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3 Exercises For Strong, Toned Arms

Monica Nelson
February 17, 2016
Monica Nelson
Written by
Photo by iStock
February 17, 2016

As a celebrity trainer, I hear from clients all the time about their goals, areas they want to change, or what they really want to focus in on, and a lot of people complain about their arms. It's so common that I'm sharing three of my favorite moves to help you to tone up the backs of your arms — for good!

Do these moves consistently and you'll notice the change in your arm definition and in your strength. If you have any shoulder issues, please be mindful of any movement that you incorporate.

These moves are very efficient and target all different parts of your triceps muscles. Working the triceps correctly will change the physique of your arm. Make sure you still rotate other moves on your arm day also including biceps, shoulders, and back moves to stay well-balanced — don't forget to stretch and foam roll if you are sore after. Here is a short video of the moves, with detailed explanations below:

1. One-Arm Triceps Kickbacks

You can do this from the ground, a mat, a bench, or step. This is also a great move for building core, shoulder, and torso strength.

How to do it: In a plank position, bring your elbow up to your rib cage with a challenging weight. Kick it back, extending the arm, but make sure you don't shrug your shoulders or move your elbow or hips. Watch that you keep your hips neutral and that your core is also engaged. Aim for 10 repetitions at a weight that is heavy enough to be struggling near the end. Switch to the other arm.

2. Overhead Triceps Extensions

At this point your arms will be feeling it. Now you add overhead triceps extensions. This is a great core move too.

How to do it: Standing up, take your dumbbells (you can press the dumbbells together or keep separate for more of a challenge) and pull your arms over your head. Keep your elbows in alignment with your ears and make sure you elbows do not flare out. Keep a slight bend in your knees and keep your core tight. Lower all the way down and squeeze your triceps all the way. Make sure you do not tuck your chin, and keep your head neutral. Please be conscious if you have any shoulder issues. Aim for 10 to 15 repetitions.

3. Triceps Dips

From the second move, go right into triceps dips. We call this a super-set. Aim for 15 dips. You can do this on any bench, stable surface, or even the floor.

How to do it: Hands on the surface, you will bend from the elbows and complete a dip. Make sure your hips are not bouncing and that your shoulders stay low. The movement comes from the elbow moving, not the hips dropping up and down.

Repeat this three-exercise circuit anywhere from 1 to 3 times. Give it a shot and add this variation to your next workout! You will see your strength increase and notice those sexy, toned arms in no time.

Monica Nelson author page.
Monica Nelson

Monica Nelson is a celebrity trainer, nutrition expert, accomplished athlete, model and much loved health and fitness expert based in LA. She has been featured in Shape Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, US NEWS and many more. She works with clients of all ages and backgrounds helping and inspiring all on a journey to a healthier lifestyle. On any given day you can find her being creative in the kitchen, training her clients with challenging yet fun workouts, at the beach, out for a bike ride or catching big air on her snowboard. Make friends with Moni on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Look at over 350 healthy recipes at before you head over for a quick and fun workout at