Target your triceps with a pair of dumbbells and this tri-set workout

15 spare minutes is all you need

woman doing dumbbell overhead tricep extension
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Want to build more defined-looking arms? You need to prioritise doing tricep exercises as they actually make up the majority of your arm (60-70% of it in fact). These exercises will do just that by helping to create lean muscle and are perfect for adding onto the end of your upper body session. Alternatively, you can do them a few times for an entire arm workout. You’ll just need a pair of dumbbells and an exercise mat.

The tricep is made up of three heads and is responsible for extending the elbow joint and straightening our arm. According to Healthline: “Increasing triceps strength brings stability to your shoulders and arms, improves flexibility, and increases range of motion.” The stronger your triceps are the easier you will find everyday activities that use a ‘push’ movement. But they will also support other upper body movements too, such as your bench press and overhead press. 

This workout is a tri-set workout, where you perform three exercises back-to-back without any rest. The benefit of this is that, firstly, it allows you to pack more into your workout within a short time frame but, secondly, they also increase the amount of time your muscle is spent under tension, which is a critical factor for muscle growth. For each exercise you'll do 10 to 12 reps. Once you've completed one round of all three exercises, rest for 90 seconds, then repeat three more times. Here's your workout:

  • Single arm cross-body tricep extension into skull-crusher
  • Tricep push backs
  • Single arm tricep row into an extension into a push-up (do this sequence in a kneeling push-up position)

We hope your triceps aren't aching too much after that, but it will help build muscle which will give you that desired 'toned' look that you're after. If you're looking for more tricep workouts, then we've got another three-move dumbbell workout for you to try. You don't have to just use dumbbells though, you can build muscle using a resistance band too and we have a great four-move banded tricep workout here that you can try.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.