The primary muscles stressed in this movement are the muscles in the back of your upper arm (triceps – long and medial head). The secondary muscles stressed are the muscles in your forearms and bicep.

Starting Position

Sit straight up and down with your back flat against the back support. Back support should not be higher than your shoulders. Grip a dumbbell with your hands flat on the under side of the dumbbell. Index finger and thumb of both hands should make a triangle. Place dumbbell behind your head with your elbow in line with your hands.

MovementSeated Tricep Extension with Dumbbells

Raise the dumbbell until your arms are straight keeping the dumbbell handle vertical to the floor (your arms are slightly angled back). Contract your triceps hard. Take two to three seconds to lower the dumbbell down behind your head before repeating the movement.

Training Tips

  • Keep your elbows in by your ears during the entire movement. As your elbows move away from your body your lats and shoulders will come into play, you will no longer be isolating your triceps.


  • This movement can be performed with an EZ Curl Bar to relieve some stress in your elbows.
  • This movement can also be performed individually with a dumbbell in each hand.

Warning Tips

  • Do not lock out your elbows in the extended position. Failure to do so can result in injury to your elbows.
  • Do not lower the bar any faster than two to three seconds. You must stay in control at all times during this movement. The faster you perform this movement, the less control you will have, which in turn will increase your risk of injury.

Robert BoveeRobert Bovee Certified Master PPT, RTS, ETS, FTS

As one of the most successful Professional Personal Trainers and Exercise/Fitness Therapists in the United States, Robert continues to remain at the forefront of the industry by providing his clients with a thorough education and the tools to implement that education. By improving his client’s physical health, strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and nutritional habits, he is able to motivate them to lead longer, happier and more productive lives. Find out more about Robert and his personal training career and services, here.


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