5 Best Tricep Exercises With Bands To Build Bigger Arms

tricep exercises with bands

Have you ever considered tricep exercises with bands?  

If not, you should.  

Using bands is a great way to build bigger and stronger tricep muscles with no weights or cable machine needed.  

Recommended Reading – 8 Best Glute Exercises At Home With Resistance Bands

So, get yourself some bands and follow along with our resistance band tricep workout below.  

Before that, let’s look into the triceps muscle in a bit more detail.  

What Are The Triceps Muscles & What Do They Do?

Your triceps brachii are a three-headed muscle group located to the back of your upper arm.  

These are known as the medial head, lateral head and the long head of the tricep.  

The long head is the largest of the three and runs from your shoulder blades down to your elbow joint.  

Each head has a different origin and insertion point meaning that they are activated differently.  

Tricep Arm Anatomy

That being said, they all work together to straighten your arm through elbow extension.  

The triceps muscles are a large muscle group and play an important role in many upper body movements that involve pushing and pulling. 

Are Resistance Bands As Effective As Dumbbells?

A common misconception is that to increase muscle mass you need to use dumbbells or other types of free weights.  

However, that’s not the case.  

Resistance bands are just as effective as dumbbells when it comes to building muscle and increasing strength.

Dumbbells VS Resistance Bands

Let’s look at how tricep exercises with bands compare to their free weight counterparts. 

Resistance Band Arm Exercise

Progressive Overload

As you become stronger, it’s important that you keep challenging your muscles so that you don’t plateau in terms of muscle strength and size.  

This usually involves lifting heavier weights.  

You might think that a set of dumbbells going from 5lbs to 200lbs is going to give you more versatility when compared to a set of resistance bands.  

But that’s not true.  

Many resistance bands usually come in a set of 5 offering different levels of resistance.  

These range from extra light through to extra heavy.  

Depending on how much you stretch the band allows you to increase the amount of resistance.

This means you can create progressive resistance the same way as dumbbells. 

Time Under Tension (TUT)

Whether you perform tricep exercises with bands or by using dumbbells, you can easily control both the eccentric and concentric parts of the movement allowing for time under tension.  

This is the amount of time your muscles experience resistance during an exercise.  

When your muscles are under load for a longer period this encourages a better mind-muscle connection (MMC).  

When MMC is enhanced, this may improve the quality of each repetition, enhance muscle activation, and reduce reliance on other muscle groups to perform the movement.

Explosive Training

When it comes to explosive training, you can achieve better results by using resistance bands than you would by using dumbbells.  

For example, if you were to press a dumbbell very quickly, at some point during the movement, momentum carries through slightly reducing the resistance.  

Conversely, pressing a band overhead at a fast pace will not allow you to create the same level of momentum.  

This is because of the constant tension you get with a band compared to a dumbbell.  

Explosive training is better for activating your fast-twitch muscle fibers.  

Fast twitch muscle fibers contract quickly but also tire quickly.  

Your central nervous system will automatically engage these fibers during explosive movements or high intensity exercise.

Training fast-twitch fibers is more likely to lead to muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) compared to slow-twitch fiber training.

This can result in increased muscle size and definition.

Range of Motion 

Unlike gym machines when your body is fixed to a specific plane of motion, using dumbbells or resistance bands will allow for a broader range of motion so you can work your muscles from different angles.  

This is important for maximum development of your muscles in terms of size and strength potential.  

Aside from muscle building, this is also helpful for improving your functional movement patterns making everyday tasks easier to perform.  

What’s more, maintaining a healthy range of motion in joints and muscles can help to prevent injuries.

What Are the Benefits of Resistance Bands?

Tricep workouts using resistance bands offer many benefits when compared to other forms of strength training.  

overhead tricep extension with resistance band

Linear Variable Resistance

Linear variable resistance (LVR) refers to the way resistance increases or decreases as you stretch the band during an exercise movement.  

The resistance offered by the band increases the further you stretch it.  

Unlike some other resistance training equipment, resistance bands adapt to the strength curve of the specific movement.

This means that the resistance matches your changing strength level throughout the entire range of motion.

Multiple Planes of Motion 

Traditional resistance training typically involves movements in a single plane.  

This is what’s known as the sagittal plane and are forwards and backwards movements such as the squat, bench press or push up.

However, using bands allows for resistance in multiple planes of motion which you won’t have when using dumbbells or a barbell.

This is because when using free weights, the resistance is created by gravity alone.  

Let’s look at the bench press as an example, in order to work the chest muscles, you have to lie down in order that the weight load is bearing down on you.

Your chest muscles engage to keep the weight up.  

When you compare this to a band, you can press up, down or straight ahead and engage the same muscles.  

Training in multiple planes can help balance muscle development by targeting different muscle groups and movement patterns.

This can reduce the risk of muscle imbalances and related injuries.

Constant Tension

When using resistance bands, there is constant tension applied to your muscles.  

If performing something such as a bicep curl using dumbbells, you’ll notice at the top of the curl, there is less resistance on your biceps.  

However, doing the same with a band will ensure the tension remains constant, even at the top of the movement.  

Constant tension prolongs the duration your muscles are under load, which can stimulate muscle growth (hypertrophy) more effectively leading to greater gains.  

Tricep Exercises with Bands

We’ve put together some of the best exercises for building your triceps, so grab your bands and give this tricep resistance band workout a go.  

Start off with a light resistance band to begin with and move up through the bands as your triceps become stronger.  

​Banded Tricep Kickback

This is a great exercise for working each side at a time, helping to address any muscle imbalances.  

Proper form means you need to keep your shoulder fixed into position when performing this movement.  

This helps to keep tension on your triceps. 

banded tricep-kickback

How To Do The Triceps Kickback:

  1. Start off by anchoring your band at floor level and take hold of the end with one hand. 
  2. Adopt a staggered stance (one foot in front of the other) with feet hip-width apart. 
  3. Keep a slight bend to your knees and bend your torso forwards.
  4. Extend your arm fully taking your arm down to the side.  
  5. Remember to keep your shoulder in position. You should feel tension to your triceps.    
  6. Return back to the start and perform 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, then switch to work the other side.  

Banded Overhead Tricep Extension

The overhead extension exercise is a great way of actively engaging your long head of the triceps.  

When you bring the bands over your shoulders ensures that the line of resistance correctly line up with your natural arm path.  

standing banded overhead tricep extension

How To Do The Overhead Triceps Extension:

  1. Anchor the band to ground level or simply hook it under your heels (make sure the band is behind you). 
  2. Grab the end of the band and bring it up and behind your head, your elbow should be pointing forwards. 
  3. Take hold of the band with your other hand, so you’re now holding it with both hands.  This is the starting position. 
  4. Extend your arms straight up above you and over your shoulders.  
  5. Use control to lower your arms back to the start and repeat for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.  

Banded Tricep Pushdown

This exercise will work all heads of your triceps but also engage your upper back, shoulders and core.  

It’s also a great exercise for strengthening the ligaments and tendons of your arm. 

Using a band for this movement allows for a much greater range of motion when compared to using a bar attachment on a cable machine.  

resistance band tricep pushdown

How To Do The Banded Tricep Pushdown:

  1. Attach the band so that it’s higher than your head.  The top of a doorway is ideal.  
  2. Take hold of the band with both hands.  Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a slight bend to your knees.  
  3. Start with your elbows bent, keeping them tucked in close to your body.  
  4. Bending just your elbows, push the band down towards the tops of your legs.  
  5. As you near the bottom, pull your hands away from each other so this further increases the resistance. 
  6. Perform 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions. 

Banded Skull Crushers

As isolation exercises go, the skull crusher is one of the best for working your triceps.  

It does put a lot of stress on your wrist and elbow joints so be sure to factor this in before giving this exercise a go.  

Banded Skull Crushers

How To Do Banded Skull Crushers:

  1. Position the band at floor and lie down on the floor so it’s behind your head.  
  2. Grab the band with both hands.  You may need to shuffle forwards slightly to create some tension in the band.  
  3. Start with your hands behind your hand so that your elbows are bent.  
  4. Bending your elbows, raise your hands up and towards the ceiling.  At the top of the movement, your hands should be directly overhead. 
  5. Pause and squeeze your triceps before lowering back to the start. 
  6. Repeat for 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.  

Banded Close Grip Press

A great alternative to a standard bench press, doing it with a resistance band will target your upper chest, triceps and rear delts.  

You can do this exercise either standing of lying back on a weight bench or the floor. 

Banded Close Grip Chest Press

How To Do The Banded Close Grip Press:

  1. Position the band around your back and under your armpits. 
  2. Lie down on the ground holding either end of the band in your hands. 
  3. Keeping your knees bent, simply extend your arms straight up towards the ceiling. 
  4. At the top of the movement, bring your hands in together and ensure your palms are facing forwards. 
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.  

The workout routine above is perfect for giving your triceps a good pump, helping to increase strength, mobility, and muscle size.  

However, if you’re new to training, then get some advice from a personal trainer who can make sure you perform the exercises with proper form whilst factoring in your personal circumstances.  

Before You Go…

Now that we’ve gone over some of the best resistance band tricep exercises, why not have a read of our article which recommends some great exercises for working your biceps.  

It’s important to equally work your biceps and triceps for balanced muscle development, joint stability and overall aesthetics.  

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