Our triceps muscle supplies around 55% of the size of our upper arms. The biceps muscle, often used for iconic flexing, comprises roughly 30% of our upper arm mass and the brachialis generally gives us the remainder.

Our triceps come into play as we push things away from our bodies. Some sports examples – the triceps is engaged when we throw a basketball, serve a tennis ball, spike a volleyball or swing a baseball bat. Biceps are in play as we catch a baseball or carry a football close to our bodies.

The triceps and biceps are antagonistic muscles and equally important to arm function and strength. Triceps muscles move our shoulders, elbows and forearms away from our bodies, while the biceps moves them toward our bodies.

Triceps exercises involve straightening our arms against resistance. There are many ways to include this within our workout routines. Many are able to be done at home, some even without weighted resistance. Public gyms usually will have special machines to isolate the triceps.

This post will show triceps strengthening methods at home. That is my niche and triceps machines are not necessary for full development of the triceps heads – long, lateral and medial.

I will also include videos of triceps workouts and sources for pertinent equipment.

In the picture above, note the long head of the triceps extending down to the elbow and the separation from the deltoid muscles of the shoulder.


There are several exercise forms for the triceps that don’t involve extra resistance:

  • Push-ups – this is a well known form of triceps development. All types of push-ups are effective.
  • Close grip (hand placement) push-ups are better for triceps isolation than the wider grips. This is for the same reason that close grip bench presses are considered better for specific triceps development than those with the typical wide grip (which stresses the pectorals more).
  • Diamond push-ups are even better and give us the ultimate triceps isolation. See below:

  • Bench dips (or couch dips, tree stump dips, chair dips) are great for triceps specialization. Be careful not to dip too deeply, since shoulder soreness may result if you are new to this.


There are several reasonably priced exercise tools for home triceps development. I have used all of the following and they are available through Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I may benefit from activity on the Amazon links that I use. This has no effect on the pricing. I have found Amazon to be very service oriented, as well as having just about any form of workout equipment we may want. Each link will show descriptions, prices, reviews and also other similar options to consider.

Push-up board. I have used this often and find that the handles allow for a deeper push-up and the hand positions give us precisely the effect we want – triceps, chest, shoulders or back.

Dumbbells or resistance bands with handles give us the opportunity to do triceps kickbacks. This targets the long head of the triceps, which is essential for optimum development. The kickback with dumbbells is shown below. I have used both resistance bands and dumbbells. I like to change my workouts to prevent boredom and to get different effects.

Adjustable dumbbells. I use dumbbells for every home workout.

Lighter dumbbells. These are favored by beginners and many women.

Resistance bands with handles are as effective as dumbbells for the kickback movement. I like to anchor the bands to my front door and pull each handle backward until I am exhausted.

Resistance bands with handles are shown here – a complete set, with door anchors and a choice of resistances.

Loop bands – may be used for triceps work by holding one end of the band and then bending your elbow down with the other hand holding the opposite end. (These are also called booty bands). These are less than $11

Here is a home dipping station – for parallel bar dips, excellent for triceps and chest muscles


The below videos will show many of the movements mentioned above, plus a few more. Dumbbells, bodyweight and resistance band workouts are shown.

Here is a great video – a home triceps workout with dumbbells by an advanced male instructor.

This video shows a bodyweight home triceps workout with unique movements. Female instructor.

A resistance band workout video with door anchor. Male instructor.

Whether we want strength for function or arm symmetry for bodybuilding, we must develop our triceps muscles. If we only want toned arms or if we want to avoid saggy arms in later life, work the triceps.

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Let’s get stronger!


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