- Triceps: Three-headed arm muscle
(Musculus triceps brachii)
Dumbbell Tricep Extension: Basics and alternatives
Involved main muscle groups:
Dumbbell Tricep Extension
The one-armed dumbbell tricep extension is a classic exercise that targets your triceps. It’s as simple as extending your arm at the elbow while holding a dumbbell, and this movement works your triceps.
This exercise is perfect for beginners since it’s easy to do. You can perform it standing or sitting, and all you need is a dumbbell. Plus, you can do it right at home.
If you want something similar, check out Kickbacks or Kickbacks with a resistance band. If you’re at the gym, the cable tricep extension is an excellent alternative. All these exercises are isolation exercises.
You can perform this exercise either standing or sitting on a weight bench. Both ways are effective if done correctly. Standing engages your core more, which is a bonus. However, standing requires more focus, so sitting might be easier.
Apart from that, there isn’t much room for variation. Just hold a dumbbell and follow the same steps each time.
Sit on a weight bench with a dumbbell in your hand.
Keep your back straight with a slight arch.
Lift the dumbbell up with a firm grip. Extend your arm and keep your palm facing inward.
Turn your elbow slightly outward and bend it, so the dumbbell moves behind your head. You’re now in the starting position.
Extend your arm at the elbow, but don’t turn your elbow anymore. Keep a slight bend and don’t overstretch. Hold for a moment, then move the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat on the other arm when you’re done with the first side.
When doing tricep isolation exercises like the one-armed dumbbell tricep extension, it’s crucial to avoid fully straightening your elbows. This puts stress on your joints and doesn’t provide any significant increase in muscle stimulation. Instead, keep a slight bend in your elbow at the end of the extension.
Also, ensure that the extension movement comes only from your elbow. Your shoulder should not move during the exercise.