As an Amazon Associate, T Nation earns from qualifying purchases. When you buy something, using the retail links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. T Nation does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our policy.
Think resistance bands are just a temporary replacement for cable exercises? Well, you’re wrong.
It’s true that resistance bands are a good option for limited equipment workouts, but they also offer some unique benefits. Here are five triceps exercises you should try.
1. Dual Band Triceps Extension
Using two bands can put you into a good position to hit your triceps hard while better aligning force through your elbows.
Keeping your hands inside the bands also provides added comfort and a “grip-less” feel when blasting your triceps. Throw a couple of bands up high (a rack, pull-up bar, door anchor) and get to work.
2. Dual Band Triceps Pushdown (bands in front)
Versus using a single band, this technique is better suited for when your triceps are screaming out for more weight. Most find these more comfortable than just a single (thicker) band. The high resistance also feels a little smoother.
Doing sets of hundreds of band triceps exercises can have its benefits, which we’ll touch on in just a minute, but sometimes you just want to go heavy. With dual bands the weight hits you in just the right way to give your triceps what they need.
3. Dual Band Triceps Pushdown (bands behind)
Change up the angle of your bands to change up the feel. Here the bands are coming from an angle behind you instead of in front of you. From this direction, the band will load your triceps a little more towards the top of the pushdown. This is where bands typically fall short versus cables, but it’s still a good movement.
4. Inside Band Triceps Pushdown
Set the band up high and then step forward into it. These are somewhere in between a pushdown and an extension. This means you get some of the benefits of both.
There’s a greater feeling of tension even when the band goes slack. This’ll help keep the tension more constant. It also does a great job at pumping some blood into your triceps.
5. Banded Tate Triceps Extension
Tate presses are a good option for overall triceps development, and arguably one of the best-aligned triceps exercises to limit elbow stress when done with cables or bands.
You’ll also notice the angle of the band relative to your arm and how this will allow for increased tension throughout the movement. Attach the bands up high or bring them lower for an angle change-up.
Programming for Your Goals
For triceps lockout strength
Go heavy and try “grip-less” variations, or throw some Fat Gripz onto the bands for comfort. Try 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps as your assistance work.
To grow bigger triceps
Pick any of the above variations and focus on squeezing every rep hard, even when the band resistance is at its max. Chase a pump at the end of a workout with 2-4 sets of 12-30 reps.
For tissue restoration
Heavy workouts can beat up your elbows. Use bands to pump plenty of blood around those avascular tissues and promote restoration. Aim for 100 reps in as few sets as possible and with as little rest as possible. For example, you might hit 40 reps on your first go, then take a few breaths before hitting another 25, and so on. You’ll get a great pump and your elbows will thank you later.