Focus On: Triceps Extension

Happy Friday! Are you as stoked that it’s almost the weekend as I am? It’s gonna be a good one….

We’ve got the BodyPUMP release 79 launch (remember my review of 78? And 77? Review of 79 coming atch’ ya soon!), some exciting personal/business stuff happening, and a whole lot of time to relax and catch up on some sleep. Wahoo!

But before that all happens, let’s zero in on an exciting topic…..lifting weights!

weight training!

Did you know that you have the ability to change the way you look and feel about your self –if, of course, that is what you’re going for?

The answer comes in hard & smart work, setting goals, using proper form, and of course, consistent resistance (or weight) training.


A lot of women I know complain about their “jiggly” upper arms. Well, to minimize (and/or get rid of) the “jiggle” we need to focus on that area…..the back part of the upper arm. Also known as the triceps muscles and surrounding area.

We already talked about biceps, and most know what biceps curls are, but I often see at the gym that many fail to work the opposing muscle group : the lonely triceps!

Focus On: Triceps Extension

A common move to target and isolate the triceps would be the triceps extension move (also seen in almost any BodyPUMP class). This move can be done lying down on a bench with a barbell or dumbbells, sitting on a bench with a weighted plate or dumbbell, or even standing with a weighted plate or dumbbell.

source-triceps extension

For correct form while lying down on the bench:

  • hold the barbell or dumbbells with a grip right above shoulder level (if the bar or dumbbells are wider than this, the focus will no longer be on the triceps)
  • bend at the elbows and let the bar or dumbbells come towards the forhead
  • to truly isolate the correct triceps muscles, keep the elbows pointed inwards–with an imaginative ball in between the elbows, squeeze the ball—as you lift the bar/dumbbells back up to the starting position
  • remember to keep the lower back on the bench<—this will help support the moving muscles

source-sitting triceps extension

For Seated Triceps Extensions (correct form):

  • stay seated upright (no slouching!)
  • keep the elbows in near the ears and bend at the elbows to bring the dumbbells down toward the neck
  • extend the weights up toward the ceiling, keeping the elbows in (for the upward movement)
  • make sure you can see your elbows out of the corner of your eye during the entire time
  • if the elbows start to pop out towards the sides, remind yourself to squeeze your ears

source-standing triceps extension

For Standing Triceps Extension (correct form):

  • this move is similar to the seated triceps extension (see above)
  • for this move, stand up tall, with knees soft (not locked)
  • try to keep the elbows slightly next to or in front of the ears–not behind!
  • this move can be done with weighted plates, dumbbells, or a barbell
  • keep the abs/core engaged the entire time
  • if your lower back is not very strong, split your stance (make a kickstand with the back foot)–but don’t lean back into that kickstand foot

As a reminder, proper form is SO important in weight training because if the form is not correct the targeted muscles will not be worked in the way desired….and thus goals and/or changes will not be met and injuries can occur.

Have a GREAT kickoff to your weekend—I am off to head to Zumba. I can’t wait to teach some new songs today–I have new Salsa, Cumbia, and Merengue songs- woot :)

Have YOU ever tried a triceps extension move?? What area of focus would YOU like to see next?? Any weekend plans??

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  1. I love your fitness tutorials. :)
    My favorite triceps exercise is DIPS!
    Just kidding. I hate those. Really, I like using the TRX for everything upper body- there are some crazy triceps exercises you can do on there!

    Happy Friday!!

    • Haha. Dips are something we LOVE to hate, ya know?! 😉

      I need to do some more TRX stuff, that stuff is legit!

      Happy Friday to you too!

  2. I prefer doing triceps extensions with dumbbell. As for me the amplitude in this case is much better.



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