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5 Effective Kettlebell Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Triceps

How can you use kettlebells to get bigger and stronger triceps? There are a few great exercises that are all you need to build bigger and stronger triceps. Most of these you only need a kettlebell and can easily be done at home or at the gym.  

Here are the 5 best kettlebell triceps exercises:

  • Tate Press
  • Overhead extension
  • Triceps kickback
  • Skull Crusher
  • Kettlebell Bench/floor press

Below you can find a description and video of how to perform these exercises exactly.

1. Kettlebell Tate Press

My favorite triceps exercise you can do with a kettlebell is the Tate press. It’s easy to learn for almost anyone and there is very little possibility for mistakes. That makes it an excellent triceps exercise for beginners. And on top of that, it’s effective. 


  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. On the floor or on a bench is both OK. In case you’re on the floor, keep your knees bent. 
  • Put the kettlebell on your chest. 
  • Grab the sides of the kettlebell handle with both hands with your thumbs facing down. 
  • Flare out your elbows to the side. 


  • Push the kettlebell up until your elbows are almost locked out (not completely locked out). Focus on your triceps by thinking about pulling your elbows together. 
  • Hold the kettlebell at the top for a moment so it comes to a complete stop. Don’t throw the weight around without control. 
  • Slowly lower the kettlebell down until you touch your chest. Make sure to keep your elbows flared out. 

Tip: If you’ve got two kettlebells of the same (appropriate) weight, you can do the same exercise with two kettlebells as well.

2. Overhead Extension

The classic triceps exercise is the overhead extension. It’s a bit trickier to get right although once you get it, it’s not too difficult. Just be careful to not hit your head. 


  • Grab a kettlebell with both ands and stand up straight (feet shoulder width apart) or sit on a bench with your back straight. 
  • Lift the kettlebell straight above your head. 


  • Let the weight go back behind your head by bending the elbows while keeping your elbows in the same place. Lower the weight in a controlled manner until your elbow is at a 90 degree angle. 
  • Push the kettlebell back up until the weight is straight above your head and the elbows are straight. 

This exercise can be done with two arms grasping the same kettlebell or with one kettlebell for one hand.

3. Tricep Kickback

The triceps kickback is an interesting exercise since the resistance curve is different than most other exercises. The weight feels heavier the closer you get to locking out the elbow. Most exercises Get a little easier the closer you get to locking out. Also, you use your triceps to move the weight behind your body against gravity. Most exercises are the other way around or they don’t have the range of motion to behind the body. 

The downside of the kickback is that you have to learn to properly hip hinge first. The squat or deadlift is a good way to learn this. 

That means the kickback is a great exercise to add on to your workout. Because it’s a little different than the most other tricep exercises, you’ll likely feel a pretty good burn after this. 


  • Stand up straight with the feet shoulder width apart. 
  • Hinge at the hip until your body is at a little below a 45 degree angle to the floor. You can bend at the knees a little bit but only as much as you need. Make sure to keep your head, neck and back in line. 
  • Brace your core. 
  • Grab the kettlebell handle with one hand. 
  • Pull up the kettlebell until your elbow a little behind your body. Let your forearms hang down. You’ll end up with a roughly 90 degree angle in the elbow. 
  • You can place your empty hand on your knee for support if necessary. 


  • Lift the kettlebell up by extending your elbow until it’s straight. The kettlebell should end up higher than your body. 
  • Make sure to keep your elbow in the same location. Keep your arm close to your body. 
  • Squeeze the triceps at the top. Try to hold the weight still for a moment. 
  • Lower the kettlebell back down to the starting position. Lower the weight in a controlled manner. 

4. Skull Crusher

With a name like this, you might be a little worried. The names comes from the fact that you could hit your head with the weight if you’re not careful. However, this mostly applies if you use a barbell. With a kettlebell, it’s pretty easy to avoid. 


  • Lay down on the floor or a bench with the feet flat on the floor. 
  • Grab one kettlebell with both hands, thumbs pointing down while the weighted end rests on your chest. 
  • Push up the kettlebell until your elbows are extended and arms are vertical. The weighted end should point towards your head.  


  • Bend at the elbow and let the weight go behind your head until it almost touches the floor. 
  • Squeeze the triceps until the weight is back in the starting position. 

Tip: your elbows should stay in the same position as much as possible. However, to avoid hitting your head with the weight, you might have to change the angle of your upper arms a little bit. Find the right angle for your upper arms to clear your head and then keep your elbows in the same position. 

5. Kettlebell Bench Press

The bench press is one of the most popular exercises in any gym. To do a ‘real’ barbell bench press you need more equipment than a kettlebell but we can adapt the exercise as to make a similar movement with a kettlebell. 

The kettlebell bench press doesn’t only target the triceps but also the pecs. Unless you really want to isolate the triceps that’s not a bad thing. The triceps and pecs usually work together in daily life (any pushing movement) so training them together is a good thing. 


  • Lay down on the floor. Keep a bend in the knees and foot flat on the floor.
  • Grab one kettlebell with both hands palms facing each other. 
  • Rest the kettlebell below the chest on the bottom of the rib cage. 


  • Push the kettlebell up until the elbows are extended and the kettlebell is over the chest. Squeeze both the triceps and pecs to do this. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position. Let the kettlebell touch your ribcage on every repetition but be careful not to slam it into your body. 

Are These Five Exercises Enough For Strong Triceps?

The exercises above are the best five in my opinion. They target the triceps and many surrounding muscles the best way that is beneficial for growth and athleticism. That doesn’t say anything about if you should do them and if you should do them all. 

The exercises in the list above are just options you can use in your workouts. Kettlebells are great for full body workouts and most people don’t use kettlebells to just train one muscle. If you want to focus on training your triceps specifically, adding one or two exercises from the list above to your routine will increase their strength, size and endurance over time. 

It’s not necessary to do all of these 5 exercises every workout to get stronger and/or bigger biceps. Adding one or two on top of your normal routine will be fine. If you want to do a dedicated triceps workout, 3 of the exercises above is probably enough, especially if you combine it with some bodyweight exercises like push-ups. 

Also, it’s good to keep some variety in reserve. Varying exercises every few months gives your muscles a stronger training impulse. That means by switching exercises in and out you can optimize your muscle and strength increases. So if you pick one tricep exercise to do every workout, in three months you can change it out for another one on the list. This way the muscles get trained in slightly different ways every time and which leads to your body getting stronger in different ways. 

Also, exercise variety is good to keep workouts interesting. Doing exactly the same workout every time gets boring after a while and if working out gets boring, you’re less likely to adhere to a schedule. 

Image of woman doing a kettlebell overhead extension.