20 Minute Tricep Workout with Dumbbells – NO Push Ups | Upper Body

20 Minute Tricep Workout with Dumbbells is short but very tough upper body strength workout from Caroline Girvan. Actually, 20 minutes is a long time to devote to a single smaller muscle group. This entire workout is done laying on your back on the mat. As Caroline indicates in the title–no push ups, but also no standing exercises. I used this as a finisher after a tough upper body workout from Heather Robertson (Fierce 14 Day 8: Chest & Shoulders), so my upper body was already very fatigued. I had to keep dropping to lighter dumbbells in the course of this workout. I usually prepare for things like that by having lighter dumbbells nearby just in case. 90% of the time I never use those lighter dumbbells. Today, I used the lighter dumbbells plenty! In both workouts! Plus, in this workout I had to get up and fetch even lighter dumbbells! My triceps are fried! And honestly, I am floored and humbled by the fact that Caroline used 17.6 pound dumbbells for every single exercise in this workout. She is incredibly strong.

The exercises in this workout are done interval style: 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen, counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recoveries Caroline previews the next exercise. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage.

20 Minute Tricep Workout with Dumbbells is 23:09 minutes; no warm up and one minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and fitness mat. Caroline is using 8kg/17.6 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Tate press (lay on back, knees bent and feet in floor, DBs are extended to ceiling with palms facing feet/legs, bend elbows bringing ends of DBs to chest then straighten arms again) (10# DBs)
  2. Repeat #1 two more times
  3. Skull crushers (10# DBs)
  4. Diamond press (lay on mat, two DBs pressed together over chest, do narrow chest press with DBs pressed together) (16.5# DBs)
  5. Repeat #4 two more times (15# DBs first time, 13# DBs second time)
  6. Repeat #3 (8# DBs)
  7. Tricep press (narrow chest press) (16.5# DBs)
  8. Repeat #7 two more times (15# DBs first time, 13# DBs second time)
  9. Repeat #3 (8# DBs)
  10. Lying overhead tricep extension (lay on back, holding one DB on both hands, unlike traditional lying tricep extensions, arms are not straight from shoulder to elbow, arms are extended past head and arms, from shoulder to elbow, are at a 45 degree angle, from this starting position, bend elbows lowering DB closer to floor then raise DB–it is a small movement) (one 13# DB)
  11. Repeat #10 two more times
  12. Repeat #3 (8# DBs)
  13. x1 dumbbell skull crushers (skull crushers holding one DB in both hands) (one 15# DB)
  14. Repeat #13 two more times (one 13# DB)

Finisher: (2 minutes, each exercise is done for 30 seconds, no rest/recoveries)

  1. Tate press (8# DBs)
  2. Diamond press (13# DBs)
  3. Tricep press (13# DBs)
  4. Skull crushers (8# DBs)

For more info on Caroline Girvan’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.


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