penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

7 Best Tricep Exercises to Beat the Bat Wings


When it comes to arm workouts, triceps are often neglected and biceps are given all the love. But if you want toned arms, it’s really important to include the triceps into your workout routine.

The triceps are the muscles that run along the backs of your upper arms. They make a big contribution to both your upper body strength, as well as the overall look of your arms.

Since different exercises emphasize different parts of your triceps, it’s best to include a variety of triceps exercises into your workout routine, just to make sure you’re strengthening and toning the entire area.

Ready to feel that tricep burn? Here are my top 7 tricep exercises for women wanting sculpted, toned arms.

#1 Dumbbell Tricep Kickback

The dumbbell kickback is one of the most common but highly effective exercises for building strength and toning the back of the arms. If you’re new to strength training, the kickback can help you build a good strength base in the triceps to help you move onto more challenging exercises. Be mindful to keep the elbow parallel to the floor, and as with any bent-over exercise, avoid sagging the back by keeping the chest forward and the hips back.

#2 Underhand Row to Tricep Kickback 

The underhand row to tricep kickback is a great 2-for-1 exercise that works to strengthen the mid-back muscles as well as the triceps. Turn the palms down in what’s called a supinated grip and maintain the same form as for the tricep kickback above. That means keeping the elbows parallel to the floor, and avoiding any sagging in the back by keeping the chest forward and the hips back.

#3 Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell floor press is another 2-for-1 exercise that primarily targets the triceps, and works the chest as a close second. The shoulders also come into play, since everything is connected, but the main focus is the triceps. This exercise is particularly good for removing potential strain on the shoulder joint.

#4 Seated 2 Dumbbell Tricep Extension

The seated 2 dumbbell tricep extension can be done lying or standing. You can also do it with one dumbbell or 2, but my favourite way to do it is seated with 2 dumbbells. This way you’ll target the core as well as sculpt the triceps, all while challenging the stability of the shoulder girdle. 

#5 Dumbbell Pushups

Pushups are a fantastic foundation exercise to incorporate into any upper body routine. The dumbbell pushup is an effective way to tone and strengthen the chest, triceps and core all at the same time. Keep a close stance, with dumbbells directly under the shoulder and your elbows tucked in at your side to get the most engagement out of the triceps. If you’re a beginner, modify by performing the move on your knees.

#6 Dumbbell Dips

This is an advanced and challenging exercise perfect for strengthening triceps, chest and shoulders. Modify your dumbell dips to make them slightly easier by moving to a bench and keeping the knees bent at 90 degrees. Be mindful to avoid going too low, or the elbows flaring out to avoid any impingent in the shoulder.

#7 Plank Jack to Tricep Pushup

Plank jack to tricep pushups are a great upper body strength and muscle builder, that also makes for a killer core exercise! It offers all of the benefits of both pushups and planks, while jacking up the heart rate for some cardio. This is a challenging exercise that will quickly highlight your weaknesses. If you struggle to push yourself up out of the bottom, you may need to strengthen your chest and shoulders. Sagging at the hips might mean you need to strengthen up your core.

So that’s my top 7 to get that tricep burn!

If you’re looking for a workout that incorporates several of these excellent triceps moves, why not try the chest, shoulders and triceps workout in my 5-day strength series? As with all my workouts, it’s completely free and online.

If you enjoy these moves, why not join me on YouTube where I upload new follow-along workouts every week! Make sure you subscribe and tick the notification bell, so you never miss a new workout. You can also sign up for workout calendars that I send out for free every month, and I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Have a great week!

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