15 Best Bodyweight Tricep Exercises You Can Do at Home

Bodyweight tricep exercises flexing

The triceps brachii are muscles located at the back of the upper arm. They are responsible for extending the elbow joint. And includes the medial head, long head, and lateral head.

Bodyweight tricep exercises are a great way to build strength and tone the arms without the need for any equipment.

Some of the benefits of doing bodyweight triceps exercises include:

  • They are convenient and can be done anywhere
  • They require no special equipment
  • They are effective at building muscular and strong tricep muscles

The following are 15 of the best bodyweight triceps exercises that you can do at home with minimal equipment needed.

1. Bodyweight Dips

A bodyweight dip is a simple exercise that can be done to work multiple muscle groups including the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

To do a bodyweight dip, you will need two sturdy chairs or a dip bar.

Here’s how to perform bodyweight dips:

  1. Secure two chairs with the backrest facing one another about shoulder-width apart. Or if you’re using a dip bar make sure it is secured to the ground.
  2. Position yourself with your hands gripping the bars or backrest of each chair with your palms facing downwards.
  3. Begin by holding yourself with the elbows straight and feet elevated off the ground, and lower your body down until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Press yourself back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips:

  • If you’re using a dip bar place your hands at the edge of the handles.
  • If you use a chair position your hands in the center of the backrest of each chair.
  • Keep your elbows tucked slightly to put more tension on your triceps.
  • Hold your chest up and keep the shoulder blades retracted.

2. Diamond Push-Ups

Diamond push-ups are a variation of the regular push-up. They put almost all of the focus on working the triceps rather than the chest.

To do a diamond push-up:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands close together.
  2. Form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Then extend your arms to a straight up and down position.
  3. Bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself towards the floor.
  4. Keep your core engaged and your back flat as you press back up.

Tips:

  • Don’t lower yourself completely to the ground. Begin going back to the top when you feel your triceps are fully contracted.
  • Try not to fully lockout your elbows at the top.
  • If you’re struggling with these, start by doing them on your knees instead of with your feet.

If you want to focus on your triceps, then diamond push-ups are a great exercise to add to your routine.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to get the most out of this move.

3. Close Grip Push-Up

The close-grip push-up is a movement that targets the triceps muscles more than the standard version. They’re good for building strength and definition.

To do them:

  1. Place your hands close together so that your arms are tight to your sides.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, lower yourself down until your chest nearly touches the ground.
  3. Then, push yourself back up to the starting position.

Tips:

  • Focus on moving through your triceps rather than your chest.
  • Keep your elbows tucked by your sides.
  • Place your hands slightly more narrow than shoulder-width apart.

Close-grip push-ups are a great exercise for building strength and definition in the triceps muscles.

They can be performed with bodyweight or with added weight, such as a weight plate on your back.

4. Swiss Ball Push-up

Swiss ball push-ups are a variation of the traditional push-up that uses a Swiss ball to provide instability.

This increased instability makes the exercise more challenging, forcing the muscles to work harder to maintain balance.

Using the swiss ball also activates more muscle fibers than traditional push-ups, making them a more effective exercise.

Steps for performing them:

  1. Position a Swiss ball in the middle of your chest with your hands close together on the ball.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the Swiss ball, maintaining a straight back.
  3. Push yourself back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips:

  • If you’re having trouble keeping the ball in place try pushing it tight to the wall to secure it.
  • If you don’t have a swiss ball you can also do this form of incline push-ups on a chair or table at a similar angle.

Swiss ball push-ups are a great exercise for building strength and muscle in the chest and triceps.

They can also be used to improve core and shoulder stability, and balance. Swiss ball push-ups are challenging, so they may not be suitable for beginners.

5. Press-up

A press-up is a common strength training exercise in which you lift your upper body off the ground using your arms, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Press-ups are a great alternative to normal push-ups if you have trouble doing them or feel fatigued.

To perform a press-up:

  1. Assume an upward dog position with your hands in front of you and upper arms close to your sides.
  2. Inhale and slowly lower yourself towards the ground using your triceps, while maintaining the upward arch position in your back.
  3. Once your arms are at about a 90-degree angle, exhale and press firmly into the palms of your hands to lift your upper body back up.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips:

  • Keep your core engaged throughout the movement.
  • Try to hold your chest up high.
  • Lean forward on your hands to put more tension on the triceps and keep your elbows tucked in.

6. Cross Arm Push-ups

Cross arm push-ups are an advanced push-up variation that burns up the triceps.

To do them:

  1. Assume a forearm plank position.
  2. From here, position your hands so that they overlap one another with the fingers pointing side to side and forearms tight to one another.
  3. Then, push yourself upwards using your triceps.
  4. Inhale then slowly lower yourself back down until your upper arms are hovering just above the floor.
  5. Exhale, press back up to the top position, and repeat.

Tips:

  • Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
  • Tuck your elbows as best you can and avoid over-flaring them outwards.

7. Bodyweight Tricep Extensions

Bodyweight Tricep extensions are a great way to isolate and build triceps. They have a similar motion to skull crushers, except they are performed facing toward the floor.

Here’s how to do them:

  1. Begin by taking a forearm plank position with your feet extended straight back.
  2. Keep your hands and arms close together.
  3. Push your body away from the floor by using your hands to extend the elbow joints upwards.
  4. Go up until your triceps are fully flexed and squeezed.
  5. Lower yourself back to the floor until your forearms are touching or hovering slightly above the ground.
  6. Repeat the motion.

Tips:

  • Position your hands more forward than you would for a normal plank.
  • Keep your back flat during the entire movement.
  • Core muscles should be tight throughout the exercise.
  • It’s basically an up and down plank that includes elbow extension.

The bodyweight tricep extension can be performed pretty much anywhere and is one of the best ways to get a similar effect as skull crushers without needing access to weights.

8. Towel Slide Push-ups

Towel slide push-ups are one of the most intense bodyweight triceps exercises you should add to your workout.

These are the steps:

  1. Place two towels, or one long towel, on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your hands on the towels and slide one forward until your hand is in front of your shoulder.
  3. Lower your body down to the floor while you’re sliding one hand forward. Then push back up to the start position and slide the forward hand back to the normal push-up position.
  4. Now repeat the same motion with the opposite arm.

Tips:

  • Keep your back flat during the entire triceps exercise.
  • Hold your core tight.
  • Try to make each part of this exercise one smooth motion.

The benefit of towel slide push-ups is that they are a great way to build your upper body strength with nothing but the floor and a towel.

9. Bench Dip

Bench dips are a bodyweight exercise that targets the triceps.

To do a bench dip:

  1. You will need a bench or sturdy chair.
  2. Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the ground and your hands by your sides using an overhand grip.
  3. Lean forward, elevate yourself off the bench, and press your palms against the edge of the bench, while keeping your torso upright.
  4. Slowly bend your arms and lower yourself down until they are at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Press back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Tips:

  • If you want a challenge, you can add weight by placing a plate on your lap.
  • Hold your core tight.

The bench dip is one of the best tricep bodyweight exercises to effectively strengthen and build defined triceps.

10. Bench Dip With Elevated Legs

The bench dip with legs elevated is another one of the best bodyweight exercises for triceps.

To do them, you’ll need an elevated surface like a bench or step, and you’ll perform the standard bench dip with your feet on the elevated surface.

This will increase the range of motion and make the exercise more challenging.

Follow the steps:

  1. Position yourself on the edge of a bench or step with your hands shoulder-width apart, your feet together, and your legs extended in front of you at an elevation.
  2. Slowly lower yourself down until your elbows are bent 90 degrees, then press back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Tips:

  • Keep your knees bent to make the exercise less difficult.
  • For increased difficulty, try to keep your legs straight throughout the exercise, or place a weight on your lap.
  • You can also do this with a coffee table and chair or other solid furniture.

11. One Arm Bench Dip

One arm bench dips are used to focus on one tricep at a time. This is a great way to repair any muscular imbalances you may have.

This is how to do them:

  1. Sit on the bench and extend your feet out in front of you.
  2. Place your left arm on the bench slightly behind your buttocks.
  3. Lean forward and place your right hand on support or hold it in front of your body.
  4. Keeping your body straight, slowly lower yourself down until your left elbow joint is at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Pause for a moment and then slowly push back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides.

Tips:

  • Be sure to start with the weaker arm first and do the same amount of reps and sets using a similar tempo for each side.
  • Lean your body weight towards the arm that is doing the work to help with stability.
  • Keep your knees bent to use as assisters.

12. Pike Push-up

The pike pushup is a variation that emphasizes shoulders and triceps.

To do a pike pushup:

  1. Start in a downward dog position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold your arms and legs extended and fully straightened.
  3. Then, bend your elbows and lower your upper body, and head toward the ground.
  4. As you lower yourself, try to lift your hips up, so your body forms an upside-down “V.”
  5. Once your head is an inch or two from the ground, press back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8–12 reps.

Tips:

  • Keep your elbows tucked slightly in to focus more on tricep engagement.
  • Keep your upper body straight.

13. Handstand Push-ups

Handstand push-ups are gymnastics moves where you perform a handstand and then do a push-up.

You can do handstand push-ups against a wall to get started. These are by far the most challenging of the bodyweight exercises on this list.

This movement is a great way to build upper body strength and help improve your balance and coordination.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a handstand position with your hands at about shoulder width and your feet against a wall.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your head toward the floor.
  3. Push back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips:

  • Focus on pushing your body up and down in a straight line
  • Hold your palms flat on the floor.
  • It’s important to do this with proper form, so be cautious when attempting it.

Variations:

If you are new to handstand push-ups, you can start with these variations:

  • Pike Handstand Push-up: Start with your feet on a chair or box in a handstand position. Bend your elbows and lower your head toward the floor. Push back up to the starting position.
  • Assisted Handstand Push-up: Start in a handstand position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet against a wall. Have a partner hold your feet or assist you as you lower yourself down and push back up to the starting position.

14. Plank to Push-up

The Plank to Push-up is a challenging bodyweight exercise that combines the plank and the push-up. It targets your core, triceps, and chest muscles.

How to perform it:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands close together and your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  2. Transition your arms to a push-up position and perform a close grip push-up.
  3. Keep your core engaged and your body in a straight line.
  4. Then return to the foreman plank position.
  5. Repeat the movement for 10-12 reps.

Tips:

  • Maintain tucked elbows.
  • Position your arms under your chest.

The Plank to Push-up is a fantastic exercise for building strength and definition in your upper body.

It also challenges your core stability and helps improve your posture.

15. Wall Tricep Extensions

Wall tricep extensions are a type of tricep extension that can be performed using a wall as support.

This exercise is particularly beneficial for those who have difficulty stabilizing their core during traditional tricep extensions.

To do wall tricep extensions:

  1. Stand facing a wall with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Place your palms facedown against the wall at shoulder height.
  3. Bend at your elbows and lean your torso forward until your nose is almost touching the wall.
  4. From this position, slowly extend your elbows to straighten your arms.
  5. Hold for a count of two and then slowly lower your arms back to the start position. Repeat

Tips:

  • Position your feet farther away from the wall to make the triceps exercise hard.
  • Move your feet closer to the wall to make it easier.

What Are Triceps Muscles and What Do They Do

The triceps brachii is a group of muscles in your arm. They help you straighten your arm and push things away from you.

The triceps brachii is made up of three muscle heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head.

The long head is the biggest part of the muscle. It attaches to your shoulder blade. The other two heads are attached to your upper arm bone.

All three heads of the muscle come together at a tendon that attaches to your elbow.

When the triceps contract, they straighten your arm. This is called extension. The triceps brachii also helps you keep your arm close to your body. This is called adduction.

The triceps play a role in both the extension and adduction of your arm. This includes activities like pushing, pulling, and throwing.

The triceps brachii make up about two-thirds of the muscle mass in your arm.

They’re sometimes called the “two-headed muscle of the arm.” The other third is made up of the biceps brachii.

Benefits of Bodyweight Triceps Exercises

There are plenty of reasons to love bodyweight exercises. First, they’re incredibly convenient – you can do them anywhere, at any time.

Second, they’re perfect for beginners; you can start slow and build up as you get stronger.

Third, they work for multiple muscle groups at once, so you’ll see results quickly and can easily find workouts for your entire body.

But the benefits of bodyweight exercises don’t stop there.

They’re also great for people who don’t like going to the gym, or who want to save money on a gym membership.

And because they’re so efficient, you can burn more calories in less time.

Most of the triceps exercises listed are also low impact, which is important to keep your joints healthy.

Try These Bodyweight Tricep Exercises

These 15 best bodyweight triceps exercises are a great way to start your journey to strong triceps.

These exercises can be done anywhere at any time with almost no equipment required, making them perfect for busy people who don’t have time to go to the gym.

If you want to see results, make sure you do these bodyweight exercises consistently and with good form.

Eric Decremer
Eric Decremer

Eric is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and competes in the USPA Powerlifting Association. Feel free to contact him anytime at edecremer@wildnswole.com!

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, heck of a program to build the triceps! I definitely have some work to do to Ben able to perform some of the more difficult workouts that’s for sure, stay wild!

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