Best Resistance Band Tricep Exercises (An Ultimate Guide)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Throughout my extensive experience as a personal trainer, clients frequently ask about the effectiveness of resistance bands in muscle training.

I advise clients to use resistance bands for tricep sculpting when heavy dumbbells or barbells are unavailable, as these bands serve as excellent alternatives to free weights.

Continue reading, as this article will explore my expertise and findings on the most effective tricep exercises using resistance bands, along with their associated benefits.

Quick Summary

  • Some of the best triceps resistance band workouts are resistance band tricep pushdowns, single-arm band tricep extensions, and banded close grip push-ups.
  • These tricep resistance band exercises are an excellent approach to strengthening your triceps. They improve muscular strength, joint stability, and explosive power.
  • The ResearchGate study highlights the efficacy of elastic resistance training in boosting upper limb strength, with a significant 24 percent increase in bench press strength and a 12 percent improvement in force application.
  • As a fitness trainer, I highly recommend using bands, which are gentle on muscles during recovery from back or shoulder injuries and incredibly convenient for those on the go.

The Best Resistance Band Tricep Exercises

A person working out with a resistance band for triceps

Resistance bands are versatile and effective tools for tricep workouts, providing constant tension throughout the range of motion. Here are some of the best resistance band tricep exercises:

Resistance Band Tricep Pushdowns

For this workout, you'll need a stable cable machine, a high-quality pull-up bar, or another sturdy piece of furniture, along with a preferred long home gym resistance band, such as a pull-up assist band.

Here's how to perform the exercise:

  1. Attach the resistance band to a cable machine or another piece of furniture, ensuring one end is securely fastened while the other hangs down.
  2. Hold one end of the band in each hand to create tension, keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Pull down rapidly on both sides until your arms are fully extended.
  4. For added intensity, pause at the bottom before returning your arms to the starting position at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Single-arm Band Overhead Tricep Extension

A person doing a Single-arm Band Overhead Tricep Extension

The single-arm overhead band tricep extensions will focus on the lateral and long heads if you employ an overhand grip.

Here's how to perform the exercise:

  1. Step your right leg on one end of the resistance band and grip the other with the right arm.
  2. Draw the band up behind you with your hand. You should have your elbow pointing up. Maintain a straight spine and stand tall. This is your starting position.
  3. Extend your elbow and lift your forearm so your entire arm shoots directly overhead. When your triceps are fully extended, squeeze them hard.
  4. Slowly lower your forearm back down and stretch it up once it is just past parallel with the ground. Always keep your elbow fixed in place.
  5. Repeat for reps, then change to the other hand.

"Because the resistance is just on one side, your core will be engaged during resistance band tricep extensions to maintain spinal stability."

- Pete Williams, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer 

Triceps Kickbacks

Tricep kickbacks specifically target the long head of the triceps. When performing this workout, ensure you use a very light resistance band.

Here's how to perform the exercise:

  1. Step on the band with both feet.
  2. Bend your knees until the upper body is nearly parallel to the ground.
  3. Raise your elbows so the upper arms are parallel to your upper torso.
  4. Tighten your core and keep your elbows locked in place.
  5. Move your arms backward until your elbows are locked.
  6. Hold for about a second before returning the hands to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Concentration Unilateral Pushdowns

A person doing Concentration Unilateral Pushdowns

Concentration Unilateral Pushdowns focus on the lateral and medial heads of the triceps.

Here's how to perform this workout:

  1. Attach the resistance band to a sturdy anchor point.
  2. Kneel down and grip the resistance band with one hand.
  3. Place your elbow against your thigh.
  4. Engage your core, keeping the elbow pressed against your thigh during the entire exercise.
  5. Extend your arm.
  6. Hold for approximately one second before smoothly returning your hand to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Read More: Triceps Pushdown Alternatives

Banded Close Grip Push-up

Banded Close Grip Push-up is a great compound workout targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps—effectively engaging all upper-body pressing muscles.

Here's how to perform it:

  1. Hold the resistance band with both hands, loop it around your head, and position it on your upper back.
  2. Start with your hands behind your shoulders or in a narrower position at the top.
  3. Lower your body by bending your elbows.
  4. Pause in the bottom position for one count.
  5. Explosively push back up.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

 

 

 

Tricep Muscle Anatomy

A person flexing his triceps in front of a black background

The tricep, also known as "triceps brachii," located behind the bicep, is responsible for moving the lower part of the arm and joints like the elbow and wrist, as per the National Institute of Health [1].

Comprising three heads—the long, medial, and lateral—the triceps brachii serves a pivotal function in shoulder joint mobility and stability, according to PubMed research [2].

The long head originates from the scapula, extending down the back of the upper arm, while the lateral head, situated at the humerus, stands out as the muscle's most powerful segment. The medial head, starting from the opposite side of the humerus, remains consistently active during downward arm movement [3] [4].

Benefits of Resistance Band Tricep Workouts

A person working out with a resistance band

Training your triceps is highly beneficial, and incorporating resistance bands enhances these benefits. Here's why you should include tricep resistance band exercises in your routine.

Enhanced Joint Stability

The triceps long head improves shoulder joint stability and mobility, supporting not only the shoulder but also the wrist and elbow joints.

Enhanced Strength and Power

A person working out with a resistance band at the gym

In addition to joint stability, training your triceps enhances strength and power, allowing for more fluid and forceful joint movement.

Adding Variation to Your Routines

Tricep exercises with resistance bands offer increased flexibility, allowing you to try various workouts for optimal results.

Easy on the Muscles and Schedule

A person flexing his triceps and back muscles at the gym

Using bands for tricep exercises helps build power and strength without straining your muscles. They are gentle and ideal for post-injury recovery.

Over the years, I've found that resistance bands are incredibly handy for my clients, being both portable and easy to use. It's a game-changer because we can seamlessly incorporate them into workouts no matter where we are.

Related Articles:

FAQs

Are Resistance Bands Good for Triceps?

Yes, resistance bands are good for the triceps. Using a band is a simple method to increase tricep strength. Several exercises may be even more effective than weights since they provide tension throughout the entire action.

What Exercises Hit All Three Heads of the Triceps?

The banded diamond Push-ups are the exercise that hits all three heads of the triceps. This workout emphasizes all three heads of the triceps effectively.

Can You Grow Your Arms With Resistance Bands?

Yes, you can grow your arms with resistance bands. Without the use of weights or a gym, bands may assist you in gaining strength and muscle. Target muscle groups like deltoids, biceps, and triceps for more muscular, stronger arms.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536996/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10979531/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136322/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5827912/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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