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Upper Body Workouts

5 Of The Best Bicep and Tricep Workouts For Building Muscle

by The Power Life Team | September 01, 2021

Endless bicep curls probably can’t strengthen all the muscles of your arm. To get solid results for your whole upper arm, you also need to include your biceps. This discrete set of muscles sits on the back of your arm. You may not see them much, but they’re the largest muscle group of your upper arm.

So, to truly build well-balanced arm strength, you need to include them in your workout. That’s why Tony Horton compiled his favorite bicep and tricep workouts for you below. Just be sure to check with your doctor before you start any new workout program.

A Breakdown Of The Upper Arm

Your tricep and bicep are the primary muscles of your upper arm. These two muscles work together to support your elbow’s flexion. That means any time you straighten, press, or extend the arm, you’ll employ the biceps and triceps. So, they both need attention in the weight room.1,2

This is the reason that Tony Horton encourages you to target these muscles together. This approach allows the bicep and tricep to support each other as you build upper arm strength.

The Potential Benefits Of Strength Training

Weight training and bodyweight exercises are about more than physical appearance. Consistent weight training can also benefit your overall health. Some of the potential perks include:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Bone density support
  • Support for healthy blood sugar levels
  • A reduced risk of injury3,4

The Best Bicep And Tricep Workouts

tricep workout | Power LifeThese five workouts are some of Tony Horton’s favorite upper arm workouts. They will fire up your whole upper arm to help support consistent muscle growth over your whole arm. A little extra attention gets paid to the tricep to keep this significant muscle well-tuned.

Note: Speak to a doctor before starting any new bicep or tricep exercises.

Close-Grip Bench Press

This variation on the classic bench press moves the focus away from the chest to your triceps. A narrow grip is a great way to add strength training to the back of your arms.

  1. Lie on a weight bench beneath an appropriately weighted barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell, and place your hands shoulder-width apart or just slightly closer. Don’t bring them too close — this can place unwanted strain on the wrists.
  3. Brace your core, and press up by bringing the shoulder blades together. Lower the bar toward your sternum. Keep your elbows close to your body and your back flat.
  4. Repeat for 8-10 reps.5

Overhead Triceps Extension

Overhead extensions give your triceps extra special attention. Be sure to use light dumbbells when first starting out.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold small dumbbells in front of you.
  2. Lift the dumbbells over your head until your arms are straight. This is the neutral position.
  3. Slowly lower the weights toward your back until your forearms are parallel with the ground. Try to keep your elbows stationary throughout the movement.
  4. Lift the weights back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 reps.6

Deficit Push-Ups

You can deepen the range of motion of a push up by using a set of dumbbells. This can help build total upper body strength.

  1. Place two dumbbells on the ground. Position yourself in a traditional push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Lower yourself to the floor by retracting your shoulder blades back and down.
  3. Push back up. Keep a straight back and your biceps forward as you return to the original position.
  4. Repeat for 10-12 pushups.7

Banded Triceps Pushdowns

tricep workout | Power Life

Using exercise bands instead of a weighted pushdown machine can help enhance this workout. The extra resistance from the band at the end of the motion can give you bigger tricep gains.8

  1. Attach a band to an overhead pull bar. Grab the band, and bring it down until your arms are parallel with the ground.
  2. Push your arms down toward your hips. Keep your knees bent and elbows tight against your body.
  3. Hold briefly when your arms reach a vertical position, then return slowly to start.
  4. Repeat for 10-12 reps.9

Dumbbell Kickbacks

This is a great upper arm exercise that isolates training to your triceps. This one can be tough with a heavy weight, so grab a small dumbbell.

  1. Rest a single dumbbell on the left side of a flat bench. Place your right hand and right knee on the bench.
  2. Use the support of your left leg to lift the weight with your left hand. Bring the weight up toward your chest in a neutral position. Your upper and lower arm should form a 90-degree angle.
  3. Extend your left arm out straight behind you using your elbow. Hold briefly.
  4. Lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.10

Strengthen Your Triceps Without Weights

You can do some great triceps workouts without even going to the gym. These two great tricep exercises can be done without weights at home or even during a break at work.

tricep workout | Power LifeTriceps Bench Dips

This is a great way to strengthen the back of your arms without the assistance of any weights. All you need is a bench or a sturdy chair to perform this upper arm exercise.

  1. Sit down on a chair or bench with your legs out in front of you. Place your hands on the edge of the bench.
  2. Lift yourself off the bench or seat with your arms. Then, bend your elbows to lower your body down. Your elbows should be at about a 90-degree angle.
  3. Press down through your hands to straighten your elbows and lift your body back up.
  4. Repeat for 10-12 reps.11

Diamond Push-up

A simple change in a classic push-up stance can move the focus of the workout to your tricep.

  1. Get into a standard pushup position. Place your hands together into a diamond shape below your chest.
  2. Lower down, and keep your hands located right below your chest. Push back up.
  3. Repeat for 10-12 reps.12

Bicep And Tricep Workouts For Maximum Results

tricep workout | Power LifeYour biceps and triceps power many of your upper arm movements together. You can take advantage of this connection by combining bicep and tricep exercises. Building strength in these two major muscles can help with anything that requires you to bend at the elbow. Also, weight training is a great way to help support stronger bones.

Some of the easiest and most beneficial bicep and triceps workouts can be found above. Tony Horton compiled these exercises to help you create a comprehensive upper arm workout. You can do most of the exercises with simple weights at the gym or home. They should help you build and maintain strength in this crucial part of your body. So, get started today to enjoy all the great benefits. Just make sure to get your doctor’s approval before giving any new workout a try.

Learn More:
Optimal Back And Biceps Workouts For Strength And Building Muscle
Effective Upper Body Workouts To Build Muscle
Upper Body Workout For Runners