How to Tone the Backs Of Your Arms

Learn the best arm-toning workout.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #048

Skull Crusher: Yikes! Though it sounds extremely violent, a skull crusher only lives up to its name if you accidentally drop the weight on your head. To do this triceps exercise, simply lie on your back on a bench, and hold a barbell or dumbbell with your arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows on either side of your head. You then extend your arms until they’re completely straight, and then bring them back to 90 degrees. By adjusting your hand position to knuckles up, knuckles down, or knuckles sideways, you can target the different heads of your triceps muscle.

Close Grip Bench Press: You’ve probably heard of a regular bench press exercise in which you lie on your back on a bench and then push a bar away from your body. A close grip bench press, as the name implies, is the same exercise, but involves keeping your hands closer together on the bar, and keeping the elbows close to the body as you lower the weight.

The Best  Triceps (and Arm Toning) Workout

So now that you’re equipped with all these triceps exercises, what’s a good triceps workout to tone the back of your arms? I’ve included one below, but be warned, it may double as a diet derailer, since you may have a hard time pushing yourself away from the table because the backs of your arms are sore! (But you’ll know what to do if you’ve seen “How to Recover After A Workout”.)

This workout actually includes some exercises for the front of your arms (the biceps), since the back of your arms  can look better after toning the front of the arms too, and also because when the biceps contracts, the back of the arms stretch and get a little extra workout.

Instructions: Do 10-12 repetitions of the two exercises in these stations three times back-to-back before moving on to the next station.

Station 1: Tricep Pushdowns to Bicep Curls (hint: each time you do the workout, use a different handle or grip for the pushdowns).

Station 2:  Close Grip Bench Press to Narrow Grip Push-Ups (hint: you can actually do a close grip bench press with a set of dumbbells and hold the dumbbells with different grip positions to target different parts of your triceps muscles).

Station 3:  Dips to Pull-ups (you can do the “assisted” version of both if desired)

If you have questions about this workout, just head over to http://www.facebook.com/getfitguy and ask!

Arm image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

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