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Arm Workouts for Women

Tri It Lying Down

Try these three supine moves for terrific triceps

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Let’s face it — sometimes you feel lazy. But just because you’d prefer to lie like a lox doesn’t mean you should miss out on a workout. In fact, these three triceps moves take advantage of your lying inclinations and the force of gravity to give your horseshoes a run for the roses.

After a dynamic warm up, use your heaviest weights and fewest reps for the first move to add power and size, then decrease in weight while increasing the reps for the next two moves to maintain intensity and add shape and detail. Do this workout one or two times a week — or whenever you feel like taking things lying down.


Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Why Do It:This is a compound move not an isolation one, which means you can go heavier and have more opportunity for growth and change.

Setup: Lie on a flat bench with your back arching naturally and hold a barbell over your belly just below your rib cage with a shoulder-width grip, arms straight.

Move: Bend your elbows and slowly lower the bar toward your abdomen, keeping your arms in close to your sides and your forearms perpendicular to the floor. When the bar touches your body, reverse the move and forcefully press the bar back up to the start.

Tip: The bar should move vertically, straight up and down, with each rep. Have a partner watch you to make sure it doesn’t drift toward your head, or the move will be commandeered by your chest.

Lying Cable Skullcrusher

Why Do It: The cable offers continuous tension through the move, making your triceps work double-time to perform each and every rep.

Setup: Position a flat bench in the center of a cable cross machine and secure a straight or cambered (if you have wrist issues) bar to the lower cable pulley. Lie on the bench with your back arching naturally, and reach your arms straight up over your shoulders, perpendicular to the floor. Have someone hand you the bar attachment and grasp it with a shoulder-width overhand grip.

Move: Keep your upper arms perpendicular to the floor as you bend your elbows and drop the bar toward your forehead. When you’ve come as low as you comfortably can, reverse the move and straighten your arms to return to the start.

Tip: Don’t let your elbows flare out; keep them pointed straight and parallel to protect your joints.

Lying Cross-Body Dumbbell Extension

Why Do It: Taking the extension across your body instead of behind your head offers a new angle and new stimulus. In addition, working each arm individually enables you to correct any imbalances between your arms.


Setup: Lie on a flat bench (or on the floor) and hold a dumbbell in one hand, arm straight up over your shoulder, palm facing away from you.

Move: Bend your elbow and slowly drop the weight toward your opposite shoulder while keeping your upper arm in place. When the head of the dumbbell touches your shoulder, reverse the move and return to the start.

Tip: Lightly place your non-working hand on the outside of your working elbow to steady and support it, helping maintain proper form.