Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (How To, Muscles Worked)

Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions is a great triceps exercise that isolates the triceps, is easy for beginners to pick up, and requires minimal equipment.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to do Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions including important coaching points and alternatives.

How To Do Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Equipment Needed

  • Dumbbell
  • Bench

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Sit on the edge of a bench with a single dumbbell.
  • Raise the dumbbell straight up overhead with both hands.
  • Keep the elbows high, bend the arms and bring the dumbbell behind the head.
  • Now drive the arms back to the overhead starting position.
  • Repeat for the designated number of reps.

Coaching Points

This exercise can technically be done seated or standing with no real difference in the functionality of the movement. It’s more of a matter of personal preference.

Make sure to keep the core braced so you avoid overarching the back.

Benefits of Triceps Overhead Extensions

Some potential benefits of Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extensions include:

  1. Isolation of the triceps: This exercise targets the tricep muscles specifically, allowing you to focus on building triceps strength and size.
  2. Increased upper body strength: Strong tricep muscles will help to improve overall upper body strength, which can be beneficial for other pressing movements in the weight room like Bench Press and Shoulder Press.

Muscles Worked

Triceps Anatomy

Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions work all three heads of the Triceps Brachii – long head, lateral head, medial head – with the most emphasis on the long head of the triceps because of the upright position of the arms.

Seated DB Triceps Extensions Alternatives

Can’t do Seated Dumbbell Extensions? Here are a few alternatives you might be able to try out instead.

Dumbbell Skull Crushers

If you’re looking for another triceps exercise using dumbbells, I would suggest Dumbbell Skull Crushers.

If you have limited shoulder mobility you may find Dumbbell Skull Crushers much more comfortable to perform because you don’t have to reach the dumbbell back behind the head. They can also be a good option if you don’t have heavy enough dumbbells for Seated Extensions because the weight needed for Skull Crushers will be less.

Band Triceps Pushdowns

If you have access to resistance bands, one of the easiest (and most effective) exercises to set up for triceps is Band Triceps Pushdowns.

Loop a resistant band around the top of a squat rack and perform triceps pushdowns just like you would with a cable machine.


Dips (1)

I can’t not mention Dips here as an alternative, the king of all triceps exercises. If you really want to develop strong triceps, you should absolutely have Dips somewhere in your workout program.

More Links and Info

Looking for more exercises to build bigger arms? Make sure to check out the Arm Farm section of our Exercise Library where you’ll find dozens of exercises for the biceps, triceps and forearms – all with detailed instructions.

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