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Triceps: Strength and endurance for function and aesthetics

Published: October 14, 2016

The triceps
The triceps

There are several reasons why you may want to exercise your triceps. You may want to shape up your arms so they look good in T-shirts, or you may want to build strength and endurance for your athletic and sporting activities.

Perhaps you want to get rid of that flabby stuff that wobbles under your upper arms when you wave your arms. Your weight loss seems to have made it worse!
What can you do to achieve your goals?  Are there exercises that you can do at home without expensive equipment?
Your triceps are important muscles which are active in many everyday activities. Increasing muscle strength and endurance in your triceps can make these daily activities easier.
From an aesthetic perspective weight training exercises which target the muscles in your upper arm not only increase muscle strength and endurance, but can also improve muscle tone to give you shapelier upper arms.
If you want to get rid of flabby upper arms, triceps exercises, along with exercises that work your biceps, chest and shoulders can help reduce the flabbiness. Cardiovascular training can help balance your workouts.
This article is an introduction to your triceps, their function, and their recruitment in everyday activities. Guidelines for gaining muscle strength and endurance are provided. The exercises that are explained will help you build muscle strength and/or endurance as well as muscle tone for shapelier arms.
Free weights provide a range of resistance
Free weights provide a range of resistance
If your goal is to increase the size of your muscles you will need to train for hypertrophy which is not included in this article since this article explains exercises which require little or no equipment.
Weight training for hypertrophy requires heavier weights and equipment which provide you with the opportunity to perform a greater variety of exercises.
Although this article focuses on your triceps it is important to balance these exercises with exercises for your biceps, chest and shoulders. You also need to balance weight training with stretching for flexibility.
What are your triceps? Your triceps...link to the full article to learn more.


Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
American Council on Exercise (1996). Personal Trainer Manual. San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise