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5 Exercises for the Triceps

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Folks from New Orleans know there are at least five ways you can prepare oysters – you can eat them fried, raw, charbroiled, Oyster Rockefeller or just boiled. Not everyone might be familiar with how to do the same thing with exercises. But the same concept can bring to life a targeted muscle group in five different ways. Today, let’s look at the triceps and five variations on activating that muscle group.

  1. Side to Side Triceps Push-Up: You’ll need a big plate weight for this one. Place the weight on the ground. Assume a plank position with hands lined up under shoulders but on the plate weight. Your back should be flat, feet slightly wider than hips and hips lifted off the ground. You can either drop your knees onto the floor or stay on your toes. Lift one hand off the plate and onto the floor but with your elbows tight to your body, bend your arms so your chest comes forward of your hands and your elbows go back. Then straighten your arms back into the plank position on the plate. On the next rep, step the other hand off the plate weight and repeat. Try to do 40 reps (20 on each side) in whatever increments you are conditioned for. You can do five reps on each side until you get to 40 total, for example.
  2. Triceps Kick-Back: Grab a form of resistance – a dumbbell or plate weight are great options. Lean slightly forward and bend your elbow behind your body with the weight near your hip. Without moving the weight forward first, push your hand back until your arm is straight and behind you. Make sure you switch sides after 10 reps.
  3. Triceps Rows: To do this one, load a barbell with a moderate to heavy weight for you. At Ochsner Fitness Center locations, we have pre-loaded bars of various weights so you don’t have to load the bars on your own. Grab the bar and stand up. Make sure your thumbs are on the outside of your hips/thighs. Lean forward and push your chest up and forward, butt back. Lower the bar to just above the knee line. Pull the bar along the thigh, keeping your elbows close to sides and moving backward behind the body. Then control the bar back to starting position. To build strength, do one set with lighter weight and 10 reps. Add a little weight and do 8 reps. Add a little more and do six reps. Repeat that three times.
  4. Triceps Press: Similar to a bench press, load a barbell and rack it on a bench. Line up underneath the rack, lying on your back. Grab the bar narrow with thumbs underneath and the rest of your fingers over the bar. Push the bar forward and up to dislodge it from the rack. Aiming for the lower ribcage instead of chest, lower the bar down with elbows close to the body until bar is close to the body, then press it away and straight up. To build strength, do one set with lighter weight and 10 reps. Add a little weight and do 8 reps. Add a little more and do six reps. Repeat that three times. Make sure you have someone to spot you if the weight gets heavy.
  5. Triceps Extension: Sitting, standing or kneeling, extend a weight over your head. You can use one dumbbell or each hand or hold a single large form of resistance like a plate weight. Making sure your biceps are squeezing your ears, bend your elbows and lower the weight behind your head until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle. Then, while keeping the elbows tight to the body, push the resistance back overhead until your arms are straight. Make sure you keep your core nice and tight when you have weight overhead to support your back. Try four sets of 10 reps on this one.

Get more expert workout advice at Ochsner Fitness Center.

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