoulder.
  2. Without moving your upper arm, bend at the elbow to bring the dumbbell down to the side of your head.
  3. Exhale as you extend your elbow and push the dumbbell back up to the starting position.
  4. Complete as many reps as desired, then repeat with the left arm.

Tips

  • Only move your forearms, not your upper arm.
  • Do not lock out your elbow at the top of the movement.

5. Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

If you are looking to get bigger and stronger tricep, then the incline dumbbell tricep extension is what you need to add to your tricep workout routine.

The incline dumbbell tricep extension is an isolation exercise that builds muscle and strength in all three tricep heads. It can be used by both those looking to build bigger triceps and those looking to increase their tricep strength.

The benefit of doing extension movements is that you can get a deeper stretch in the muscle to hopefully activate more muscle fibers.

Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

How To Do Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie against an incline bench, face up, with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms over your shoulders with your palms facing each other, and then slowly lower the dumbbells behind your head by bending your elbows.
  3. Hold this position for a count and then with a controlled motion raise your arms back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Tips

  • Keep your upper arms fixed, with your elbows close to your head.
  • Do not use excessively heavyweight as this is dangerous for your elbows.

6. Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

The decline dumbbell tricep extension is a variation of the lying dumbbell tricep extension that adds a slight decline to the movement. This tricep extension is an isolation exercise that builds muscle and strength in all three tricep heads.

The decline tricep extension is a phenomenal exercise that can take your training and results to the next level. Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extension is more effective for two reasons: the use of a neutral grip and the location of the shoulders.

The benefit of doing decline extension movements is that you can get a deeper stretch in the muscle to hopefully activate more muscle fibers. It increases the range of motion, allowing you to get a greater stretch on the tricep at the bottom of the movement.

Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

How To Do Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie against a decline bench with your feet firmly on pads.
  2. Extend your arms over your shoulders with your palms facing each other, and then slowly lower the dumbbells behind your head by bending your elbows.
  3. Hold this position for a count. Then, in a controlled motion, raise your arms back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.

Tips

  • Keep your upper arms fixed, with your elbows close to your head.
  • At the top of the movement, do not lock out your elbows.

7. Lying Single Dumbbell Extension

The dumbbell lying triceps extension is an excellent move to begin your triceps routine. Triceps extensions are isolation exercises, which means they use just one joint.

Lying Single Dumbbell Extension

How To Do Lying Single Dumbbell Extension

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands, securing it on one end with your hands flat and palms facing upward.
  3. Making sure that your upper arms and elbows are still, lower the dumbbell behind your head, feeling a stretch in your tricep muscles.
  4. Pause and squeeze the triceps, and then raise the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Tips

  • Focus on moving the weight with your triceps.
  • Keep your body as still as possible, moving only your forearms.

8. Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

The seated two-arm overhead dumbbell triceps extension is an isolation exercise that’s great for building and strengthening your triceps brachii.

When performing the seated two-arm overhead dumbbell triceps extension, keep your elbows close to your head. This will emphasize your triceps brachii.

Two Arm Dumbbell Extension.

How To Do Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip, sit on a flat bench and both dumbbells should be above and slightly behind your head, with your arms straight.
  2. Engage your core and plant your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Keeping your elbows close to your head and pointing up towards the ceiling, inhale as you lower the dumbbells behind your head by flexing your elbows.
  4. Exhale as you raise the dumbbells by extending your elbows, keeping the rest of your body stationary.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips

  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement from start to finish.
  • Keep the head in a fairly neutral position, don’t allow the neck to jut forward, as this may place excessive pressure on the cervical spine.

Takeaway

The dumbbell triceps extension is a fantastic isolation exercise. It’s the perfect option to include in your triceps workouts, and you’ll definitely see a difference in your muscular development.

If you typically do either tricep pulldowns or tricep kickbacks, tricep extensions are a great alternative to add variety to your routine

Try out the different dumbbell tricep extension variations as well to see which one works best for you, or include them all for variety in your training.

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