Overhead Tricep Extension

Overhead Tricep Extension with Plate

Overhead Tricep Extension

Overhead Tricep Extension with a Plate

Targeting the triceps specifically can be a challenge which is why I am so excited to tell you about my dumbbell overhead triceps extension variation.  I always look for movements that allow me to get the most out of an exercise and love how this variation can really challenge the upper arms.  This unique take on the traditional tricep extension exercise is a great way to keep your elbows in and to keep the focus on the movement really on those triceps.  If you are stepping into the gym for the first time and want to work your arms, I would start with this traditional arm exercise that might not come to mind.  Let me break it dow for you.

What are the Triceps?

The triceps brachii is a major muscle of the upper arm in the human body. The triceps run along the humerus (the main bone of the upper arm) between the shoulder and the elbow. Along with the biceps, it enables extension and retraction of the forearm. When the triceps are contracted, the forearm extends and the elbow straightens; if the triceps are relaxed and the biceps flexed, the forearm retracts and the elbow bends. The triceps also serve to stabilize the shoulder joint at the top of the humerus.

What are the best ways to build the triceps?

Most women want to firm and tighten the back of their arms and building the triceps muscles are the best way to do that.  There are a variety of exercises that you can use to work that area.  Start with the overhead tricep extensions that I have lined out here.  From there, you can move on to a full workout specifically designed for that area.  I have put together some of my favorite exercises for the back of the arms here:
Tricep Workouts for Women

How to do a Tricep Overhead Extension with a Plate:

  1.  Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart for your starting position.  Grab a rubberized plate if you have one available.  This exercise works best with a Crossfit plate since they have a soft rubber coating on the exterior making it easier to grip and you can choose from different weights.  Most of these plates come in 10, 15, 25, 35 and 45 lbs all with the same diameter.  I prefer this wider plate because for most people it can keep your hands approximately chest width.  
  2. Contract your abs and slightly roll under your hips.
  3. With your palms facing toward each other and gripping the plate, extend your arms upward and over head.  You want to be sure that you bend your elbows at approximately a 90 degree angle.
  4. Keep your elbows pressing close to your head and your biceps near your ears throughout the exercise.  Be sure to squeeze your tricep until your arm is fully extended overhead.
  5. With control, allow the plate to come down behind you until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle.
  6. Using your triceps, extend the plate back up overhead for your next rep to really work your tricep.

Variations of the Extension Exercise:

Don’t have a plate, no problem.  This exercise can be done with a dumbbell and single arm as seen in the video below to make it a dumbbell overhead triceps extension.  Or with an exercise band:

Overhead Tricep Extension with Band

Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (Video)

Ready to take your fitness to the next level?  Check out my Strength Training Program for Women!
Strength Training For Women