5 Best Tricep Lateral Head Dumbbell Exercises

When it comes to developing sturdy and sculpted triceps, working out all three heads (long, lateral, and medial) is essential. The long and medial heads engage in almost every exercise, but sometimes we need to do specific exercises to hit the lateral head.

The tricep lateral head is a muscle located on the side of your upper arm. It works together with other heads to extend and flex your elbow joint, which in turn helps you move your arms up and down.

There are various exercises you can do to strengthen the lateral head, but resistance bands and dumbbell exercises are the best options if you work out at home.

5 Best Lateral Head Dumbbell Exercises for Sculpted Triceps

I’ve shared the various tricep lateral head dumbbell exercises in this article that will help you improve the overall strength, definition, and shape of your upper arms. These exercises are suitable for all fitness enthusiasts, whether male or female, beginner or intermediate.

1. Close Grip Dumbbell Push-Up

Exercise Level: Intermediate

Equipment Needed: Pair of Hexagonal Dumbbells

Benefits: The close grip push-up is an excellent compound exercise that forges multiple upper body muscles throughout the body, particularly the chest and triceps.

An EMG analysis published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests performing narrow grip pushups if you want to induce greater muscle activation in your triceps and chest.

Doing pushups by gripping the dumbbells also helps improve mobility and muscle coordination.

How to: Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and place them together on the floor and get into a high plank position with your arms straight below your chest. Keep your body straight from head to heels, and brace your core. Now, bending your elbows, lower your chest toward the floor and then push back until your arms are entirely straight.

dumbbell exercises for lateral head tricep
Courtesy: Marcus Filly YouTube

Suggested Reps and Sets: Do as many reps as possible for three rounds.

Related: 6 Dumbbell Push-ups And Their Benefits

2. Dumbbell Weighted Bench Dip

Exercise Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and a Flat Workout Bench

Benefits: If you want to increase strength and mass in your three-headed muscles, you should do weighted bench dips. Weighted bench dip is a great way to bolster the long and lateral heads of the tricep and build muscular upper arms. It also engages the shoulder and core and helps develop the upper body physique.

How to: Sit on the middle of a flat bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Place a dumbbell in your lap at an appropriate position, you can also put a towel on your thighs so the dumbbell stays in place. Holding the edge of the bench firmly with your hands, walk your feet out until your glutes are off the floor. Now, bend your elbows, lower your buttocks toward the floor and then extend your arms entirely. You’ll feel the full contraction in your triceps as you extend your arms.

Suggested Reps and Sets: 12 x 3

Also see: 8 Best Ways To Do Dips At Home For Solid Triceps And Chest

3. Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension

tricep lateral head dumbbell exercises

Exercise Level: Beginner

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and a Flexible Workout Bench

Benefits: The dumbbell overhead tricep extension is an isolation exercise that torches the all three heads of the triceps. Performing this movement with the other tricep lateral head dumbbell exercises to improve strength, size, and shape.

How to: Grab a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip and lay down on a 30-degree incline bench. Hold the dumbbell above your head with your arms straight and palms facing each other. Bending your elbows lower the dumbbells behind your head, and then contracting your triceps, extend your arms until they are entirely straight.

Suggested Reps and Sets: 10-12 x 3

4. Incline Prone Tricep Kickback

Exercise Level: Intermediate

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and a Flexible Workout Bench

Benefits: The tricep kickback is a great way to hit the lateral head. A small study published by the ACE has shown that kickback is one of the best exercises to highly activate overall tricep muscles. So, if you train at home, include this movement in your tricep lateral head dumbbell exercises to maximize your upper arms growth.

You can do tricep kickbacks in multiple ways, such as bent-over, seated, and lying prone. Depending on what suits you the most, you can do that way. For example, I do the lying prone tricep kickback because I feel it engages my long and lateral heads effectively.

How to: Holding a pair of dumbbells, lie prone on a 30-degree incline bench until your chest is on the edge of it. Keep your head down, bend your arms and raise your elbows at your sides. That’s the start. Now, maintaining your elbows fixed, kick your hands behind you until your arms are extended, and your triceps are fully engaged. Pause for a second and bring the dumbbells to the starting position.

Suggested Reps and Sets: 8-12 x 3

5. Lying Single-arm Tricep Extension

Exercise Level: Beginner

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and a Flat Workout Bench

Benefits: The single-arm tricep extension is a unilateral exercise, meaning it allows you to focus on one arm at a time. It is great for people who want to work more on their weaker arms and correct strength and muscle imbalance.

How to: Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, lay down on a flat bench. Bend your arm and lower the dumbbell toward your left shoulder with your elbow pointing out and your palm facing forward. Now, contracting your triceps, extend your elbow until your arm is fully extended.

Suggested Reps and Sets: 8-12 x 3 on each side. You can do more reps or sets on your underdeveloped triceps.

The Bottom Line

If you want to achieve muscular, sizable, and well-built triceps, you need to work out all three heads, long, lateral, and medial. The long head is involved in various exercises, such as bench presses, pushups, and overhead presses.

But strengthening the lateral head is equally important for the growth of tricep muscles.

You can do various dumbbell exercises, such as tricep kickback, overhead tricep extension, and weighted bench dips to strengthen and sculpt your tricep lateral head.

Related Dumbbell Exercises:

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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