The BEST Dumbbell Exercises – TRICEPS EDITION!

what's up guys jeff cavaliere today we're talking about the best exercises you can do for your triceps but the catch is as we've done in this entire series we're restricting our selections to those that you could do with just this dumbbells now look we're not talking sacrifices here because the gains you can make with dumbbells are just as good as anything else if you choose the right exercises but that being said what type of gains are we talking about because there's a lot of things we can be training for so I want to give you guys the best selections for developing strength power hypertrophy with eccentric stress as the overload a metabolic exercise combination to drive hypertrophy as well a total body combination which yeah they actually do exist when it comes to triceps the corrective exercise students I can never completely separate the physical therapists from the strength coach and then finally our miscellaneous exercise which means something that doesn't really fit cleanly into another category and in this case when it comes to the triceps and exercise that allows a maximum shortening or maximum contraction of the triceps because there aren't that many when it comes to dumbbells so you guys ready we're going to break them down here category by category all right guys we keep this one off in the category of strength and when it comes to building strength you want to look for the exercises that allow you to load up with as much weight as possible as often as possible so you have to have some capacity in the lifts that you're doing and in the case of the triceps here if I had access to a barbell I'd run right over to perform the close grip bench press because we know that's the heavy hitter but we also have a secondary one one that sort of ties and that is the upright dip simply changing the orientation of your body from more oriented forward which would hit more of the chest as a vertical push up to one more upright which replaces more of the demand on the elbows which is going to impact the triceps and make that another heavy hitter especially because we know we can weight the exercise so let's actually start and reverse if we chose the weighted exercise there we could easily make this a dumbbell swap out because we don't have to sacrifice the weight as a matter of fact instead of just using place you just strap a dumbbell up like I'm showing you here you could even do the equivalent weight and there's no drop-off you can get all the gains from this exercise that you would with normally loading it with plates the fact is there are a couple things you want to focus on not just staying more upright as you can see here placing more the stress on the triceps but I also like to finish by opening my hands and finishing through extension at the wrist to just take the forearms out of it and place more of that stress on the triceps but we go back to the barbell close grip bench press now if you guys haven't already watched a chest addition in this series you're going to want to see that because a similar selection was made we had to decide whether or not it was just as good to go to a dumbbell version of a benchpress to take the barbell out of it and in that case it actually wasn't so good because of the high demands of stability on the shoulders when you make that drop off I made the point that 300-pound bench pressures do not become 150 pound dumbbell bench presses but the interesting thing when it comes to the close grip bench press is there's a lot less of a significance in the trade-off because of the positioning of the elbows and what it namely does to the shoulders when the elbows are out here the stability demands on the shoulders are much greater than they are when the elbows come down and in for the Close Grip setup in fact it's one and a half times less torque and stress on the shoulders and the muscles around the shoulder girdle to support that so you'll find that when you go to make the swap to the dumbbells you actually don't have to sacrifice very much of weight at all which continues to make this a viable exercise selection here when you're trying to build strength without having to try to use light weights to accomplish that goal so guys you have two options here I'm going to keep them tied you pick our next step we move on to power and as we've discussed here before when you're training for power it's not just about trying to use exercises that allow you to move some weight but more importantly to move them quickly there's a velocity component here so you want to be explosive when you perform the exercise and in that case my best selection here is the dumbbell JME press now this is a modification of an exercise created by JM Blakely where we use a barbell traditionally but again I don't feel there's a significant drop-off and doing it this way the goal here is that we want to try to be explosive we want to try to move this weight with some speed so we select a weight that is heavy enough but still commanda below us to actually move in space that initiation of the movement driven by the elbows and actually the shoulder joint itself is allowing an object in motion to stay in motion right we're getting the inertia overcome by the movement of the elbows not necessarily by the triceps but one we get going the triceps can mechanically take advantage and kick in and really accelerate that weight but I have another option too I have two ties here to start out this video the fact is as I pointed out in other videos ideally when you're trying to train for power if you could explode your body or the weight through the concentric with no deceleration component because even in the gym press at some point you're decelerating the dumbbells as they reach full extension to protect the elbows we wouldn't have to do that if we set up here like this in a bodyweight plyo diamond cutter pushup and the idea here is there is no limitation you're pushing concentric ly through the ground as explosively as possible and the only thing that would stop you is the roof and I don't think you'll be able to push off the ground that hard to get there as always with power here guys you want to train some fatigue so take a series of repetitions here and stop them about three or four reps short and the same thing would happen and apply with the jam press all right guys we move on now to hypertrophy and while we know that strengthening your muscles is a great way to create gains we also know that those gains can potentially dry up because progressively overloading and exercise can actually hit a wall rather quickly so you need some other weapons in your arsenal and one of the best ways to do this is with the eccentric overload of the muscle you're trying to grow and we can actually do that great here with the lying dumbbell tricep extension this is one of my favorite exercises period why because we can get an enormous stretch on the triceps because of the positioning of the exercise I'm able to lay down and get my arms up and over my head and why is that so significant because we can place the stretch on the largest portion of the triceps that being the long head in the bottom of this exercise now don't make the mistake that a lot of people do and that as they bring the dumbbells all the way up until their arms are straight up over their body you actually lose a lot of attention applied to the triceps by doing that always keep them slightly angled backwards throughout the entire exercise but here's where it gets even better when you reach failure we know that another way to elicit hypertrophy and muscle gain is to Train through failure increase the intensity of your work going so you can't do any more reps of the line extension concentric Li and now just drop the elbows and then flare them out to your sides to position yourself really at the beginning of a dumbbell bench press so now we can call on the chest and shoulders to help us get those dumbbells back up to the top and if centrically control the weight on the way down you're looking to perform as many eccentric only reps as possible and the only way you're gonna be able to get these dumbbells back to the top is by calling on and utilizing the help of those other muscles all right well we know that eccentric and progressive overload are two ways to build muscle we always know we have a third and that option is actually one that utilizes a lot less weight matter of fact you'll be using your just your body weight as it is in this example and this is our combination of our floor dip into our close grip dumbbell pushup now the dumbbells are actually props in this case there are allowing us to maintain a neutral wrist positioning while we perform the first exercise in this combination which is a floor dip the most important part of this exercise is that we're getting our arm back behind our body to allow for a full contraction of the long head of the triceps perform 10 reps of this and immediately jump our body through to at a close grip dumbbell pushup again the wrist positioning is what's key here and being afforded to us by the use of the dumbbells and we do another 10 repetitions here now we have our body through and we keep going down this is the ascending ladder ideally going nine eight seven six all the way down but if fatigue is cutting you that short to the point where you can't do anything anymore you have two options number one you can go and perform them in even numbers only ten eight six four two or ideally you'll just mechanically lighten the exercise by dropping down to your knees and the push-ups or placing your knees in a bent position with your feet flat on the floor to perform the dip the idea is guys metabolically in order to achieve what you're trying to achieve you have to be willing to go and fight through every single repetition once the burn starts it's not about just getting to that burn if you want to achieve the gains from metabolically stressed exercises you need to be able to push through that burn as long and as hard as possible this combination will allow you to do just that alright moving on now we have our total body exercise for our triceps and then it probably sounds like it actually moron but it's true we actually have a way that we can train our entire body and make the triceps be a driver of the movement and that is what this overhead extension thruster now you probably try the traditional thruster before and you know that this exercise while incorporating a heavy dose of the lower body is being driven at the top of the movement by the strength and power of the shoulders but we can extend the arms up overhead in a different way we can let the triceps be the driver like elbows out in front of our body the additional benefit that comes from this exercise is it's going to demand proper thoracic extension just like it would at the top of an overhead dumbbell squat so you're kind of getting an additional benefit here that could fall more to the corrective but I've got an exercise selected for that as well speaking of that corrective we need to know that the tricep doesn't just do this it doesn't just extend the elbow as a matter of fact our appreciation for how significant this muscle is will grow as soon as we know that it actually has an attachment that goes across the shoulder on to the scapula itself which is the long head which is actually the largest component of the triceps muscle and why is that significant because it opens up a whole new world of exercises that we can do to help it perform better at the job of stabilizing that scapula or getting your arm back into extension behind your body so what we have here is the dumbbell devil and that might ring a bell because you've probably heard me talk about an exercise called the Angels & Devils and we know that the angel comes all the way up to the top but we don't need to do that if we're really trying to focus the intent of this movement on the triceps we only need to go about half way you can see me laying down on my belly here and then getting the dumbbells off the floor and for some people that might be really really difficult alone just getting that isolated extension behind the body getting that arm lifted up but you won't be able to necessarily handle very much weight here at all if you don't learn to incorporate the other muscles that attach to the shoulder blade – and have actions on it and therefore integrating muscles that prefer to work together so we always try to do here when we can and we can do that with this devil exercise we get the ROM boys to participate we get the rotator cuff to actually externally rotate the shoulder to get up in position to get those shoulders off the mat and to keep them off as we go through this arc again you won't be able to use a heavyweight here but that's not the purpose this is a corrective exercise meant to integrate that triceps with those other surrounding muscles of the shoulder girdle for an all-important purpose and oftentimes an underutilized one unless we wrap up our selections here with our miscellaneous category and specifically what we're trying to achieve that we maybe didn't achieve as much in the other selections and that is getting full extension and contraction maximal shortening of the triceps and you might be thinking yourself how do we not do that well any of the exercises that end with your arms out in front of your body or not doing that the only way to achieve this is by getting that arm as we just talked about back behind your body into extension to get full shortening of the long head of the triceps and here's an exercise that gets kicked to the curb far too often and it's one of my favorite ways of doing this it's the dumbbell tricep kickback the most important thing you can do is establish your arm and the beginning of the movement back behind your body and then try to fight and keep it there on every single repetition look I know as you start to fatigue those arms are going to start to drift down and down and down and want to start working their way towards the front of your body but at that point you're gonna lose one of the main benefits of what we're trying to achieve here similar to getting full adduction of the chest by crossing midline you've got to keep that arm up as high as possible it might mean using lighter weights that's okay we're generally not that strong in that finished position anyway but it doesn't mean that we should ignore it you want to find an option in a way to do that and this is my favorite way in the best way to do it so there you have it guys my best dumbbell exercises when it comes to developing your triceps and remember it's not always about just trying to build strength or just trying to build size it depends upon what you're trying to train for that will dictate the exercise selections that you choose and that same level of applying science to the selection of what we do is what we do in all of our programs if you haven't already done so guys head to right now and get the program that best matches up to your current goals in the meantime if you haven't already done so please subscribe trinity notifications and as always guys make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up below let me know what you want me to cover and I will do my best to do that for you guys in the days and weeks ahead alright see you soon you


  1. NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY – Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them 🙂 Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Best dumbbell back exercises?

  3. Where is the real time exercise tho lol

  4. Jeff, how much variety of excersises should I do to each body part & how much to see serious gains, and yes I have access to gym and my diet is clean & planned. I've heard that more than 2-3 types of excersises on a single day will hinder your gains… Is that true?

  5. The 406 people who dislike this are haters.

  6. I understand the difference between the workouts and what they accomplish but would it be a good idea to do multiple of these workouts if you had a dedicated triceps day or should one focus on the individual goals of each tricep workout he showed?

  7. What is the difference between power and streght?

  8. Outstanding advice

  9. 7:10 I have to use db to do pushups, injured my rist playing basketball and cannot bend it flat. Guess that's not a huge issue.

  10. You're hands down the best instructor on youtube. Wish I was more comfortable in gyms otherwise I only get a couple days a week at my workplace gym.

  11. Does anyone know if Jeff has released a legs or back Best Dumbbell Exercise episode as part of this series?

  12. We want a back workout with dumbbells

  13. Can you make the best dumbbell workouts for back

  14. Great vid Jeff… Dumbbell BACK edition?

  15. I came across jeffs video 5 years ago by accident and from this time i have bever stopped watching him.. and im gonna be honest here – he absolutely changed my life

  16. 4.25, 6.14, 7.26

  17. 01:14 Strength 01:47 Upright dip, 03:24 Dumbbell close grip press (Optional 01:30 Close grip bench press)
    03:36 Power 03:53 Dumbbell JM press, 04:52 Plyo diamond cutter push-up
    05:16 Hypertrophy 05:37 Lying dumbbell tricep extension
    06:55 Metabolic 07:47 10,8,6,4,2 reps drop set OR 07:53 Mechanical drop set 07:00 Bodyweight floor dip – 07:05 Close grip dumbbell push-up
    08:24 Total body 08:34 Overhead extension thruster
    09:09 Corrective 09:41 Dumbbell devil
    10:54 Full extension and contraction 11:15 Dumbbell kickback

  18. If we had a dip station then we probably would have a bench

  19. My time stamp

  20. Jeff,said he “ he laid on his belly “,he meant STOMACH.
    I have a “ belly “.
    He funny man.

  21. Does the corrective exercise also target rear delts? Or hit them secondly?

  22. He's just fat.

  23. Hey, dumbbells ain’t dumb

  24. How workout my sexist muscle: the brain

  25. Do you usually perform these different forms of workouts once a week, or all in the same work out? For instance, one week do you train for power, the next week for hypertrophic? Or, do you train for strength, power, and hypertrophic all in one?

  26. I wonder who dislikes this valuable and free information !

  27. Lats or whole back pls!

  28. Man you’ve helped me so much already. I’m 6’2 115lbs (yeah, lmao) and for the longest time I just focused on the numbers, amount of reps etc. And after 45 mins I still barely felt anything. Now that iv been following your advice and techniques, I can barely make it through 25 minutes without collapsing on the floor after haha. Thanks for all the effort and quality information you give us, for FREE. Much love

  29. I’m starting to lift and I’m struggling to lift with one arm more than the other. Also feel like that same arm I’m not able to fully tighten it Any suggestions

  30. What about best dumbbell exercises for back, traps?

  31. I don't doubt Jeff knows a lot but anyone talking so sweepingly and absolutely about exercises which effectiveness depends massively on the person involved raises my suspicion.

  32. Hey I've been gaining weight cause i have a low metabolism rate please help how can i increase it ?

  33. It’s a miracle that Jeff has a shirt on

  34. T O T A L B O D Y T R I C E P S

  35. You really know your business….thank you for posting all this hard won information….

  36. These dumbell videos are absolute gold!!

  37. I really hope you do Legs and Back dumbbell videos too!

  38. 3:54

  39. Why is this particular gym always empty lol 😂😂😂😂

  40. How long should I be working out. A day if I been working out for 2/3 years

  41. Incline two dumbbell extensions superset to close grip decline press then to bodyweight dips…then rest 2 min

  42. U can sometimes give way to much information that can really be overwhelming an hard to engage in as a listener when most of us just need a simple demonstration an the benefits

  43. Your vids are great but i wish you lessen the yada yada yada😡

  44. I tried to say the word Beaxst and its impossible

  45. learned a lot from this, thank you

  46. Superb workout involving every muscle in the triceps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *