This 15-minute resistance band triceps workout tones and tightens the muscles at the back of the upper arm.
The muscle has three heads – lateral, medial, and long – that connect directly to the scapula (shoulder blade) and humerus (upper arm bone). While each triceps exercise engages all three heads to some extent, gym-goers will often isolate the lateral head (located on the outside of the arm) at the expense of the other two by focusing on exercises such as dips and kickbacks. Varying your go-to triceps exercises will help to correct any imbalances.
Healthy triceps not only improve overall strength and performance in the upper body, they also allow the elbow to bend by serving as an antagonist muscle for the biceps and play an important role in shoulder stabilization.
How Strong Are Your Triceps?
You may be surprised to learn that the triceps muscle, which takes up a full two-thirds of your upper arm, is actually larger (but usually weaker in most people) than the biceps.
Often the muscles at the back of the body are weaker than those at the front. Think about the strength in your biceps, abs, and quadriceps, compared to your triceps, spinal extensors, and hamstrings.
This may come down to the fact that you spend less time training the back of your body.
15-Minute Resistance Band Triceps Workout
To complete this triceps workout:
- Before starting the triceps workout, repeat 10-20 band arm circles as a warm-up.
- Perform each exercise for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds and repeat before moving on to the next exercise.
The Warm Up:
Stand with feet hip distance apart, holding the exercise band in front of your thighs, hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders relaxed as you reach your arms overhead and circle them behind you towards your hips. Reverse this circle to return to the starting position.
Perform 10-20 repetitions, until shoulders feel warm.
Triceps Band Pull
Hold the exercise band with both hands, a little wider than shoulder-width, and bend the elbows to 90º. Relax shoulders and flatten shoulder blades against your rib cage—try not to move them during this exercise. Exhale as you straighten both arms to the side, making a letter “T” shape. Keep elbows lifted as you bend them back to 90º.
Tip: To increase tension on the band, hold your hands closer together; to decrease, hold them further apart.
Stand with your RIGHT foot on one end of the exercise band. Hold the other end in the RIGHT hand, behind the head. Point the right elbow to the ceiling, keep the shoulders relaxed, and then extend and bend the right arm. When your arm is straight, your fist should point directly up; when your arm is bent, the elbow should point directly up. Switch to the LEFT foot and LEFT hand on your second set.
Hold the band at the ends, step RIGHT foot directly on the center of the band, and step LEFT foot back into a lunge position. Engage the abdominals and hinge spine forward to come to a flat back position. Bend elbows back past your rib cage. From here, simply bend and straighten the elbows, keeping the upper arms lifted as high as possible.
Hold the band at the ends, step LEFT foot on the center of the band, and step RIGHT foot back into a lunge position. Engage the abdominals and hinge spine forward to come to a flat back position. Keep a tiny bend in the elbows as you lift and lower your arms straight behind you.
Triceps Resistance Push-Up
Lie on your stomach with the exercise band draped horizontally across the middle of your upper back. Place hands on either side of the chest, pressing palms down against the loose ends of band on the floor. Engage abdominals and keep elbows tucked in towards your rib cage. Exhale as you press your whole body up from the floor to come to the top of your push-up. Hold for a moment before slowly lowering back down. The goal is to keep the spine completely flat and lift your pelvis, abdominals and chest together.
Tip: To modify, keep your knees on the ground.
Seated Rowing with Twist
Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you (option to bend the knees for tight hamstrings). Hook the band around the arches of the feet and hold the loose ends in your hands. Inhale to lengthen spine, exhale to bend RIGHT elbow towards the rib cage and rotate the torso to the RIGHT side, so that you’re looking over your right shoulder. Keep resistance in the band as you return to face the front and re-extend RIGHT arm. Repeat to LEFT. Alternate sides.
Tip: To increase tension in the band, hold it closer to your feet.
Reverse Resistance Plank
Start seated with legs extended in front of you. Place the band over the top of the thighs, near the front hip crease. Place hands on the floor on either side of the hips, fingers pointed forward and palms pressed onto the band. Bend elbows slightly, then squeeze your backside and legs, lifting hips up from the floor, pushing the pelvis against the band, and straightening your elbows at the top.
The body is in a long diagonal line from throat to feet. Hold for 10 counts before lowering the hips back to the floor by bending your elbows slightly.
Tip: To increase the challenge, bend and straighten your elbows 10 times at the top of the plank. To modify, bend the knees and keep the hips flat on the floor.
(Your Next Workout: 44 Resistance Band Exercises to Tone Every Inch)