How to Do a Banded Tricep Extension: A Hinge Health Guide

Learn how to do a tricep extension to improve upper arm strength, plus modifications to make this exercise easier or harder.

Published Date: Feb 29, 2024
Table of Contents

Feeling tight or sore in your arms or shoulders? Enter the banded tricep extension, a targeted strength training exercise that helps alleviate pain while strengthening upper arm muscles. Whether you're navigating limitations in mobility or simply looking to change up your arm workout routine, the banded tricep extension is a great option. 

Here, learn more about the benefits of the banded tricep extension, how to do it, and ways to modify it for more or less challenge.

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Maureen Lu, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist and Clinical Reviewer
Dr. Lu is a Hinge Health physical therapist and board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with over 17 years of clinical experience.

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What Is a Banded Tricep Extension?

A banded tricep extension is a strength training exercise that targets the triceps muscles, which are located on the back of your upper arms. This exercise provides resistance throughout the entire range of motion, helping to strengthen and tone the triceps muscles. It's a great option if you’re looking to do targeted exercises — say, to help with upper body musculoskeletal pain — without access to a gym, or if you’re simply looking to add variety to your arm workouts. 

What Muscles Does Banded Tricep Extension Work? 

No surprises here — the banded tricep extension primarily targets the triceps. The triceps brachii muscle group is composed of three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. This exercise specifically emphasizes the lateral and long heads of the triceps.

Additionally, stabilizing muscles such as the deltoids (shoulders) and the upper back muscles may also be engaged to help you maintain your posture and form throughout the movement.

Benefits of Banded Tricep Extension

The main benefit of the tricep extension exercise is that it helps to build tricep strength, which can help with activities such as using your arms to get up from a chair or the floor. Other benefits include: 

  • Good for joint health. Banded tricep extensions are generally considered joint-friendly because they allow for a very natural range of motion. This can be beneficial for people with joint pain or mobility limitations.

  • Variety in movement routine. Incorporating resistance bands into your workouts adds variety to your training routine. It can help break plateaus and prevent boredom by introducing a different type of resistance compared to traditional free weights or machines.

  • Convenience and accessibility. Resistance bands are portable and can be used virtually anywhere, making the banded tricep extension a convenient movement snack.

  • Versatility. Resistance bands come in various resistance levels, allowing you to adjust the intensity of the exercise to suit your fitness level and goals. 

Banded Tricep Extension: Exercises and Modifications 

The information contained in these videos is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice or treatment for any specific condition. Hinge Health is not your healthcare provider and is not responsible for any injury sustained or exacerbated by your use of or participation in these exercises. Please consult with your healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your medical condition or treatment.

Banded Tricep Extension

Banded Tricep Extension

Banded Tricep Extension

Banded Tricep Extension

To do a banded tricep extension:

  • Start by standing next to the side of a chair and stretch a resistance band from your target hand to the bottom of your foot so you’re standing on the band. 

  • Bend over and place your other hand on the seat of the chair next to you. 

  • Bend the elbow of your target side and place it near your chest. 

  • Straighten that arm by extending your elbow to stretch the band. Focus on keeping your elbow near the side of your ribs.

  • Bend your elbow to return to your starting position.  

As you do each rep, you might feel the back of your upper arm and shoulder muscles working. 

Everyone is different, which is why you may need to modify this exercise to meet your needs. 

Banded Tricep Extension Modification

Banded Tricep Extension Modification

Banded Tricep Extension Modification

Banded Tricep Extension Modification

To make a banded tricep extension easier:  

  • Perform the movement without a resistance band. 

  • Or, perform the movement with a lighter resistance band. 

To make a banded tricep extension harder: 

  • From a seated or standing position, stretch a resistance band from the bottom of your foot to your target hand. Then position your hand overhead with your elbow bent and pointing up toward the ceiling, and straighten your elbow by reaching your hand up toward the ceiling to stretch the band. 

  • Or, perform the movement with a heavier resistance band. 

How Hinge Health Can Help You 

If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program. 

The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.  

Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition. Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. 

See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.

This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.

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  1. Tiwana, M. S., Sinkler, M. A., & Bordoni, B. (2020). Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.

  2. Physiopedia. (2018). Triceps brachii. Physiopedia.