The Best Tricep Exercises for Women

If the thought of going sleeveless makes you cringe, you are not alone. The arms are about the only major part of the body that everyone gets to see uncovered on a regular basis. 

And for many of us, the back of the upper arm is a "trouble spot" for extra fat and skin accumulation that we are not crazy about people looking at.

One of the best ways to get rid of this problem and be able to show off a pair of slim muscled toned arms is to include a few simple tricep exercises into your regular physical fitness routine. 

Tricep Exercises for Women

Tricep Dips

These bench/chair dips have always been rated as one of the "top travel arm exercises" because you can do them almost anywhere at any time. 

Exercise Instructions:

  • Sit on the front edge of the bench and have your hands on either side of your body, hold that front edge with your palms facing down and your knuckles facing forward.

  • With your feet planted on the floor, push yourself off the seat and lower yourself until your arms reach a 90 degree angle. Make sure to keep your back stiff as you are moving down. 

  • Push yourself back up to where you started. Keep your butt off the table and make sure not to lock your elbows when you get back to your starting position.
  • Try and do three sets of 10-12 reps. As you get better at this exercise it is a good idea to keep increasing the reps you do. 

tricep dip position #1Kim Demonstrating the Tricep Dip
tricep dip position #2
tricep dip position #3


  • Tricep dips are very much a progressive exercise. Start out with a low number of repetitions and increase the reps as you feel stronger. 

  • Always keep your shoulders down and away from your ears to protect them from injury and try not to let your elbows flare out.

  • Keep your upper body close to the bench so you let the triceps do the work. However, the further out you have your feet, the more challenging the exercise.

  • You can also add some intensity to this tricep exercise by lifting one leg in the air and holding it there. Make sure to do it with each leg.

  • If you feel any wrist pain, do multiple sets with less reps.

Tricep Kickbacks

The kickback is one of the most popular tricep exercises for women. Besides working the arms, this is a great exercise for the shoulder and upper back muscles. I use a flat bench for this exercise (not mandatory) and one arm at a time.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start by standing on one side of your bench holding a dumbbell in the outside hand (as pictured). Kneel on the bench and bend forward at the waist so that your back is as parallel with the floor. Use your inside arm as support on the bench.

  • Pull the dumbbell straight up and lock your elbow in a neutral position with your upper arm parallel with the ground. Extend your arm back until it is in a straight line with your body, keeping your elbow locked as much as possible. Bring the arm back to the starting position. Try and do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

dumbbell bird dog exercise position #1Kim Demonstrating the Tricep Kickback
bird dog exercise position #2


Make sure to keep your body in a straight line without hunching over and let your elbow do all of the work by keeping your upper arm still and without raising it.

Tricep Pressdown

The tricep pressdown works the bicep muscles as well as the back of the arm tricep muscle. This exercise can actually save you time in the gym by working the two muscle groups at the same time.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Standing straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, grasp a bar attached to a high pulley and have your palms facing down.

  • Keeping your upper arms rigid against the sides of your torso, bend your elbows and push the bar down until your forearms are parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.

  • Push the bar down until your arms are fully extended, let your arms return to your starting position and continue your reps. Try and do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

tricep pulldown on exercise machineKim Demonstrating the Tricep Pulldown
tricep pulldown on exercise machine step 2


  • Make sure to keep your elbows stationary through the exercise by pressing them against your sides.

  • If you use to much weight with the pressdown, you'll end up using your back muscles more than your tricep muscles, defeating the purpose of the exercise.

Tricep Exercises for Women

If you want to get rid of flabby arms, you need to focus on using these tricep exercises  that work the back of your arms. Tricep exercises should be a part of every womens regular exercise plan.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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