If you ever want to build up your triceps or tone up your upper arms, then bodyweight tricep exercises are the way to go.
According to many fitness specialists, triceps consistently rank among the most frustrating body parts to build, especially for women.
It is a common misconception that tricep muscles can only be worked on by using weights or by machine-based exercises.
Trust me, you don’t have to imitate Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron to build muscle; no offence to Arnold and his training methods, I have nothing but respect for the guy.
There are many different ways that are just as effective when it comes to building muscle and losing fat; bodyweight exercise is one of them.
It is also a great way to break from your normal weight training routine.
However, the majority of average gym-goers are clueless when it comes to bodyweight exercise. It is really simple; the only thing you need is your own bodyweight, plus few types of training bars at most.
In this list, I’ll introduce to you 6 powerful bodyweight exercises for developing strong sculpted triceps from my experience. I hope they could be as efficient to you as they have been to me.
What Are Bodyweight Exercises And Their Benefits?
Bodyweight exercises are arguably among the best methods for building strength. One advantage that bodyweight exercises offer is flexibility: you absolutely can do them anywhere without any special equipment.
There are many benefits for bodyweight training beside flexibility, such as:
- Relatively small cost to none
- Lower chance of getting injured
- Core strengthening
- Less boring, that’s just icing on the cake
Hence, it’s no big surprise that bodyweight training has gained more popularity and became a recent training trend.
The practicality of this training style has set a benchmark for developing strength and gaining mass. Physically handling your own bodyweight is one hell of a technique that you definitely should acquire.
6 Powerful Bodyweight Tricep Exercises
Exercise #1: Diamond Push-Ups
Push-up is undoubtedly one of the best exercises for upper body. It is usually done for chest training; but it may be unknown to you that push-up is just as good for triceps.
This exercise just seems to age very well and never quite get out of style. It requires a strong yet stable core, and it works on more than just your arms. The closer or further back your arms are, the more muscles are taxed.
Make sure it is done properly and it will push your balance and stability to the limits like never before.
- For those who find it too difficult at first, you can adjust it by simply keeping your hands further apart
- It’s not really about the gap between your hands; you should rather focus on the angle of your elbows
It is suggested that you should keep your elbows by your sides throughout the exercise. You’ll risk turning this exercise into a chest-developing one if your elbows flare out too much.
To step it up, try putting your feet on higher surfaces for elevated diamond push-ups.
Exercise #2: Dip Variation: Bench Dip
It is universally agreed that dips and it variations are the best exercises for triceps.
These exercise target almost exclusively your triceps. In addition, both your chest and shoulders are also taxed; and you will feel a significant boost in strength.
However, it’s kind of rare to find many gym-goers executing any type of bodyweight dip exercise since there are so many different machines available.
This section is dedicated to one dip variation named bench dip, which is a great start for beginners and those who are not familiar with a full-fledged parallel bar dip. It can be executed easily by men and women alike.
As you become more accustomed to the exercise and gain strength, try placing your feet on another bench for more challenging exercises.
- Start with your feet placed higher than hip level; rep to failure
- Lower your feet on another bench so that your feet and your hips are in line, then perform a set to muscular failure
- To finish, place your feet on the floor for one final set; rep to failure
You should go through every levels for each set without rest.
- If you want to progress more on dipping, this video may perfectly be fit for you
Exercise #3: Pull-Ups
Pull-ups are very similar chin-ups, which rely mostly on your biceps to pull yourself up. Pull-ups, on the other hand, requires triceps activation for successful performances.
The positions of your hands are also important, as putting your hands closer together will trigger even more triceps activation.
We are quite the specialists of pull-ups and hand position variations here at Fitnesspurity.com! If you don't believe me, then read our post on how to conquer neutral grip pull-ups.
Here is how to perform the exercise properly.
You can also check here for another interesting pull-up variation, called the ring pull up. This is excellent for beginner or those who have problems with their wrists. If you are new or just don’t have the required strength, you can use a chin assist machine, if available. Otherwise, having a spotter holding your legs also works.
- For more advanced lifters looking for more challenge, weight can be added using a weight belt
Exercise #4: Handstand Push-Ups
Personally, I’d prefer performing handstand push-up exercise for shoulders. But it is also very effective for training your triceps.
One major drawback: handstand push-up is mainly for those who are on intermediate and advanced level. It requires tremendous strength in your triceps to even attempt the move.
Beginners can modify the exercise to decrease the difficulty as follow:
- Place your feet on an elevated surface; your hands rested on the floor and your body should be bent over in a 90 degree position
- Lower your entire body as close the floor as possible, while still maintain the 90 degree position
- Push back to starting position
- Repeat until failure
Tutorial video for beginners:
Exercise #5: L-Seat
Similar to handstand push-up, the L-seat’s primary uses are training abs and developing core strength. Nonetheless, it also works wonderfully for strengthening your triceps because you will be struggling, a lot, only to keep your balance.
In my experience, all static holds such as the L-seat help building strength very quickly.
However, this exercise is recommended when and only when you are proficient at triceps push-ups and dips.
If you can’t find the strength to lift yourself off the ground and hold the position in proper form, you can try performing with your knees bent in the tucked position to develop strength.
Try stretching one leg after another once you can hold the position comfortably, so that both legs are trained equally.
For L-seat progression, you can check out this video:
In my opinion, it is the most challenging of the six exercises; and it takes a rather long time to master, so don’t be discouraged after first few attempts.
Parralletes or press up stand can help making the exercise much easier since they provide change of grip and extra height. Once you have mastered this skill, you can try the much harder V-seat.
Exercise #6: Rack Press
If you suffer from elbow pain, the rack press is a perfectly logical alternative for lying triceps extensions.
Tutorial video for lying triceps extension:
Rack press enables you control the angle and pressure on your joints. Furthermore, it also exposes your triceps to a new type of tension.
Basically, the exercise can be broken down into these simple steps:
- Firstly, simply fix a bar on a squat rack at hip height, then grasp it with an overhand grip
- Put your feet slightly behind you, while your body remains in a straight line
- Slowly lower your head toward the bar under full control
- Press back up while contracting your triceps firm
Finally, you can also try these Calisthenic Tricep Workout Plans (at the bottom of the page) if you really want to push your triceps to the limit.
In general, tricep training doesn’t require going to the gym. In fact, most of the exercises above don’t require any special equipment or machine at all. Using your own bodyweight is just as efficient and it’s more than enough to build colossal arms.
If you are struggling with your triceps, I hope you find some new ways to alleviate the situation. And for those who have succeeded with the tripceps, why not go even further with bodyweight exercises, and try our calisthenic workouts for abs!
And as always, if you found this article helpful, please subscribe and share it on. I love to hear from the readers so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the discussion.