Health Advocate Blog

Workout of the Week: Tricep Extensions

This week’s workout is Tricep Extensions. Tricep Extensions are a great workout because they isolate and strengthen your triceps. Your triceps are an important muscle group that supports the elbow, bicep, shoulder, and even your hands and forearms for fine movements like writing. This workout is designed to be done with a dumbbell or resistance band, but any household object, like a jug of water or can of soup, will work!

Here’s how to do them:

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, one hand holding a weight, and your free hand at your side or on your hip for added support.

Whichever hand you are holding the weight in, slowly lift the weight by bringing your arm up over your head, holding the weight above you.

Rear view of a man exercising with dumbbell

Rotate your wrist so that your palm is facing forward and your pinky is facing the ceiling. This will be your starting position.

Rear view of a man exercising with dumbbell

Next, slowly lower the weight behind your head as you hold the upper arm stationary. Hold this position for a second.

Return to the starting position by extending your tricep, bringing the weight back above your head. It is very important that only the forearm moves. The upper arm should remain stationary next to your head at all times.

Do these same steps for the opposite arm. Trying doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps per arm.


  • This exercise is meant to be done slowly.
  • This exercise can also be done seated—be sure to use a bench or chair with back support to ensure good posture.
  • Begin by using a light weight, and if you are finishing your sets with ease, you can try using a heavier weight.
  • You can do a variation of this exercise using a resistance band, by standing on or securing one end of the band to something sturdy, and mimicking the motion from steps 3-5.
  • Be sure to do an equal amount of reps for both sides.
  • If you feel any pain or an abnormal amount of tension in your arm or shoulder stop this exercise immediately and consult with your doctor.

We hope you’ll try Tricep Extensions over the weekend and then build this exercise into your daily routine Monday through Friday of the coming week.

Want more fitness ideas?  If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit. And remember, talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.