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Tricep Extension (Seated & Standing) 2023**

A tricep extension is an exercise that targets the triceps, the muscles on the back of your upper arm. Triceps extensions are an awesome exercise that can give your arms a serious boost. 

The triceps extensions can be performed with a variety of equipment, including:

  • Dumbbells
  • Barbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Resistance bands
  • Cable machines

The tricep extension exercise is your ticket to building strong and defined triceps brachii muscles.

Having said that, if you’re aiming to improve your bench press, conquer push-ups with ease, or rock those overhead presses, strong triceps are your secret weapon.

Army PRT Tricep Extension Exercise

Objective: The purpose of this exercise is to enhance the strength of the triceps muscles

Triceps Extension
Triceps Extension

Initial Position (When Standing):

  • Stand straddling with your upper and lower arms forming a 90-degree angle.
  • Choose the right weight and confirm that the pin is properly secured in the weight stack.
  • Keep your posture upright, with your gaze directed straight ahead.
  • Hold the bar with a firm, pronated grip.

Initial Position (When Seated):

  • Take a seated position with your feet placed solidly on the ground.
  • Adjust the seat such that your upper and lower arms form a 90-degree angle.
  • Your elbows should be shoulder-width apart on the supporting pad, and your hands should be in a closed grip.
  • Make sure your hips and lower back press firmly against the back of the seat and your gaze is directed straight ahead.
  • Retain a natural curve in your lower back.
  • Choose the right weight and ensure the pin is securely inserted in the weight stack.


  1. Push downward until both arms are fully extended but not locked.
  2. Return to the starting position.

Check Points:

  • Feet remain on the ground, with hips and back firmly on the bench during seated triceps extension.
  • Keep the head and neck in a neutral position, looking straight ahead.
  • Exhale on count 1 and inhale on count 2.

Precautions: Do not lean forward while performing standing triceps extension. Do not arch the back or allow the hips to rise off the bench during seated exercise.

How to do the Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension

I will now go over how to do a standing dumbbell tricep extension. The focus of this exercise will be the long head of your triceps.

  • Always start with your feet when performing this exercise. Establish a good base, as you need good balance since you will be lifting the weight overhead. 
  • You will start with the dumbbell behind your head. Be careful not to hit yourself.
  • The important thing is to stretch the muscle fully, then come up, contract, and squeeze.
  • Doing this exercise while standing is beneficial because it engages your core at the same time, so good balance is crucial. 
  • Lower the weight all the way down, stretch, and then squeeze as you lift. Breathing is very important in this exercise, too. 
  • As you’re working against gravity, you should exhale when lifting the weight—squeeze your triceps, release, then come back down and breathe in.

Bad habits can occur with this exercise when people lift too heavy and start throwing the weight, or when they’re so off balance that it just looks awkward. 

You should pick a weight you’re comfortable with and can perform 10 to 15 repetitions. That’s the goal of hypertrophy, which means the growth of muscle or muscle size.

  • Once you’re done with your 10 to 15 reps with one arm, move to the other arm. Again, maintain a strong base and core; lift and squeeze that tricep. 
  • Lower the weight all the way down and stretch. It’s good to go through the full range of motion. 
  • You don’t want to limit yourself to the top part of the movement because that won’t work the whole muscle. 
  • Lower the weight all the way down, stretching that tricep right in here, then lift and squeeze.

There you go, guys, that’s your overhead dumbbell tricep extension.

How to do the Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extension

I will show you how to do the seated tricep dumbbell extensions. I will be using a bench and a dumbbell for this exercise. 

  • I will start by sitting down on the bench. I will work on my triceps, the muscles at the back of my arms. 
  • I will grab the dumbbells and make a triangle with our hands, with my palm on the top of the dumbbell; then, I will bring it up over my head.
  • My elbows will stay glued to my ears and point forward, not outward, which means they’re not going to move back and forth.
    • This is both my starting and ending position.
  • Next, I’ will bring the dumbbell back down and then up again, squeezing my triceps. 
  • My core is tight, stabilizing my back, because the dumbbell is trying to pull me back, but I’m not letting it. 
  • My elbows are facing forward, and my upper arms are not moving. I’m coming up and squeezing my triceps, repeating this up-and-down motion.

A good repetition range for this exercise is anywhere from eight to twelve, ensuring that you squeeze those triceps. 

Make sure you’re coming down nice and low; no partial reps, only full up and down motions. When you’re through with the exercise, bring the dumbbell back up over your head and then back down to your lap. 

That’s a dumbbell overhead extension! Remember:

  • Elbows stay forward, not flared out. 
  • Your upper arms stay glued to your ears. 
  • Allow a full range of motion, so let those lower arms drop back down, and squeeze them at the top. 

That’s how you do the seated dumbbell tricep extension exercise.

Benefits of Triceps Extension

Some of the benefits of the tricep extensions are as follows:

Triceps strength

  • Triceps extensions focus and isolate the triceps muscles, increasing their strength and power. 
  • Strong triceps are essential for various pushing and pressing motions, including bench presses, push-ups, and overhead presses.

Arm aesthetics

  • Triceps extensions can help sculpt and define the muscles of the upper arm. By developing the triceps, you can improve the overall appearance of your arms, making them look toned and well-defined.

Functional movements

  • Strong triceps are essential for everyday activities that involve pushing, lifting, or carrying objects. 
  • Whether pushing a door open, lifting a heavy box, or performing chores requiring arm strength, having well-developed triceps can make these tasks easier and more efficient.

Enhanced athletic performance

  • Activities like tennis, basketball, swimming, and throwing rely on powerful arm movements, and strong triceps can improve your ability to generate force and power in these movements.

Injury prevention

  • Strengthening the triceps can provide stability and support to the elbow joint, reducing the risk of certain injuries and also balancing out the strength ratios between the biceps and triceps, which may help prevent imbalances and overuse injuries.

Improved posture

  • Strengthening the triceps can help promote better posture and reduce the associated discomfort and injury risk.

Tips to Perform Triceps Extensions for Better Results

And now, to attain all these great benefits, let us help you with some quick tips to perform the tricep extension to maximize results!

  • Start with the right equipment. You’ll need a cable machine or resistance band for triceps pushdowns. Thus, make sure that the cable or band is securely attached at the top.
  • Stand straight, keep your posture upright, and engage your core for stability.
  • Grip and positioning: Grasp the handle with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, to position hands at chest level or slightly below.
  • Elbow positioning: Keep your upper arms close to your sides, and your elbows should be stationary throughout the movement. Avoid allowing your elbows to flare out to the sides.
  • Engage your triceps: initiate the movement by contracting your triceps. While keeping your upper arms still, push the handle or attachment downward by extending your elbows fully. Focus on squeezing your triceps at the bottom of the movement.
  • Controlled motion: Lower the handle or attachment back to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner. Avoid using momentum or allowing the weight to pull your arms back up.
  • Breathing: Exhale as you push the weight down and inhale as you return to the starting position. Maintain a steady breathing pattern throughout the exercise.
  • Mind-muscle connection: visualize your triceps working throughout the movement. Focus on feeling the contraction and stretch of the muscle to optimize your mind-muscle connection.
  • Start with an appropriate weight: Begin with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and without straining. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves.
  • Variation is key. To target different parts of your triceps, experiment with different grip positions and attachments. For example, using a rope attachment can provide a slightly different stimulus compared to a straight bar.

Always remember: quality over quantity! It’s better to perform the exercise with proper form and control at a lower weight than to use heavy weights with poor form.

But always listen to your body and adjust the intensity and resistance based on your fitness level and goals.

George N.