Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension: Exercise for Toned Arms

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension is a way to work the three heads of the brachial triceps equally. 

The triceps exercise is a simple and intense exercise to strengthen the triceps. 

It targets the triceps muscles from the elbow up into the latissimus dorsi. 

Due to the full utilization of the triceps muscles group and the triceps extension lying position, they are utilized by many bodybuilders as a part of their workout regimen. 

It is generally less painful at the wrist and wrist joints, but the radius and the ulna are more properly positioned. 

Do not set the dumbbells on the floor while lying on your back.

How Do You Perform The Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension?

At the beginning (Starting) position, take a pair of dumbbells and place yourself on a bench, with your back, head, and buttocks touching the benches, and your feet are flat on the ground. 

Place the dumbbells into a proper grip at eye level and keep the elbows straight (your arms are stretched towards the ceiling, with the dumbbells placed over your head and your palms facing one another).

Exercise execution (Movement) maintaining your upper arms still and lowering the dumbbells towards both sides until they are equal to the ear (your hands are at or near your forehead level). 

Then stop and press your triceps.

After that, lift the dumbbells to their original position.

Key Points Of Exercise & Common Mistakes

  • Keep your elbows inside and the upper arm still (don’t allow them to flail when your dumbbells are lowered).
  • Look for your arms to be still, and your elbows pointed straight at the ceiling throughout the workout.
  • Keep your back, head, and buttocks in contact with the bench and your feet resting on the floor.
  • Reduce the weights to your ears. Keep your elbows from flaming out.
  • Make sure you move the dumbbells gradually from beginning to end. Make sure to squeeze your muscles towards the top of your movement to feel the triceps engaged.
  • Common errors using the elbows benefit your back and the back muscles. But you are not aligning your elbows horizontally to minimize the impact of gravity and opening your elbows too wide.

Muscles Involved In Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Lying Triceps Extension

Dumbbells offer a more comfortable (neutral) grip and have the radius and the ulna correctly placed. 

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The muscles involved are almost the same as the triceps extension positioned in a lying extension. 

However, certain studies suggest that the lateral head is working more.

Main Muscles: Triceps

Secondary Muscles: The anconeus chest deltoid

Antagonists: Biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis.

Variation Of Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Lying Crossover Triceps Extension

This body-wide movement is reminiscent of the salute of a soldier. 

Lay on a bench and hold a dumbbell with the palm of one hand with your fingers facing downwards (your feet). 

Bend your elbow until the dumbbell is straight towards the ceiling. 

Don’t let your arm’s upper part move (it should be pointing straight upwards). 

Then bend your elbow to push the dumbbell to an opposite chest (until the end is in contact with your shoulder to the opposite side). 

It would be best to stop the downward motion once your elbow is 90 degrees. 

Don’t let the dumbbell drop on your chest, and reverse the motion to raise your arm in the position it was when you started. 

It is possible to use the opposite hand to help keep the weight-bearing arm in place by gripping the biceps. 

Certain individuals will have less discomfort with this variant, and holding onto your arm will help you balance better. 

As with all triceps exercises, the variation works across all three heads. 

However, it is generally suggested for the lateral side of the head.

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension Alternatives

There are many types of triceps extensions. 

We’ll look at different extension exercises for the triceps you can do with dumbbells, Straight bars, E-Z or straight bars, and exercises you can do with pulley machines.

Seated Triceps Extension With Dumbbell

The sitting dumbbell tricep extension is an alternative to Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension and an exercise designed to strengthen the triceps muscles.

Extension exercises for the upper back are beneficial in targeting the long upper part of the muscles. 

A larger and stronger long head gives an overall impression of a bigger tricep.

Exercises for isolation of the triceps are especially beneficial to those seeking to enhance their appearance. 

They may also benefit those who want to build strength when performing other pressing movements.

  • Choose the desired weight in the rack and set the adjustable bench to 90°.
  • To sit upright, you must be in a posture and raise the dumbbell until it reaches the upper part of your shoulders. 
  • Breathe deeply, wrap your hands over the dumbbell, and press it back into the overhead position.
  • Keep an overhanging grip and gradually lower the dumbbell to your head while releasing your elbows.
  • When your forearms are at an angle that is parallel to or below, you can drive the dumbbell back towards the starting point by stretching the elbows and contracting the triceps.
  • Repeat until you have reached your desired amount of times.
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Lying E-Z Bar Triceps Extension

Lying EZ-bar tricep extension is an exercise using free weights primarily focused on the triceps.

The most basic lying EZ-bar extension equipment you need is the EZ-curl bar and flat bench. 

There are various lying EZ-bar extensions that you could test that could require various kinds of lying EZ-bar tricep extension devices or might not require any equipment at all.

  • Take an EZ-curl bar using an overhand grip in the first position, starting from the middle out.
  • Lay on a bench with your hands over your head and your arms slightly tilted forwards.
  • Start with lowering your bar with your elbows without lifting your arms. 
  • Lower the bar until your arms are nearly their parallels to the ground. 
  • Reverse the movement to return to starting position. 
  • This is the end of one rep.

E-Z Bar Incline Lying Triceps Extension

EZ bar incline lying triceps extension stretching triceps in the lying position increases the strength of the triceps. 

The incline angle combines shoulders more frequently throughout the exercise.

  • Pick up an EZ bar with pronated grips just inside shoulder length.
  • Sit on a flat bench, then press the weight until it’s directly on your head.
  • Then lower the bar in front of the head to feel a strong stretching in the triceps.
  • Reverse the movement using your triceps to bend till your elbows extend to full extension.
  • Repeat for five sets of 8-20 repetitions.

Lying Triceps Cable Extension On The Floor

The extension of the triceps cables by lying on the cable is an isolated exercise sitting on a bench or the floor. 

The movement is generally performed for moderate to heavy reps to burn and pump in an exercise focused on the arm.

Lay on a flat bench and hold the pulley’s straight bar lowly with a small overhand grip.

Tips: The simplest way to achieve this is to ask someone to give you the bar when you lay down.

  • With your arms extended, then place the bar across your body. 
  • Both your arm and the torso must make an angle of 90 degrees.
  • This is your starting point.
  • Lower the bar down by bending at the elbow while keeping your upper arms still and the elbows straight. 
  • The bar should be lowered until it is just barely touching your forehead. 
  • Breathe deeply as you complete this part of the exercise.
  • Flex your triceps while you return the bar to its initial position. Inhale while performing this part of the exercise.
  • Maintain for a second your contracted posture and repeat the number of times recommended.
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Seated EZ-Bar Overhead Triceps Extension

Seated EZ-Bar Overhead Triceps Extension helps boost the strength and development of the triceps muscle. 

Using a narrow grip, you concentrate on the outside of your triceps.

  • Sit up straight on the benches and hold an EZ-curl bar overhead by putting your hands shoulder-width between them under the grooves with curved curves.
  • Slowly lower the bar behind your head while keeping your elbows slightly to the side until your forearms are level with the floor. 
  • Inhale throughout this part of the workout.
  • Then extend your forearms towards the starting position with your triceps flexed. 
  • However, don’t lock them from the highest point. Inhale throughout this part of the workout.
  • Repeat until you have reached as many repetitions.

Closing Thoughts

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

Lying dumbbell triceps extension provides many advantages. 

As you will observe in this article, when you are using dumbbells, you can exercise both bilaterally and independently. 

Since you can place your hands with ease and use various grips. 

In addition, when lying in a posture, your back is secured. 

This means your posture will be more efficient than when you are doing standing or sitting extensions. 

Because of the stretching, the head on the triceps will be more active.

Make sure not to strike your nose or head when lifting weights, particularly when fatigue reduces your ability to control the direction of the exercise. 

When using heavyweights, this exercise may damage the triceps muscles close to the elbow, so it is recommended to stop the exercise if you experience any discomfort whatsoever.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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