Resistance Bands for Triceps
When using weights, the only direction you can get resistance is by lifting upward. This can be a bit restrictive in how you work your triceps, virtually confining you to just two exercises that would isolate them: overhead extensions and kickbacks. While these aren’t bad exercises, the tricep is a large enough muscle that you’ll want to be able to target it in different ways. With resistance bands, you can work your muscles in any direction and from any line of pull. Gravity doesn’t matter, stretching does.
Resistance bands work your body by employing the principle of variable resistance. In short, variable resistance means the band grows stronger and works hard on your muscles the longer you stretch it. This kind of stress is especially helpful in toning and strengthening your triceps. Bands will work harder on that muscle at its strongest point (straight arm) and won’t overload you at your weak point (curled arm).
1. Tricep Kickback
Equipment: Slastix resistance band
Like we mentioned before, the tricep kickback is a solid exercise. It’ll target and isolate your triceps brachii muscle and build your upper arm. To do it, get into a staggered stance and bend over your front leg. Grasp the resistance band and extend your arm straight back, keeping the elbow close to your body. Return your arm back and repeat. Move slowly and methodically, ensuring a focused contraction with each repetition.
2. Tricep Pull Down
Equipment: Resistance 90
Resistance bands are the only way to accomplish this exercise, since the resistance goes against gravity. The pulldown works the three muscles in your tricep responsible for straightening your arm. Start by standing in front of your anchor facing towards it with bent knees. With one or both arms, pull the resistance band(s) down with arms facing up, emphasizing the contraction in your triceps. Return your arms upward, and repeat. This exercise is also great for engaging your back and shoulders and helps your grip as well.
3. Tricep Pushdown
Anchor Height: High
Equipment: Fit Stik Pro Bar (optional), Slastix resistance bands
The tricep pushdown looks a lot like the pulldown, but it will help work your upper posterior arm muscles and engage your core as well. Take the same forward-facing stance that you took in the pulldown, then grasp the handles of the bands (or the bar if you’re using one). Keeping your forearms facing down, push down on the bands until your arms are straightened (or the bar is in your lap). Relax and allow the band to return to the top, and repeat the motion. This exercise will be great for your forearms as well.
4. Standing Tricep Extension
Anchor Height: Mid
While some of the previous exercises focused on a high anchor line of pull that works on your muscles through the movement, this exercise will have a mid-level anchor height and give you much more resistance at a straight-arm position. Start by facing toward the anchor, knees bent, with enough distance to have resistance from the very start of the movement. With your forearms facing down or inward, grasp the bands and extend your arms backward until your arms are straight. Retract the band, and repeat.
5. Overhead Tricep Extension
Anchor Height: None
For this last exercise, what we mean by “None” on the anchor height is that you’re going to use your own body as the anchor rather than another object. To start, take a staggered stance with your back foot standing on the midpoint of your resistance bands. Hold the ends of the band at eye-level with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Extend your arms overhead while keeping your core engaged. This exercise, with no anchor point, challenges the triceps’ endurance and strength and works all three heads of the muscle.