Six moves, a set of dumbbells, and a tricep building workout for a toned upper body

Save this dumbbell routine for your next upper body day, especially if you want to fire up your tricep muscles

Woman lifts a dumbbell over her shoulder and upper back
(Image credit: Getty)

If you want to build a strong and defined upper body you will want to ensure you work more than just your shoulders and chest. The triceps are a major muscle located in the upper arm and play a key role in enhancing upper body strength and in assisting the movement of your elbows and shoulders.

If you've completed a dumbbell arms workout before, then you'll most likely know what size of weight to start with for this upper body session. But this routine is also suitable for beginners, all you need is some of the best adjustable dumbbells to get started. These modifiable weights combine several dumbbells in one, are quick to change weight mid-workout and they offer up a space-saving way to grow muscle at home.

It's a good idea to touch up on these beginner strength training tips before getting stuck into fitness trainer Britany Williams' (opens in new tab) six-move tricep routine. As well as ensuring you pick a suitable weight to train with you should also make sure to nail the proper form for each exercise. Good form minimizes risk of injury and will help you to get the most out of your workout.

Williams explains why she has picked these specific exercises for this tricep routine: "So often people resort to overhead extensions, tricep kickbacks and skull crushers for their tricep exercises with dumbbells. These options put spins on old classics to keep your workout fresh."

Watch Williams' Six-Move Tricep Routine

A post shared by Britany Williams (@britanywilliams) (opens in new tab)

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Aim to complete 10-12 repetitions of each exercise and 3-4 rounds of the routine in full. Williams also says you can pair these moves with some chest exercises for an effective upper body workout. Check out this tricep and chest workout and grow your bank of upper body exercises to use in your training.

The great thing about this workout is that it can be completed anywhere so long as you have some weight to work with. While people typically use a bench to perform moves like the narrow press on, Williams demonstrates how you can simply do this exercise on the floor instead. Just make sure you lie yourself down on something padded like one of the best yoga mats or a thick towel.

Your main fitness goal right now may be to build muscle in your upper body and it's a good idea to consider the progressive overload method. This is where you gradually increase the demand of your workouts to challenge your muscles and spur growth.

If you're training with weights then you can do this by increasing the weight size you usually train with. Alternatively, if you prefer resistance training without weight, for example with this bodyweight arm workout, then you can simply increase your number of reps per exercise.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.