by: Yuri Elkaim

3 Quick, Powerful Tricep Workouts for Women

Ask most women about their “problem” areas and they’ll probably mention their triceps – and sometimes their butt or love handles.

That’s because fat stored in the back of the upper arms is notoriously stubborn to get rid of – ranking right up there with thigh fat. And, unfortunately, a lot of women carry extra fat around their triceps.

That leads them into doing hundreds of reps of arm exercises, without getting the results they want. Here’s the truth: while doing arm exercises will strengthen and sculpt arm muscles, those muscles will still be hidden beneath a layer of fat.

The idea that we can “spot train” specific areas of our body to lose fat from is a myth (1). Building muscle beneath fat, while still a good thing in terms of getting fitter, will not “eat away” the fat above it.

It takes shedding fat from your entire body to eliminate fat from even the most stubborn areas.

But, before you hop on the treadmill, I’m here to tell you there’s a better (and way more efficient) way to burn fat fast. And it’s all about doing compound exercises.

Read on to see how to get started using compound exercises, then check out some amazing triceps workouts for women that will get your arms in shape to show off after the fat melts away.

The Power of Compound Exercises

Compound exercises, especially when done as part of an interval-style workout, are one of my favorite ways to shed fat fast.

This is because compound exercises are full-body movements, meaning they not only work several major muscle groups at once, but also give you an awesome cardio workout.

In fact, studies show that this type of exercise actually burns body fat more efficiently than long hours of steady-state cardio on the treadmill (I hate to tell you that you’ve been wasting your time, but …) (2).

So what exactly are compound exercises?

deadlift-good-form

The Deadlift Compound Exercise

They’re movements that engage the whole body, often using heavier weight – exercises like deadlifts, squat-presses, walking dumbbell lunges, pushups, and renegade rows.

Combining these into an interval workout like in the sample below will reveal toned arms in no time.

Fat-Burning Compound Exercise Workout

In this workout, we’ll perform 2 to 3 sets of the circuit below, with 10 to 15 seconds rest between sets, and roughly 45 to 60 seconds rest between each circuit.

The workout should take roughly 20 to 25 minutes and be performed three times per week for maximum fat burn.

For our interval cardio we’ll be using a jump rope, but you can also perform high knees, use a stationary bike, or even sprint on the treadmill. They key is to rest as little as possible and go all-out during your cardio interval. You should be quite breathless.

Exercise One: Renegade Row (8 to 12 reps)

db-renegade-row

Cardio: 40 seconds jump rope

Exercise Two: Squat Press with Dumbbells (8 to 12 reps)

db-squat-press

Cardio: 40 seconds jump rope

Exercise Three: Deadlift (6 to 8 reps)

deadlift-front-view

Cardio: 40 seconds jump rope

Exercise Four: Push Ups (10 to 15 reps)

push-up-sequence

Cardio: 40 seconds jump rope

Exercise Five: Lunge Press (8 to 12 reps each leg)

dumbbell-lunge-press

Cardio: 40 seconds jump rope

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Repeat the entire circuit 2 to 3 times.

Tricep Workouts for Women

Now that you’ve starting shedding body fat, you can get to work on sculpting that stubborn triceps area for the great reveal.

Below are three different triceps workouts that are quick enough to add on to the end of your compound workout 2 to 3 times a week.

Bodyweight Tricep Workout

I’m a huge fan of bodyweight workouts because not only are they effective, they’re also functional. They can literally be done anywhere at anytime for free, so we’re left with no excuses when it comes to getting in a quick workout.

Below is a quick full bodyweight tricep workout you can use in your upper body routine, or tack on the end of a full-body workout for extra arm action.

Repeat this circuit three times through, with minimal rest between exercises and a minute or so rest between circuits.

1. Push-Back Pushup

push-back-push-up

  • Begin in pushup position, hands beneath your shoulders and spine in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Now, instead of lowering into a regular pushup, push your butt back, bending your knees slightly while keeping your arms extended.
  • Return to your pushup position, avoiding letting your hips sink toward the floor.
  • Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

2. Triangle Pushup

Triangle Pushup

  • Begin in a pushup position.
  • Walk your hands together and form a triangle with your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Lower into a pushup. If this is too difficult, feel lower onto your knees to keep good form.
  • Return to pushup position and repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

3. Side-Lying Pushup

side-lying-push-up

  • Begin lying on your side on the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Bring the arm you’re lying on to rest across your chest. Place your opposite arm beneath the tricep of your folded arm.
  • Now press your upper body up off the floor using your one arm.
  • Lower and repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

4. Chair Dip

Chair Dip

  • Grab yourself a sturdy chair and prop your arms on it, facing away.
  • Extend your legs in front of you (if this is too difficult, you can keep your knees bent). Your butt should be off the ground.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
  • Now push up, using your triceps.
  • Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

The Dumbbell Burn Triceps Workout

This killer triceps workout requires only a pair of dumbbells and a readiness to feel the burn.

You can tack on this quick finisher to the end of a full body workout to give your triceps some extra attention.

Perform two rounds of circuit 1, resting for 30-60 seconds between circuits. Once you’ve completed three rounds, move on to circuit 2 for two rounds.

Circuit 1:

Tricep Extensions

tricep-extensions

  • Begin lying on the floor, knees bent, a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Bend your elbows so that you’re holding a dumbbell on either side of your head.
  • Now extend your arms upward, keeping your palms in.
  • Lower and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

Tricep Kickbacks

tricep-kickbacks

  • Begin standing, holding a dumbbell in each hand. The weight should be comfortable yet challenging enough for your to perform 10 to 15 reps (you should feel the burn!).
  • Bending your knees slightly, hinge forward at your hips, keeping your spine straight.
  • Bring your elbows close to your sides so they’re parallel with your upper body.
  • Extend your dumbbells back behind you, palms facing in, shoulders remaining still.
  • Lower and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

Circuit 2:

Dumbbell T Pushup

db-t-pushup

  • Begin in a pushup position, holding dumbbells beneath your hands.
  • Lower into a regular pushup, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Push up and rotate your body outward, keeping your feet in place and bringing your outer arm with the dumbbell up above your head (forming a “T” similar to a side plank).
  • Return to pushup position and repeat, rotating the opposite way.
  • Perform 8 to 12 reps.

If you’re a beginner, you can perform this exercise on your knees to build strength.

Dumbbell Elbow Tuck Pushup

db-elbow-tuck-pushup

  • Begin in a pushup position, dumbbells beneath your hands and directly under your shoulders.
  • Lower into a pushup, remaining balanced over your dumbbells.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in tightly against your sides throughout the movement.
  • Push up to your starting position and repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

The Ultimate Triceps-Sculpting Workout

This challenging workout combines heavy dumbbell triceps exercises with endurance-testing bodyweight exercises for a fully-rounded quick triceps workout.

Complete this entire circuit three times through, with minimal rest to get your heart rate up. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute between circuits.

Dumbbell T Pushups

  • See description above.
  • Perform 8 to 10 reps.

Heavy Tricep Kickbacks

  • See description above.
  • Note: Use a challenging weight for this exercise – you should getting 8 to 10 reps with a massive burn.

Triangle Pushups

  • See description above.
  • Perform 8 to 12 reps.

Side-Lying Pushups

  • See description above.
  • Perform 8 to 12 reps.

Chair Dips

  • See description above.
  • Perform 10 to 15 reps.

Double-Whammy Workouts

Using compound exercises in conjunction with these triceps workouts will give your triceps fat no choice but to melt away (along with the rest of any unwanted body fat – a side effect practically everyone loves!).

Push yourself, feel the burn, and you’ll be showing off toned arms in no time.

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Yuri Elkaim

Yuri Elkaim

Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.