Elbow Extension Exercise

TARGETED MUSCLES: Upper arm (triceps)
WHAT YOU NEED: Hand-held weights or household items (soup cans, bottles of water)

elbow extension

This exercise will strengthen your upper arms. If your shoulders aren’t flexible enough to do this exercise, try the Chair Dip.

  1. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting in a sturdy, armless chair.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold weight in one hand with palm facing inward. Raise that arm toward ceiling.
  4. Support this arm below elbow with other hand. Breathe in slowly.
  5. Slowly bend raised arm at elbow and bring weight toward shoulder.
  6. Hold position for 1 second.
  7. Breathe out and slowly straighten your arm over your head. Be careful not to lock your elbow.
  8. Repeat 10-15 times.
  9. Repeat 10-15 times with other arm.
  10. Repeat 10-15 more times with each arm.
Icon: Safety


  • Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle-building exercises, at least at first. After doing these exercises for a few weeks, you will probably not be sore after your workout.
  • To prevent injury, don’t jerk or thrust weights. Use smooth, steady movements.
  • For some exercises, you may want to start alternating arms and work your way up to using both arms at the same time.
  • Breathe out as you lift or push, and breathe in as you relax.
  • Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. Holding your breath while straining can cause changes in blood pressure. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth.
  • Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise, especially if you’ve had hip or back surgery.