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Going to a gym or using specialized equipment can help you target and train your muscles much better and more efficiently. But you can still achieve excellent results by opting for tricep exercises at home.
Best tricep exercises at home that can help tone and strengthen your arms
Chosen carefully, tricep exercises at home can help strengthen and tone your upper arm muscles.
Exercising at home eliminates traveling to a gym or fitness center, saving time and money. You can fit in a quick tricep workout whenever it is convenient.
Many tricep exercises require little to no fitness equipment. You can use your body weight, household objects like water bottles, dumbbells, or inexpensive resistance bands to add resistance to help challenge your upper arm muscles.
Some people feel more comfortable exercising in the privacy of their own homes. That can help them focus on their workout without feeling self-conscious.
While going to the gym may open up many possibilities, you can still do many tricep exercises at home to help target different muscle parts.
This variety allows you to challenge your muscles in different ways and prevent workout boredom.
Below are some of the best tricep exercises at home that can help tone and strengthen your upper arm muscles
Push-ups are some of the best tricep exercises at home.
While push-ups primarily target the chest muscles or the pectoralis major, they also engage the triceps as secondary muscles.
But by adjusting your hand placement and form, you can emphasize the triceps, helping you to target the muscle group more effectively.
Narrow push-ups are one of the variations that can help target the triceps very effectively.
Narrow push-ups are one of the most effective tricep exercises at home for targeting the upper arm muscles.
They are a variation of traditional push-ups. The exercise targets the triceps, chest, shoulders, and core muscles and is performed similarly to regular push-ups but with a narrower hand placement.
The exercise involves placing your hands closer together at less than shoulder-width, with your thumbs touching or nearly touching. This hand placement shifts more of the workload onto the triceps.
The close-hand placement emphasizes the triceps and forces the muscles to work harder to extend the elbows and push the body back up.
The close-grip push-ups also shift the emphasis away from the chest muscles.
The narrower hand position shifts the emphasis away from the chest muscles and limits the range of motion for the chest. That results in less activation of the pectoral muscles, allowing you to isolate the triceps for better results.
The hand position also makes the exercise more challenging than the traditional push-ups, helping to increase the strength and definition of your triceps and improve your upper body strength.
Diamond push-ups are a variation of traditional push-ups and one of the best tricep exercises at home for targeting the triceps, chest, and shoulders.
It involves placing your hands closer together in a diamond shape beneath your chest. You then lower your body until your chest is just above the floor, hold the position briefly while engaging your triceps, and then push back up to return to your starting position.
This hand position places more emphasis on the triceps muscles, making the exercise more challenging than a regular push-up.
Performing diamond push-ups as a regular exercise can help increase the strength and definition of your triceps. It can also help boost upper body strength.
Bench Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are some of the best exercises for targeting and strengthening the triceps.
The exercise engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It primarily engages the triceps muscles, but they also work the chest, shoulders, and core muscles, providing a comprehensive upper-body workout.
They are versatile bodyweight tricep exercises at home that require no equipment except parallel bars, dip bars, a bench, or even the edge of a sturdy chair, countertop, or raised platform.
The movement involves sitting on the edge of the chair or bench. You then grip the edge with your hands and extend your legs forward. Next, you bend your elbows to lower your body and then push back up using your triceps.
Incorporating tricep dips into your training regimen can help improve your ability to perform tasks such as pushing heavy objects or participating in activities that require upper body strength.
As you progress, you can increase the difficulty by using a lower chair or bench, elevating your feet on another surface, or adding resistance with a weight plate or backpack.
They are some of the best tricep exercises at home for strengthening and toning the triceps.
Skull crushers, also known as lying tricep extensions, specifically target the triceps, helping to strengthen and tone the upper hand muscles.
Skull crushers can help increase the strength and definition of the triceps, making it easier to perform everyday activities that involve pushing or pulling movements.
You can perform skull crushers with a dumbbell, a barbell, or an EZ curl bar. You will also need a weight bench. The versatility allows you to vary the resistance, grip, and range of motion, providing options to suit your preferences and fitness level.
It involves lying on a bench or the floor holding a dumbbell above your chest. You then slowly lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows and extending your arms back up.
Skull crushers involve a full range of motion for the triceps, stretching them at the bottom of the movement and contracting them forcefully at the top. That can lead to improved flexibility and mobility in the muscles.
Tricep Kickbacks (with Resistance Band)
Tricep kickbacks are popular exercises that target the triceps, helping to strengthen and tone the muscles.
The movement targets the rear deltoids or shoulders and the upper back muscles to a lesser extent.
You can use dumbbells, resistance bands, or cables, making them one of the best tricep exercises at home.
You can opt for a resistance band if you don’t have access to dumbbells at home.
Resistance bands are lightweight, portable, and inexpensive, making them a convenient option for home workouts or when on the go. You can do the exercises in various settings, allowing you to maintain your tricep training regardless of where you are.
Unlike free weights, like dumbbells, where the resistance may vary depending on the angle, resistance bands provide constant tension throughout the movement. This continuous tension can enhance muscle engagement and stimulate muscle growth.
Tricep kickbacks with a resistance band allow for a full range of motion, which stretches the triceps during the eccentric phase and contracts them forcefully during the concentric phase. That can contribute to improved flexibility and mobility in the muscles.
Resistance bands come with different tension levels, allowing you to adjust the intensity according to your strength and fitness level. You can increase the challenge by using a band with higher resistance or shortening the length to increase tension.
Steps to follow
- Stand with your feet at shoulder-width, holding the resistance band in both hands. Step on the middle of the band with one or both feet to secure it to the ground.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and core engaged. Your torso should be at a slight angle to the floor.
- Bring your elbows up and back to line them up with your torso. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor.
- Keep your upper arms still and extend your forearms straight back, fully straightening your elbows. Focus on squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.
- Slowly return to the starting position while maintaining control and tension in the band.
- Avoid swinging or using momentum to move the band, and focus on engaging your triceps to extend your arms.
- You can adjust the resistance of the exercise by using a different strength of the resistance band or by altering the grip points to increase or decrease tension.
Plank With Tricep Extension
The plank with tricep extension targets the triceps while improving core stability and shoulder strength.
It is a compound movement combining the benefits of a plank and a tricep extension, making it one of the best tricep exercises at home for targeting multiple muscle groups at once.
Adding the tricep extension to the plank increases the difficulty of the exercise and targets the tricep muscles in addition to the core.
The plank with tricep extension can also help improve posture, reduce the risk of back pain, and enhance overall fitness and athletic performance.
Steps to follow
- Start by assuming a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Your feet should be at hip-width.
- Pull your belly button toward your spine and squeeze your glutes to engage your core muscles.
- Next, shift your weight slightly to one side and lift the opposite arm off the floor.
- Bend the elbow of the lifted arm and bring your hand toward your shoulder to perform a tricep extension, ensuring you keep your upper arm close to your body.
- Extend your arm back out to return to your starting position.
- Repeat the tricep extension on the other side, lifting the opposite arm and performing the same movement.
- Continue alternating the tricep extensions while maintaining a stable plank position.
- Keep your body in a straight line throughout the exercise. Avoid sagging your hips or raising your buttocks.
- Focus on engaging your triceps and squeezing them at the top of each extension.
- Maintain a stable and controlled motion throughout the exercise.
- Breathe steadily throughout, inhaling and exhaling as naturally as possible.
- If using weights, start with a weight or resistance level that allows you to maintain proper form and gradually increase the challenge as you get stronger.
Tricep Pushdowns (with Resistance Band)
Including tricep pushdowns with a resistance band in your workout can help target and strengthen the triceps.
The movement isolates the triceps and can help improve their strength and definition.
Steps to follow
- Secure the resistance band at chest height to a sturdy anchor point, such as a door frame or pull-up bar.
- Stand facing the anchor point and grasp the resistance band handles or hold the band with an overhand grip. Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle and tucked close to your sides.
- Take a step or more back to create tension in the band.
- Keep your upper arms stationary and engage your core for stability.
- Straighten your arms and push the band downward while maintaining control.
- As you fully extend your arms, focus on squeezing your triceps at the bottom of the movement.
- Bend your elbows and slowly return to your starting position, ensuring you resist the band’s pull.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise. Avoid hunching your shoulders or using excessive momentum to move the band. Instead, focus on engaging your triceps to push the resistance band down and maintain tension on the muscle throughout the movement.
Dumbbell Floor Press
Dumbbell Floor Presses are great tricep exercises at home for targeting and strengthening the triceps and other muscles in the chest and shoulders.
The movement primarily engages the chest muscles, but the triceps are also heavily involved in the pressing motion.
Lying on the floor for the exercise allows you to maintain constant tension on the triceps throughout the movement and reduce the involvement of other muscles, such as the shoulders or lower back. That makes the dumbbell floor press one of the best-focused tricep exercises at home for developing and strengthening the triceps.
Steps to follow
- Lie flat on the floor or a mat, face up, with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Position the dumbbells at shoulder level, palms facing forward, elbows bent, and pointing to the sides.
- Engage your core and press your back firmly against the floor throughout the exercise.
- Press the dumbbells upward, extending your arms while maintaining control and stability.
- Once your arms reach full extension, pause briefly, then slowly lower the dumbbells to your starting position under control.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- To maximize tricep engagement during the exercise, focus on squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement and keep your elbows in line with your shoulders as you press the dumbbells upward.
- Select an appropriate weight that challenges you without compromising your form or control, and gradually increase the load to continue challenging your triceps.
Single-Arm Overhead Tricep Extension (With Resistance Band)
The single-arm overhead extension with a resistance band is one f the best tricep exercises at home that can help improve muscle tone, strength, and definition in the upper arms.
Steps to follow
- Stand upright with feet at shoulder-width. Place one foot slightly in front of the other for stability.
- Hold the resistance band with one hand and step on the other end to secure it.
- Bring your working arm overhead so that your upper arm is close to your ear, your elbow bent, and your forearm pointing behind you.
- Engage your core and keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
- Extend your forearm overhead, fully straightening your arm and contracting your triceps.
- Slowly return to your starting position by bending your elbow and lowering your forearm behind your head.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch arms.
- Keep your upper arm stationary and close to your ear throughout the movement to help isolate the triceps.
- Maintain control of the resistance band. Do not let it snap back quickly.
- Focus on the contraction of your triceps when extending your arm overhead.
- Control the descent of your forearm when returning to the starting position. That will help maintain tension in the triceps.
- Perform the exercise slowly and under control, emphasizing the mind-muscle connection with your triceps.
- Choose a resistance band with an appropriate level of tension to challenge your triceps without compromising your form.
Elevated push-ups, aka incline push-ups, are a modified version of the push-up exercise. It allows individuals to build strength and improve their form gradually.
They are best for beginners or individuals who struggle with the full range of motion push-ups on the floor.
Elevated push-ups allow for a more manageable angle and can gradually progress to full push-ups over time. You can progressively decrease the elevation by using lower surfaces until you can perform standard push-ups on the floor.
Thus the incline push-ups are one of the best tricep exercises at home for beginners.
Final words from LiveLIfe
Strong triceps are essential for various daily activities and sports that involve pushing, such as lifting objects, pushing doors, or performing athletic movements like throwing or striking. Developing triceps strength through various exercises can boost your ability to perform these activities effectively.
Stronger triceps can also help to support the shoulders and elbows, reducing the risk of injury.
While gym membership can improve your chances of building stronger triceps, tricep exercises at home can be viable alternatives.
They can help you to target and work your triceps with minimal or no equipment and in the comfort of your home.
Include these tricep exercises at home in your workout regimen to help you to achieve your fitness goals.
- Landin D, Thompson M, Jackson M. Functions of the triceps brachii in humans: a review. J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(4):290-293. doi:10.14740/jocmr3340w
- Kovar, E. (2023). 6 Triceps Brachii Exercises for Stronger Triceps. American Council on Exercise
- Anders, M. ACE-sponsored Research: Best Triceps Exercises. American Council on Exercise.
- Brittany Boehler, John P. Porcari, Dennis Kline, et. al. 2011. ACE-sponsored Research: Best Triceps Exercises. American Council on Exercise.