4 Pilates Exercises For Killer Triceps

By Alix Turoff

When the maxi dresses and bikinis come out, so do the triceps. Unfortunately, when it comes to toning our arms in time for summer, too many of us unintentionally ignore our triceps in favor of toned shoulders and biceps. But that’s a mistake.

Big mistake.

(If you’ve been thinking bat-like wings under your arms are bound to make a comeback, though, think again…)

Underdeveloped triceps not only hold back progress in the entire arm (meaning all those bicep curls won’t look nearly as toned as they could!) but also strong triceps provide stability, giving your arms a long, lean look.

This Pilates arm weight series from Alisa Wyatt, Chief Pilates Officer at Pilatesology.com is designed to balance the upper body muscles of the shoulders, upper back and triceps in order to pull the muscle against bone for a sculpted look. Use 2-3 pound arm weights to complete this circuit.

4 Exercises For Killer Triceps

pilates arm exercises 90 deg side90 Degrees Front & Side – The key to maximum sculpting here is to work as though the weights are actually much heavier and your arms are working through thick glue. The isometric effect builds the lean look of a dancer’s arms. Stand with the legs hugged strongly together, heels touching, toes 2-3 inches apart, abs pulled in and up. For extra work in your bottom, lift your heels slightly off the floor. Lift the weights straight out in front of your shoulders, palms up. Imagine the weights are very heavy and slowly bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle. Straighten the arms with resistance. Repeat 10x.  Next, open the arms straight out to the sides so your body makes a ‘T’, palms up. Slowly bend the elbows to a 90 degree angle and work with resistance to straighten again. Repeat 10x.

Tricep CurlTricep Curls – Wave goodbye to upper arm jiggle with this targeted Tricep toner. From the Tabletop position in the previous exercise, bend your elbows close to your sides, weights near your shoulders with palms facing your body. Keep your elbows hugged to your sides, as you slowly extend your arms back. Resist the weights as you return. Repeat 10x. Bonus for more intensity: Raise your elbows higher than your body and keep them there as you move.


Arm CirclesArm Circles – Elongate the arms while you tone. Stand with the legs hugged strongly together, heels touching, toes 2-3 inches apart, abs pulled in and up. For extra work in your bottom, lift your heels slightly off the floor. Hold the ends of your weights, and with arms by your sides begin 10 small circles, gradually lifting the arms as you go, stopping at eye level. Reverse the circles to go back down. Repeat 3x.


 Push upPilates Push Ups – Unlike traditional military-style push ups, Pilates Push Ups are done with the elbows close to the body which sculpts the upper back, sides and the trouble zone on the back of the arms as well as the biceps. From a standing position, pull your stomach in as you bend forward to place your palms down in front of your toes. In 4 steps, walk your hands out to a Push Up position, hands are no wider than your shoulders, your body is firm and straight. Inhale to bend the arms, keeping them hugged close to the body. Bend only as far as you can keep your chest open, body straight, butt tight, abs in. Exhale to push up. Repeat 8x. In 4 steps, walk your hands back to your toes and roll up. Repeat sequence 3x total Bonus for more intensity: On the 2nd and 3rd sets, lift one leg up and keep it lifted throughout the exercise. Switch legs on the next set.

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