Triceps: Exercises to Avoid and Effective Alternatives

Strengthening the triceps is important because they are muscles that assist the movements of the arms in all daily actions. However, they are not always very easy to reach and train and if not done correctly, the risk of post-workout pain or injury is high.

Unfortunately many of the triceps exercises in vogue are actually ineffective and substantially represent a waste of time because they are very difficult to perform while maintaining a correct posture, or not suitable for making the most of the effort that is made to do them.

These are some common exercises and the more valid alternatives to better train the triceps.

Here's how to modify your workout if you have arthritis in your hands.

Dip on the chair

Among the worst exercises for the triceps, although quite well known, are the dips on the chair. Often making them irrelevant is the fact that most people find it difficult to do them correctly, therefore even in the face of a great effort, the effects on the triceps are minimal or nil.

The most common mistake is to force the shoulders to perform the movement, thus making the triceps work less.


The lying dips are instead a 'excellent alternative to exercise this muscle band without burdening the chest or shoulders and also to do a great basic job on the whole core. Another rather useful exercise is the tight-elbow version of the chest press with dumbbells:

  • Lie on a bench or on the floor on your back, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Bring the elbows to chest height, with the dumbbells raised and perpendicular.
  • Push the weights up and fully extend your arms upward.
  • Return to the starting position.

Press up tricipiti

This exercise involves holding a dumbbell with both hands and lowering your arms behind your head, ma if not done correctly it can damage the neck and shoulders, especially if you overestimate your strength and use too heavy a weight.


Quite valid but demanding replacement exercises from the point of view of strength are the diamond push-ups., whose primary aspect is not the speed of execution but rather the accuracy. The advice therefore is to take all the time necessary to perform it carefully.

  • Begin by placing yourself in a high plank position and placing your hands in a diamond shape in front of you (therefore close to a tight grip), with their index fingers and thumbs touching.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor while keeping your back straight.
  • Apply force to your arms until you return to the starting position.

Plank con kickback

This exercise combines two and having several movements in one is much more suitable for fitness professionals.

If you are not particularly experienced, in fact, the risk is to not perform all the steps exactly or to strain the triceps excessively. Both of these reduce the possibility of obtaining benefits. Also, if you are weak or fatigued, your lower back tends to arch or twist when running, which can lead to injury.


Separate these two exercises it's a great way to get around this problem. The alternative is therefore a simple one kickback:

  • Holding two dumbbells, pronate to 90 °, taking care to maintain complete glute-lumbar support;
    • To be able to do it one arm at a time, lean on a bench as in the exercise of the rowing with dumbbell;
  • Bring the elbows close to the chest;
  • Extend your arms back and return to the starting position.

Triceps extension to the TRX

Suspension training is great because it forces you to work against your own body weight but Unless you are in perfect shape, doing a triceps extension on this equipment is unlikely to bring the desired results. Conversely, it could strain your neck or lead to injury.


This exercise it can be replaced with the french-press.

  • Lie down on a flat or slightly inclined bench; it can also be performed while seated:
  • Hold two dumbbells (also hammer-style) or an EZ bar, bringing them up perpendicular;
  • Then begin the back bend, taking care to keep the elbows tight;
  • Return to the starting position.

With dumbbells, the French Press can be performed one arm at a time.

One-arm triceps pushups

Another move deemed ineffective by many personal trainers is the bend of the triceps in one arm, which involves lying on your side and pushing your body up with one arm.

However, it is a posture that requires perfect alignment, which if it jumps does not train the triceps effectively and exposes you to the risk of injury.


This exercise it can be replaced with the variant of the triceps push-ups with the knees on the ground, which generates better results than doing more complex movements such as one-arm pushups.

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