Tricep Exercises for Climbers


Triceps are the long muscles on the back of your upper arm. They help us with moves like mantles, pushing down on holds and even holding the rope above your head during reachy clips. They’re not exactly the obvious targets for pull-up obsessed climbers, but strengthening your triceps will help you stay injury-free and push your capacity for even bigger biceps (which no one has ever complained about).

For the health and strength of your triceps, here are a few exercises. Aim for three sets of 10, with a couple of minutes of rest between each set.


Tricep Kickbacks: This exercise can be performed with one or two arms at a time. Place one arm on a bench and a weight (ideally a dumbbell) in your other hand. Bend forward at the waist with your feet shoulder-width apart while maintaining a flat back. Lift weight so that your arm is making a 90-degree angle. Keep your upper arm close to your body and raise your lower arm backwards to make your arm straight. Repeat.

Tricep Overhead Extension: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift a weight (start light) above your head and lower it behind your head by bending at the elbows. Make sure to keep the weight in the middle of your back and that your elbows stay pointed forward and not out.

Bench Dips: Place your hands on the edge of a table or bench and slowly lower your body down as far as you can go. Then lift back up until your arms are straight. This is one rep!

Dips: For these, you can use a parallel bar. Lift yourself up, so that your arms are straight, then bend your arms and lower yourself down slowly. You may need to bend your legs so that you don’t “dab.”

Diamond Push-ups: Get on your hands and knees. Move your hands close together so that your thumbs and index fingers are touching. Your hands should be creating a diamond. Raise your body up so your arms are straight. Now perform a push-up by bending your arms, bringing your chest to the ground and keeping your back straight. Then push back up!



Also Read

Five Pull-Up Variations for Climbers

Climbing Saved My Life

  • Based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Favia Dubyk is an avid boulderer that loves training, particularly hangboarding. Dubyk became obsessed with training after conquering advanced stage cancer. She had to undergo multiple surgeries and months of chemotherapy that wrecked her body. Focused and intense training helped her regain her confidence and strength. Now she especially enjoys learning new exercises and sharing them with others! Outside of climbing, Dubyk is a physician at the University of New Mexico, where she practices pathology. She also enjoys photography---often capturing images of her rottweiler-doberman dog, five cats, and her mountain-biking husband, Brian, during their many adventures in the Southwest.

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