The complete arms workout for beginners part 1: 5 triceps exercises to reduce arm fat

Triceps or triceps brachii helps us to extend the forearm. Triceps also help in defining the movements of the elbow joint and hands.

Myupchar February 12, 2020 18:50:04 IST
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The complete arms workout for beginners part 1: 5 triceps exercises to reduce arm fat

Bicep curls, preacher curls and chin-ups are probably the best known (dare we say, most popular?) exercises for the upper arms. And effective as they are, the truth is that all these exercises focus on just one set of muscles: the biceps.

The complete arms workout for beginners part 1 5 triceps exercises to reduce arm fat

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

To have defined upper arms, though, it is equally important to exercise your triceps - the muscles at the back of the upper arm. Triceps or triceps brachii helps us to extend the forearm. Triceps also help in defining the movements of the elbow joint and hands.

From an exercise point-of-view (PoV), a triceps workout can be very rewarding: put in even a small amount of effort and you will begin to see results soon enough.

With this in mind, we put together a set of tricep exercises for beginners. Before you begin this workout, though, warm up both arms by doing some basic mobility exercises: rotate your arms in the air, stretch your chest, legs, and arms for five minutes. Now, jog on the spot or do jumping jacks for one minute before going full steam ahead. If possible, work out with a trained instructor who can correct your posture and form while you are doing the exercises.

1. Bench dips

Targeted muscles: triceps and shoulders.

Equipment required

  • A bench, chair, table or any elevated platform

Sets & reps

  • As many reps as possible for 3 sets

Intensity

  • Low (beginner)

How to do it

  • Sit on a bench or raised platform and grip the edge with both hands.
  • Now lift the hips, and bring them a couple of inches in front of the edge of the seat. If you can, take your feet slightly forward without taking your hips farther away from the edge of the seat or bench.
  • If need be, adjust the position of your hands: your arms should be fully extended and your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your feet straight and planted on the ground.
  • Now slowly bend your elbows to lower your upper body. Do not touch your hips to the floor.
  • Lift yourself back up by using the triceps muscles and straightening your arms. This is one rep.
  • Repeat as many times as you can.

Tip - Your arms and forearms should form a 90-degree angle when you "dip" your body.

2. Triceps band pull

Targeted muscle: triceps and chest.

Equipment required

  • A resistance band

Sets & reps

  • As many reps as possible for 3 sets

Intensity

  • Low (beginner)

How to do it

  • Stand comfortably, with your legs hip-width apart and feet planted firmly on the ground.
  • Hands by your side, take the resistance band in both hands - your hands should be at least shoulder-width apart.
  • Now bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle (palms facing down) by moving your hands forward. Raise both elbows to shoulder level - making a straight line from elbow to elbow. This is your starting position.
  • Now breathe out as you stretch the band between both hands to straighten your arms and make a "T" with your body. Breathe in as you bend the elbows to come back to the starting position.

Tip - To add more pressure on the triceps, hold the band closer.

3. Standing tricep extension

This is a single-joint exercise that only targets the long head of the triceps.

Equipment required

  • A dumbbell

Sets & reps

  • 3 sets of 10-15 reps each

Intensity

  • Low (beginner)

How to do it

  • Hold the dumbbell in both hands with palms facing each other.
  • Raise your arms to take dumbbell directly over your head. Maintain less than a shoulder-width distance between your elbows. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and your arms are close to your ears. 
  • Bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head until it reaches your upper back. Pause for a few seconds.
  • Pull the weight up again and go back to the starting position by extending your arms. This is one rep.

Tip - If you do not have a dumbbell at home, then you can opt for a heavy book or basketball to do this exercise.

4. Close-grip push-ups

Push-ups are an amazing exercise to train the entire upper body. The close-grip push-up is a modification that targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders.

Equipment required

  • No equipment required

Sets & reps

  • 3 sets of 10-15 reps each

Intensity

  • Low (beginner)

How to do it

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Plant your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. (In a normal push-up, the hands would be outside the shoulders.)
  • Lift your body by extending your arms to come into the plank position.
  • Slowly bend your arms until your chest grazes the ground.
  • Instantly push your chest up by extending the arms back again. This is one rep.

Tip - To maximize the outcome, focus on your breathing. Inhale while lifting up and exhale while going down.

5. Diamond push-ups

A more difficult variation on the push-up, diamond push-ups target the triceps and chest.

Equipment required

  • No equipment required

Sets & reps

  • 3 sets of 15 reps each

Intensity

  • Moderate (beginner)

How to do it

  • Lie down on your stomach, facing the floor.
  • Place your arms directly under your chest - form a diamond by joining the index fingers of both hands and the thumbs of both hands.
  • Push down with your hands to straighten your arms and come into a plank position - don't lock your elbows and knees.
  • Slowly go down by bending the elbows until your chest grazes the ground.
  • Now slowly push your chest up by extending the elbows. This is one rep.
  • Now repeat as per your skill and comfort level.

Tip - Keep your back straight and hips up.

Diamond push-ups can be tough in the beginning. Try putting your knees down to complete the reps, till you gain enough strength in your arms to do a full diamond push-up as described above.

Read The Right Way To Do Push-ups for more information.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

This is the first article in a multi-part series on exercises for the arms. The next article will focus on biceps exercises you can do at home.

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