20 Tricep Exercises for Women That Actually Work

Triceps are a muscle that doesn’t get much attention unless you follow a great weight training routine.

For most women, flabby arms keep us from wearing sleeveless shirts and keeps us self-conscious about how we look.

Below is a list of 20 tricep exercises that actually work:

1.) Tricep Kickbacks

This is a great isolation exercise best utilized using a lighter weight for higher reps per set.

*Don’t choose a weight that you can do this exercise easily, you won’t get anything from it.*

2.) One Arm Cable Tricep Extension

One of the more popular tricep exercises, this particular exercise utilizes the cable machine which adds a different type of resistance through the whole movement.

This exercise is another exercise that should be used in high rep sets.

3.) Close Grip Barbell Bench Press

Using a regular barbell, use a grip that is closer than your regular bench press grip.

A good starting point for your grip width should be shoulder width.

Be sure to play around with the width you grip the bar at, too close and you will feel some pains in your wrists; too far and you are doing a regular bench press.

This exercise is best using an 8 to 12 rep range and moderate weight. This is going to build up your strength.

4.) Close Grip Smith Machine Press

Same as a close grip bench press, but using the Smith machine.

I recommend using free weights before you use the Smith machine, but this exercise is a powerful one.

This exercise is best using an 8 to 12 rep range and moderate weight. This is going to build up your strength.

5.) Floor Press

An exercise used mostly by powerlifters, is actually an extraordinary exercise to use to tone up your triceps.

This exercise takes a friend or equipment able to allow you to press while laying on the floor, but is extremely effective.

Lay flat on the floor, slowly lower the weight until your arms touch the floor, and press up.

This exercise is best using an 8 to 12 rep range and moderate weight. This is going to build up your strength.

6.) Weighted Bench Dips

This exercise can be used with or without weights.

I would prefer to see someone doing proper form with no weights than adding a bunch of weight.

This exercise is best if used in an 8 to 12 rep range.

7.) One Arm Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

Hold a dumbbell in one hand above your head and lower the weight behind your neck and then squeeze and raise the weight straight up in the air.

This is a great exercise and with some practice you will be able to progress rapidly with this exercise.

This exercise also works your core.*

8.) Two Arm Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

Do the same thing as the one arm seated overhead dumbbell extension but use two hands.

This will allow you to use more weight and will really help your triceps get stronger and tone up.

9.) French Press

A french press is generally used with an EZ Curl bar or a straight bar with the weights permanently attached.

You do the same movement as you do with the two arm seated overhead dumbbell extension, except you’re using a barbell.

Keep hands a little bit closer in than shoulder width and really focus on letting the bar stretch your triceps.

10.) Close Grip Dumbbell Press

An added difficulty exercise, the close grip dumbbell press is the same as a close grip barbell bench press.

The use of dumbbells will add extra difficulty and is a great exercise to complete at the end of your workout doing as many reps as possible.

11.) Alternating Lying Dumbbell Extensions

Lay flat on the ground with arms pointing directly in front of you. Lower your arms in an alternating pattern down and back up.

Use light weight on this exercise, you will want to do high rep sets or even do as many reps as possible in a given set.

12.) Skull Crushers

Skull crushers sound like a hardcore exercise, but it is very effective.

Using the same movement as the alternating lying dumbbell extensions, get a good stretch and contraction using a bar.

13.) Tricep Dips

Good old-fashioned dips. Don’t get discouraged if you cannot do body weight dips, it is a very difficult exercise even for men who regularly lift weights.

Find an assisted dip machine and use a 5 to 8 rep range on these.

14.) Seated Dip Machine

There are many different types of dip machines, and the seated dip machine is great.

Being seated allows you to get a better angle on your dips so you do not harm your shoulders in the process.

With these seated dips, use an 8 to 12 rep range for these.

15.) Cable Tricep Rope Extensions

Just like the one arm cable extensions, this exercise utilizes the cable machine. Find the two arm rope attachment and get your byrn on.

A rep range of 10 to 15 up to as many as possible are great for this exercise.

16.) Push Ups

Push ups are a great at-home exercise to use to give your triceps a workout.

Use elevated furniture if regular push ups are too hard so you can get an 8 to 12 rep range on these.

17.) Close Grip Push Up

Take the same tips I give on push ups, just have your arms closer together.

Think of this like a close grip barbell bench press.

18.) Exercise Ball One Arm Dumbbell Extensions

Sitting on an exercise ball, perform a one arm dumbbell extension.

19.) Exercise Ball One Arm Tricep Kickback

Kneeling on an exercise ball, perform a one arm tricep kickback.

20.) High Pulley Overhead Tricep Extensions

Using the cable machine on the same setting as your tricep rope extensions, turn your body 180 degrees and place your butt on the machine.

Lean forward and extend your arms over your head. This should feel close to a french press or a two arm seated dumbbell overhead press.

The cable machine adds a different type of resistance. I would do this exercise as many reps as possible per set.


There you go, the top 20 tricep exercises that actually work. There are many different variations of all of these exercises, but these are the best.

Be sure to use weight that makes you struggle to complete each rep; it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you’ll never get bulky.

If you want to see results then you must push yourself to get stronger and build muscle to tone up.


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