Triceps may not always get as much attention as the more prominent biceps, but a toned triceps muscle can still get you excellent upper-arm definition. Performing regular free-weight exercises can help strengthen your upper-arm muscles, and some of these exercises can even be performed while lying down in a supine position on a weight bench.
Your triceps muscle is located on the backside of your upper arm, opposite your biceps. The main function of the triceps muscle is to straighten your arm by extending the elbow. The triceps also helps with adduction, bringing the arm down toward the body. Exercises that mimic these motions will help build strong triceps muscles.
Lying Triceps Extensions
The triceps kickback can be performed lying down. Lie flat on a weight bench with your head toward one end, and a dumbbell of equal weight in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to arms length above you. The dumbbells should be directly above your shoulders. Bend at your elbows, lowering the dumbbells in an arc-like motion until your forearms touch your biceps. Return to the starting position and repeat for eight to 12 reps.
Triceps Bench Press
The triceps bench press is performed while lying on your back with a dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells just over your chest with your palms facing each other. Push the dumbbells up until your arms are almost fully extended, but still slightly bent. Pause, and then lower the dumbbells slowly. Repeat for eight to 12 reps.
The Dumbbell Pullover
The dumbbell pullover is similar to an extension, but is performed with only one dumbbell. Hold the dumbbell over your chest with both hands in a triangular hold with your palms up and your fingers pointed toward the ceiling. Keeping your elbows in, slowly slower the dumbbell back over your head. Slowly lift the dumbbell back up to the start position; repeat for eight to 12 reps.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.