5 Best Resistance Bands Exercises for a Complete Tricep Workout

Resistance bands can be a game-changer in your fitness routine if you want to tone and strengthen your triceps muscles. These versatile and portable bands provide constant tension throughout the entire range of motion, making your triceps work harder and maximizing muscle activation.

In this article, we’ll guide you through a variety of effective resistance band exercises specifically targeting the three heads of the triceps. From overhead extensions and kickbacks to pushdowns, we’ll explore a range of exercises that can be easily modified to suit your fitness level and preferences. 

Whether you’re a beginner looking to sculpt your arms or an experienced fitness enthusiast aiming to take your triceps training to the next level, this article has got you covered.

You can easily incorporate these exercises into your home workout routine, take them to the gym, or even bring them along on your travels. ut before we dive into the exercises, here are some things you may want to know. 

What Muscles Make Up the Triceps?

The tricep also known as the Triceps brachii is one muscle that is made up of three heads, (Tri meaning three and cep meaning head) and its primary function is the extension of the elbow joint. The Tricep comprises the lateral, medial, and long head.

Key Functions 

The Long head is the biggest head of the tricep found on the inside of your arm. It assists with the extension and adduction of the arm at the shoulder joint.

The Lateral (short) head, Is the strongest head of the three and is on the outside of your arm. It is active at the elbow joint when you extend your forearm In a supinated (palm facing upwards) and pronated (palm facing downwards) position.

The medial head is in the center between the lateral and long head. It is active at all times during elbow extension.

Targeting the different Tricep heads

Lateral and Medial Head: The lateral head of the tricep is worked best when your arms are in front or in line with your body using a pronated grip. Long Head: The long head of the tricep is worked best when your arms are over your head or behind your body using neutral grips.  

Knowing how each of these parts functions, and when they are activated may help you build a mind-muscle connection when you’re working out, which is crucial for increased muscle growth when using resistance bands.

Can Your Triceps Be Trained Effectively with Resistance Bands?

Most people think that they can’t build triceps without a dumbbell or a barbell, but in actuality, you can develop your triceps if you do the right triceps workout and use enough resistance.  

Resistance bands build muscle in the same way as free weights; they offer resistance that your muscles fight against, leading to the breaking down and repair of muscle fibers resulting in muscle growth. 

As long as you progressively overload, and use stronger bands, you can effectively build your triceps with resistance bands. In order to make progress with any exercise, you have to put in the hours. If you struggle with being consistent, I recommend you check out this article on building the habit of exercising.    

Now that you have some tricep knowledge, let’s get into the tricep workout.  

Workout Routine for Triceps 

These are the recommended Rep range and sets for optimal tricep muscle growth with resistance bands. Based on your level of expertise, feel free to adjust as you see fit, but try not to stretch too far.

  • Pick three exercises from the list targeting each tricep head.
  • Perform 3 sets for each exercise.
  • Perform between 10-20 reps for each exercise.

Best Practice for an Optimal Tricep Resistance Band Workout

  • Focus and try to picture the exact muscle you’re trying to build during the exercise.
  • Do slow and controlled reps with moderate resistance.
  • Use stronger resistance bands and lower the number of reps on the second set.
  • Aim for failure on your last set, by using stronger resistance.

5 Best Resistance Band Tricep Exercises 

1. Overhead Triceps Extension with resistance band

Target – Long Head 

The overhead tricep extension with a resistance band is a simple yet effective exercise that targets and strengthens the long head of the triceps. This exercise will allow you to feel the most stretch in your triceps. You can either step on the band with your leg facing forward or fix it to a door. 

Step-by-step guide 

  1. Step on one end of the resistance band to secure it in place with both legs.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Grab the other end of the band with an underhand grip from behind leaving your elbows facing up, keeping them close to your ears.
  4. This is your starting stance. Engage your core for stability.
  5. Extend your arms up but keep your elbows static.
  6. Hold for a bit and then return your hands to the starting stance.

Pro tip

If your resistance band isn’t long enough to step with both feet, perform the single-arm variation with the same steps. Remember to start with a lighter resistance band and gradually increase the difficulty as you become more comfortable and stronger. 

 2. Single-arm triceps kickback with bands

Target – Long head

The single-arm triceps kickback with a resistance band is a fantastic exercise that targets and isolates the long head of your tricep. All you need are your bands and a place to lean on.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Stand in a bent-over position with your left hand gripped to anything lower than your waist.
  2. Place a resistance band under your right foot and hold the other end of the band in your right hand, in a neutral grip.
  3. Step your left foot back to form a staggered stance for added support.
  4. Hold and bring the band to your hip area. This is your starting stance.
  5. Now extend/kick your hand back and pull it as far as you can go. Tighten your triceps for extra tension.
  6. Pause to create tension and then return to the starting stance.

Pro tip 

During the single-arm triceps kickback, it’s crucial to maintain proper form and control. Avoid any swinging or excessive movement of the upper body and concentrate on the contraction of the triceps muscle throughout the exercise. 

Adjust the tension of the resistance band by positioning your hand closer or farther from the handle.

3. Resistance band triceps pushdown with bands 

Target – Lateral and Medial head

The resistance band tricep pushdown is a highly effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the triceps muscles. 

It mimics the pushdown motion performed on a cable machine, but with the convenience of using a resistance band, making it a versatile exercise that can be done virtually anywhere.

How to perform 

  1. Attach the resistance band securely to an anchor point, such as a sturdy pole or door frame.
  2. Stand facing the anchor point and grab the band handle with an overhand grip, palms facing down.
  3. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend your knees for stability.
  4. Start with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, with your upper arms close to your sides. This is your starting stance.
  5. While keeping your upper arms stationary, extend your elbows, pulling the band downward.
  6. Rotate your hands slightly outward as you’re coming to the end of the motion.
  7. Pause to create tension and then return to the starting stance.

Pro tip 

During the resistance band triceps pushdown, it’s essential to avoid any swinging or excessive movement of the upper body. Focus on isolating the triceps muscles and maintaining tension in the resistance band throughout the exercise.

4. Resistance Band Triceps Dips

Target – Lateral and Medial head 

The resistance band triceps dip is a variation of the classic tricep dip exercise but with the added resistance provided by the band. It targets all the heads but without much emphasis on the long head.

How to perform 

  1. Wrap the band around your neck and hold the band ends with your palms facing downwards.
  2. Sit on the edge of a ledge, sturdy chair, or step. Place your hands on the edge of the surface with your fingers facing forward, gripping the edge firmly.
  3. Slide your hips forward off the bench and extend your legs straight out in front of you.
  4. Lower your body by arching your elbows, keeping them static and close to your sides.
  5. Elevate yourself back up to the starting stance, and repeat.

Pro tip 

It is important to avoid excessive swinging or jerking movements. Keep your forearms static and focus on maintaining control and feeling the tension in your triceps muscles as you perform the exercise.

5. Banded diamond push-up

Target – All heads 

The banded diamond push-up is a challenging variation of the traditional push-up exercise that primarily targets the whole tricep muscle while also engaging the chest and shoulders. By incorporating a resistance band, you can add an extra level of difficulty and intensity to this exercise

How to perform 

  1. Place a resistance band around your back, positioning it just below your shoulder blades.
  2. Assume a high plank position on the floor with your hands forming a diamond shape with the other end of the band under your palm.
  3. Extend your legs straight out behind you, balancing on your toes, and engage your core to maintain a straight line from head to toe.
  4. This is your starting stance. Ensure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your body is properly aligned.
  5. Inhale as you go down, Exhale as you push yourself back up.

Pro tip 

During the banded diamond push-up, it’s important to keep your core engaged, maintain a straight line from head to toe, and avoid arching or sagging your back in order to target the triceps properly.

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Final Thoughts 

Resistance bands can be very effective for building a complete tricep as long as you go through the full range of motion, target and train each tricep head, and progressively overload. Adding some of the resistance band tricep exercises covered in this article will set you up towards building 3D triceps at home or in the gym.


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