When you think of someone who wants to build their arm strength, you may think of bodybuilders bench pressing a ton of weight. But nowadays, that image is starting to shift into a more inclusive one that’s accepting of all genders and body shapes. It’s not only men who want to work on getting strong arms – tricep workouts for women are getting popular, too!
In the past, a common misconception was that women would get bulky like men if they lifted weights. Now, we know that that isn't necessarily the case. Lifting weights and doing bodyweight exercises can instead lead to lean, shapely arms that are perfect for tank-top weather. There are plenty of other reasons why you might want to get triceps other than for looks; maybe you just want to improve pushing, pulling or lifting in your everyday life.
We’ll show you one of our favorite tricep workouts for women (and for everyone else) below!
The triceps muscle
The word triceps comes from the Latin for “three-headed arm muscles” (biceps means two-head arm muscle if you want to put two and two together). They run down the back of the upper arm along the humerus bone, starting around the shoulders all the way down to the elbow.
Although the triceps may not have as much mass the biceps, that doesn’t mean you should ignore them! In fact, our triceps make up a third of our upper arms. If big, strong biceps are what you’re after, then working out your triceps can support the development of the upper arm in general. At the same time, if you’re looking to tone up, strong triceps can make your arms look shapely and attractive.
We’re able to move our forearms thanks to our tricep muscles. Not only that, but they stabilize our shoulders and enable us to extend our elbows. The triceps’ stabilizing component helps steady your hands with activities like handwriting that require small, fine movements. If you’re someone who likes working out at the gym, adding tricep workouts to your repertoire can make a big difference, especially if you want to increase your bench press ability.
Thankfully, there are plenty of different ways to work out the triceps, including trusty ol’ push-ups. But there’s no need to fret if those aren’t your cup of tea. There are plenty of other tricep workouts for women and men of all levels to try. Check out our favorites below!
Tricep workouts for women
These tricep exercises are perfect for anyone interested in building up arm strength. Have fun!
1. Overhead press
Stand feet hip-width apart holding dumbbells with palms facing each other resting on shoulders.
With one arm, slowly press dumbbell up to the ceiling.
Squeeze shoulder muscles at the top and hold for a second.
Slowly lower back down to starting position.
Repeat the same move with the other arm, then repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Place hands on top of an elevated surface (like a chair or park bench) or arms extended, shoulders directly above wrists.
Bend legs at a 90-degree angle in front with heels on the floor.
Bend elbows to lower hips to the floor.
Straighten arms to press body back up to starting position.
3. Standing arm pulses (down and up)
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
Raise arms out to sides, parallel to the floor, palms facing down.
Slightly raise and lower arms in a small and controlled pulses up and down.
Return to start position after indicated reps/time.
Do the workout again, this time with palms facing up and going the opposite direction.
4. Lateral plank walks
Begin by in a high plank position, tensing your body to form a straight line and engage your core.
Step your left foot and your left hand simultaneously to the side, then step your right hand and left foot across to meet the other.
Keep your core engaged and maintain proper plank form the entire time.
Continue walking your hands and feet another step to the left, then return to center.
Repeat the same movements in the opposite direction (this time two steps to the right.)
Continue for the desired number of repetitions.
5. Shoulder taps with twist
Begin by in a high plank position with your arms directly under your shoulders and your body tensed in a straight line from head to toe.
Lift one hand to tap the opposite shoulder, meanwhile keeping the body in the same position with the core engaged.
Then leading with the same arm arm open your chest and twist your torso outwards, pointing your hands to the sky/ceiling.
Then twist back down and center, returning to your initial high-plank with both hands on the floor.
Switch sides and execute the same movement with the other arm.
Continue for the desired number of reps.
6. Inverted plank
Sit on the floor (mat if you prefer) with your legs extended and heels on the floor.
Place your hands directly under shoulders.
Lean back on hands and raise hips off the floor.
Tense every muscle in your body to form a straight line from head to your heels.
Hold the position for the desired amount of time.