How To Do Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions

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How To Do Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions

Unlike biceps, triceps are harder to target as they’re actually a supporting muscle group. While a lot of upper body exercises provide some level of work out for triceps, exercises to target them specifically are less well-known outside fitness professional circles most of the time. 

One would then expect that these exercises are complex and demanding, inaccessible to beginners. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though. The lying dumbbell tricep extension, for example, is a simple exercise even the most absolute beginner can get into with no problem. It’s very safe, and even those with back problems shouldn’t have any real trouble with it. 

What You Need 

All you need is a flat bench and two evenly-weighted dumbbells. A pair of gloves isn’t a bad idea either, for a safe grip. 

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions Muscles Worked

Triceps brachii muscle - animation02.gif
By Anatomography – en:Anatomography (setting page of this image), CC BY-SA 2.1 jp, Link


  • Lie flat on the bench, gripping the dumbbells, palms inward. 
  • Lift the dumbbells so that they’re by either side of your head, your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle, and slightly apart. 
  • Extend your arms at the elbow, outward, holding this position for a second or so. 
  • Lower back down gently – watch your head! 


If you have any kind of elbow or shoulder problems, wear braces and contact your doctor before attempting these exercises. If you have back problems, use lumbar support if available. Don’t overdo the weight, as excessive weight really isn’t necessary for this exercise to be effective, in all honesty. 

Be sure to watch your head when lowering back to the starting position, it’s easy, when fatigued, to accidentally box your ears with this exercise, so when you start feeling your precision begin to wane, it’s best to stop for safety’s sake. 

Be sure your motions are slow and deliberate – don’t thrust or let gravity do the lowering work for you. 

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