10 Best Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

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The triceps is the biggest muscle group in our arms and if you want to have bigger arms you need to work them. Here are the 10 best dumbbell exercises for triceps according to a top trainer.

Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.

Not only did Jeff Cavaliere share what he believes to be the best dumbbell exercises for triceps, but he also separated them into categories depending on what your goal is:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Hypertrophy – with eccentric stress as the overload.
  • Metabolic – to drive hypertrophy as well.
  • Total body
  • Corrective – mixed with some physical therapy.
  • Full extension and contraction

Best Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps


Upright dip with a loaded dumbbell – use a resistance band to use the dumbbell as your extra weight when doing upright dips.

Dumbbell close grip press


best dumbbell exercises for tricepsSource: John Fornand on Unsplash

This category is not only about moving weight, but moving them fast, with some velocity.

Dumbbell JM press – select a weight that is heavy enough, but still possible to drive with some explosiveness using your elbows.

Plyo Diamond Cutter Push-Up – utilise the dumbbells to touch on the top of them. Essentially this is a bodyweight exercise, but the dumbbells give you an idea of how explosive you can be.


Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension – enormous stretch on the largest portion of the triceps at the bottom of the exercise.

Jeff Cavaliere says this is the best dumbbell exercises for triceps.


For this category, the dumbbells are used again as props, but they are important to keep a neutral grip. Perform the two following exercises as a superset in a descending ladder starting at 10 reps of one and 10 reps of the other, immediately followed by 9 reps of each, and so on until you do only one rep of each exercise.

Bodyweight Floor Dip

Close Grip Dumbbell Push-Up

If you are fatigued, you can change the descending ladder and perform 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps. If it is still too difficult, you can scale down the push-up by touching your knees on the floor.

Total Body

“We can train our entire body and make the triceps be a driver of the movement,” Cavaliere explains.

Overhead Extension Thruster

By getting your elbows in front of the body, the triceps become the main muscle worked, whereas on a normal thruster, with elbows on the side, the shoulders would be in charge of the bulk of the movement.


Dumbbell Devil

This is a variation of the angels and devils exercise that Jeff Cavaliere likes.

With this exercise, you get the rhomboids and rotator cuff in the process. You won’t use a heavy dumbbell for this exercise, but the goal of this movement is not to gain muscle but to integrate the triceps with the surrounding muscles.

Full Extension and Contraction

Dumbbell Kickback

Did you enjoy our list of the 10 best dumbbell exercises for triceps? Want to check out more triceps content? Click on the links below.

How to Get Wider Triceps

The Hardest 6-Minute Triceps Workout

Best Tricep Workouts to Build Muscle and Upper Body Strength

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