Exercising the Triceps Without the Wrist

Perfect form can combat flabby upper arms.

Perfect form can combat flabby upper arms.

If you're on a mission to eliminate that jiggly, hanging skin at the back of your upper arms, slow your roll. Suddenly jumping into a workout routine can result in injuries, especially if your form is poor. Sure, targeted exercises can strengthen your triceps underneath that jiggle, but bending and extending your wrist when doing these, can leave your with elbow pain that can stop you in your tracks. For your safety, learn proper form and keep your wrist neutral or straight when working your triceps. Before you know it, the wiggle will be out of that jiggle.

Standing Overhead Triceps Extensions

Grasp a dumbbell, stand upright and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Alternatively, take a small step forward with your right foot to come to a split stance, which might make it easier to stay balanced.

Tighten your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back and extend your arms up, raising the dumbbell overhead so it's perpendicular to the floor. Cup the upper end of the dumbbell with both hand and maintain a slight bend in your forward-facing elbows.

Face forward and slowly bend your elbows so the dumbbell lowers behind your head. Hold your upper arms still and close to your ears, and avoid extending or bending your wrist during the motion -- keep your wrist straight and aligned with your forearms the entire time.

Extend your elbows and slowly press the dumbbell up when your forearms are parallel to the floor. If your form is correct, your palms face forward at the top of the movement, not toward the ceiling. Don't allow the weight of the dumbbell to bend your wrists back. Start with one set of eight to 12 repetitions. As your triceps get stronger, slowly add two more sets.

Close-Grip Pushdowns

Attach a bar to the cable of a high-pulley station, adjust the peg in the weight stack to the desired resistance and face the apparatus with your feet in a shoulder-width stance.

Tighten your abdominals to stabilize your torso, and grasp the bar with an overhand, hip-width grip. Lower the bar slightly so the selected weight lifts off the stack and your forearms are aligned with your wrists and parallel to the floor while your elbows are tucked into your sides.

Extend your elbows and press the bar down toward your upper tights. Keep your torso upright and your upper arms still -- move only your forearms. With correct form, your palms end up facing your thighs, not the floor. Pause one second and squeeze your triceps while your arms are straight.

Bend your elbows and slowly reverse the motion, bringing your forearms parallel to the floor. To start, finish eight to 12 repetitions to complete one set. As your triceps get stronger, gradually add two more sets.


  • Breathe out as you straighten your elbows against the resistance, and breathe in as you bend your elbows to return to the starting position.
  • To learn proper form, use a light weight that allows you to easily complete all repetitions. Once you've mastered the technique, gradually increase the weight, aiming to use enough weight so the last repetition of each set is hard to complete.


  • Consult a doctor before taking on a new strength-training routine, especially if you have an injury or health condition.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM

About the Author

Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images