As a trainer, a common thing I get asked by female clients is: what is the best way to ‘tighten’ and ‘tone’ the arms?
I personally love training arms, and in my experience I believe that tricep development is one of the best ways to create a sexy, sculpted shape. I also find that a lot of my favourite tricep exercises require little to no equipment – which means they are perfect for all abilities including total beginners and those with little access to a gym.
In this post I’m going to share some of my favourite tricep exercises, so you guys can add them into your routine and get STRONG and SEXY triceps!
1. Press Ups
Press ups are one of my favourite exercises (ever!) and I make sure to include them in my training a couple of times a week. They can be done absolutely anywhere, and require ZERO equipment – so you literally have no excuses. Although press ups are a very chest dominant movement, they are also an incredible exercise to engage the triceps too. I absolutely love a challenge, and I definitely think one of the main reasons these are on the top of my list is because when I first got into fitness, I couldn’t even do one! I even struggled doing press ups on my knees, but since training more, and practising (practise really does make perfect) I can now do full sets of press ups – which totally makes you feel like an absolute badass!
I’d recommend adding press ups into your routine and doing them first thing in a morning, before you go to bed, or in the gym during your workout. Wherever you can fit them, I want you to try and do them! I’d recommend doing 3 to 4 sets of as many reps as possible – You’ve got this!!
2. Tricep dips
Tricep Dips (as the name suggests) is perfect for tricep engagement, and the main exercise I’ve found to build and sculpt some solid, sexy tricep definition. To be totally honest, I also couldn’t do these when I first got into fitness – as I would get sharp pain in my elbows (I suffer from hypermobility, which basically means I have really slack and flexible joints). However, after adding more exercises in that developed my tricep strength, along with tricep dip regressions I am now able to do unassisted and assisted triceps dips with ZERO pain.
I love this exercise, again because there are so many different variations that you can do – and can be done at home as well as in a gym. My personal favourites are box (chair, bed, desk – you name it!) tricep dips, which are perfect for beginners. All you need to do is grab a bit of your house that is a relatively low/moderate height and set yourself up – meaning it is perfect for doing whilst waiting for the washing machine to finish, or whilst watching your favourite show on netflix (yay!). In addition, it’s a great exercise to easily be able to add progression and also make it easier, making it perfect for all abilities. When it comes to box tricep dips I recommend progressing the exercise by moving your feet bit by bit away from your centre of gravity. You can also help to activate and engage the triceps further by pausing the exercise at the bottom of the movement in an isometric hold.
3. close grip press
Close grip press is another amazing exercise that i’ve personally found is particularly great for developing the strength and power of your triceps. It’s simple to set up, and you can do it with a barbell or a dumbbell. I would recommend keeping a moderate weight (trust me your triceps are stronger than you think), keeping the elbows tucked throughout the movement and stop just above the chesticles (and try not to bounce the weight). You can also make it more difficult by adding an isometric hold as we discussed in your tricep dips, to improve overall tricep engagement.
Commandos (or also known as up/down planks) are not only an incredible exercise for the triceps (and overall arms), but they are also perfect for strengthening the core. They look easy, but they are actually really challenging so take it steady and only perform as many in a set as you feel commfortable. Start in a plank position on your forearms, and push up with one side until your arm is straight and follow with the other side. Then come down back onto the forearm, and repeat whilst switching the leading arm every time. Focus on keeping your core tight throughout, and positioning your feet slightly wider than shoulder width to give a stronger, more stable base. Keep your shoulders in line with your arms at all time, and think about squeezing through the obliques as you go through the movement, rather than twisting with the hips.
I really hope you found my favourite tricep exercises useful, and I would recommend you all to add them into your routine if you are looking to shape, tighten and ‘tone’ your arms.
What are your favourite arm exercises? I would to hear in the comments down below!
Love, Beth x