Try Training Triceps

by Dr. Graham

Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2015


What's the big deal about developing bigger biceps?
When we talk about arm development, most people check out their biceps, and tend to ignore the triceps, simply because the biceps are visible and the triceps are all but hidden from view on the back of the upper arm.

Impromptu pose
at Health & Fitness Week
Ask someone to "make a muscle" and they will almost invariably pose with flexed biceps, perhaps even proudly kissing their "big guns."

Biceps are so named because of their two "heads," or origins, whereas the triceps have three points of origin. Technically, the triceps are the larger of the two muscles, yet most people develop their biceps while all but ignoring their triceps, to the point that the biceps become larger than the triceps.

Health & Fitness Week
For bigger arms, developing the triceps will yield better results, but today we?re not talking about getting bigger muscles.

Health & Fitness Week
In terms of functional strength, putting time into triceps development will bring more useful results than putting the majority of focus on the biceps.

In sport, more is demanded of the triceps than the biceps, with the majority of sports putting a focus on triceps strength, while very few sports call for overpowering biceps strength.

Health & Fitness Week
if you ignore your strength, it will go away

If you haven't been putting energy into strength training, remember that if you ignore your strength, it will go away. If you have been putting insufficient focus on triceps, especially if you have also been giving your biceps more than their fair share of attention, consider if it is time to bring your triceps up to speed.

Commit a few minutes every week to triceps strength training.
You will feel, look, and function better with stronger triceps.

Your golf swing, tennis backhand, yoga, bench press, shot put, swimming, pole vault, calisthenics, and many other activities will benefit immensely.

— Dr. Graham

Stability Ball Tricep Extension Exercise

Tricep extension exercises basically utilize a movement where the elbows serve as the hindge of the movement while the upper arm is kept in the same place throughout the movement, and the lower arms and hands that hold the resistance move through the range of motion. The range of motion takes your arms from being in a straight position to a bent at the elbow position. This can be performed in a variety of positions, with a multitude of resistance sources.

Today we focus on an exercise that also targets other areas of the body at the same time. This exercise not only targets your triceps, it also works your core, glutes, and hamstrings.
Steps 4 and 5 shown here
Lisa Holt instructing at FoodnSport Washington Retreats


  • stability ball

  • dumbbells


  1. Place dumbbells at your feet in front of your stability ball.

  2. Sit on stability ball.

  3. Carefully pick up the dumbbells and place them on your legs, sitting upright.

  4. Curl dumbbells to your shoulders with elbows in to your sides.

  5. Step feet out away from you to carefully roll the ball down your back until your upper back is resting on the stability ball, keeping dumbbells and arms close to your body.

  6. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders, keeping neck in a neutral position. Maintain this body position for the whole set of reps. To help maintain this position throughout and make the most of this exercise, push your weight into your heels and keep the glutes engaged.

  7. Extend the dumbbells directly over your head with arms straight and palms facing each other. Keep dumbbells against each other.
  8. Stability Ball Tricep Extensions
    at the FoodnSport Washington Retreats

  9. Start of rep: Keep your upper arms in this same postion while slowly bending your arms and lowering the dumbbells until your forearms are below parallel to the floor, and your elbows are pointing up.

  10. Keeping your upper arms in place, lift your weights to the top of your arms to straighten your arms and return to start. That's the end of the rep

  11. Repeat from step 8 for the amount of repititions (reps) to develop your muscles according to your goals. A good range for general purposes and to start with would be 8-12 reps. Choose a weight that allow you to do 8, but no more than 12, in good form.

  12. When you have finished one set of reps: bring dumbbells back to the position you used in steps 4 and 5: close to your shoulders with arms close to your side.

  13. Carefully step your feet back toward the ball so that you slowly roll yourself back up into sitting position.

  14. Place dumbbells on knees to rest between sets.

  15. Start at step 4 from here to do your next set of reps. Doing 1 - 3 sets with 30-90 second rests between is a good general purpose place to start.

  16. When finished with all sets of reps, from sitting position with weights on legs (as in step 3), stand, letting the ball to roll away from you.

Additional Resources



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