Single Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Single Arm 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 Single Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extensions including important coaching points and alternatives.

How To Do Single-Arm DB Triceps Extensions

Equipment Needed

  • Dumbbells
  • Bench (optional – can also be done standing)

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

Coaching Points

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

Muscles Worked

Triceps Anatomy

Single Arm 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 arm.

One Arm DB Triceps Extensions Alternatives

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

Barbell Skull Crushers

Don’t have dumbbells, but have a barbell? Give Barbell Skull Crushers a shot.

They can be done on a bench or on the floor (or with an EZ Curl Bar for that matter). They’re not only a good option if you don’t have dumbbells, but they can also be a better fit if you have shoulder mobility issues and overhead extensions are uncomfortable for you.

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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