15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (2024)

A major muscle of the upper arm, the triceps brachii extends your elbow, knows when to relax so the biceps can contract, and stabilizes the shoulder joint. And since it is the only muscle on the back of the upper arm, investing the time and energy into strengthening it is important. Fortunately, you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive dumbbells to get muscular arms. You can achieve defined triceps by following these bodyweight tricep exercises.

After reading this article, you’ll have a strong understanding of:

  • The triceps anatomy and functions
  • How to build triceps without weights
  • Training variables for bodyweight exercises that can improve your technique
  • At home bodyweight tricep exercises and the ideal reps for each

15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (1)


    A large, thick muscle on the back of the upper arm, triceps brachii refers to the muscle’s three heads, or points of origin: the medial head, lateral head, and long head. The three muscle parts end at one insertion point, which is the posterior surface of the olecranon process of the ulna, the elbow joint capsule, and the antebrachial fascia.

    The lateral head is the strongest and most active during extension at the elbow joint, and its origin is the posterior aspect of the humerus superior to the radial groove. The long head origin is the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula, and the medial head attaches at the posterior aspect of the humerus inferior to the radial groove.


    • Extension of the forearm at the elbow joint: i.e. Fully straightening your arm to reach outward for something.
    • Stabilizes the elbow joint: i.e. Keeps the joint still while the forearm and hand perform movements such as writing.
    • Stabilizes the shoulder joint and prevents shoulder displacement during adduction and extension: i.e. Reaching out to the side.

    15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (2)


      Achieving defined and muscular triceps does not require spending hours in the gym lifting weights. The secret to building this muscle is using exercises that target all three heads. Effective bodyweight triceps exercises can improve the muscle’s power, strength, and tone - no equipment required. And because at home tricep exercises are so convenient, it's easier to stick to your routine. Consistency is key to muscle building.


      Creating an effective routine of at home triceps exercises involves targeting all three muscle heads. Simple movements such as bringing your hands closer together or lowering your forearms to the ground can change the angle enough to target a different tricep part.

      These simple strategies create the defined horseshoe look we strive for with the tricep muscle and prevent imbalances between the three parts. Including all 15 of these bodyweight exercises in your workout is overkill, but make sure to include a few so each muscle head gets worked.

      Selecting exercises that require different hand positions is an easy way to target the different tricep parts. There are also harder variations of triceps exercises no weights involved, so as your triceps get stronger, you can swap out beginner moves for some of the more challenging options.

      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (3)


      These 15 tricep exercises require no equipment and will effectively strengthen and build the backs of your upper arms. We are confident that these are the best bodyweight exercises for your triceps muscles.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (4)

      Kneeling bodyweight tricep extensions are one of the best beginner bodyweight triceps exercises. Keep your elbows tucked into your side, and pay attention to whether you feel this move in the chest or triceps. If you feel it in your chest, adjust your arm width until you feel it in the back of the upper arms.

      How to:

      1. Start with hands and knees on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart. Lower onto the forearms, and lean forward, enabling your elbows to support your body weight.
      2. Straightenyourelbows as you raise your body off the floor. Palms and knees should remain on the floor. Do not let the elbows flare out.
      3. Bendyour elbows to lower the forearms back to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (5)

      A variation of the classic push-up, this version emphasizes the triceps brachii while also working the chest and shoulders. Use this exercise as a burnout move by placing it at the end of your triceps strength training routine.

      How to:

      1. Stand 3 to 4 feet in front of a flat bench.
      2. Lean forward, placingyour palms ona bench or something similar. Your thumbs should be touching and your fingers spread out.Your toes remain on the ground with the heels lifted.
      3. Tighten your core and keep your back straight. Your body should be in a straight line.
      4. Bend the elbows, lowering the chest to the bench.
      5. Straightenyour elbows, pushing yourself up to the starting position.

      For more great triceps-targeting push ups, check out these 33 Best Push Up Variations.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (6)

      Yourtop arm will feel the burn in this bodyweight exercise, although your chest, upper back, shoulders, and core will also benefit.

      How to:

      1. Lie on your side. Stack your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet, wrapping your bottom arm around your waist.
      2. Place your upper hand flat on the ground right by your upper arm. Spread your fingers for extra support.
      3. Press your palm flat into the mat, pushing your body up. Continue pushing your heels into the ground.
      4. Onceyour arm is straight, slowly lower back down to the mat.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (7)

      Focus on only lowering yourself to the point where the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hold it here for a moment before pushing back up, and your triceps will be on fire by the end of your set.

      How to:

      1. Lie face down with legs extended and the tops of your feet lying flat on the ground.Your arms are wider than shoulder-width and in line withyour shoulders.Yourspine is flatandelbows bent.
      2. Extend yourarms pushing your upper body upward so the chest is upright and the spine extended. Gaze straight ahead, and keepyour elbows tucked into the side. Your legs stay flat on the floor.
      3. Bendat theelbows, lowering your upper body back to the mat. Onceyour upper arms are parallel to the floor and elbows are at 90 degrees, begin slowly pushing upward again.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (8)

      This tricep push-up is challenging, and if you can’t complete more than a few, ease into this move by performing the exercise against a wall. Once you can do 3 sets of 8-12 reps against the wall, progress to this version.

      How to:

      1. Begin in a plank position with the forearms and palms flat on the ground, parallel, and shoulder-width apart.
      2. Push up, straightening your elbows as you lift them off the ground. Continue until yourarms are straight.
      3. Lower your elbows until they’re just above the ground but not touching it, and push up again.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (9)

      The close-grip push-up is a challenging exercise, and if you find that you can't do at least 6, start on your knees. The only difference in form is that instead of starting in plank, both knees begin on the ground. Your upper body should stay in line with your thighs and upper legs.

      How to:

      1. Start in the plank position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and fingertips pointing forward. Keep your neck and back neutral and core tight.
      2. Placeyour hands about two inches apart and bring the elbows in close to the ribs.
      3. Bend your elbows, slowly lowering to the ground.
      4. Slowly straightenyour elbows, lifting to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (10)

      This bodyweight exercise emphasizes the triceps and engages the biceps, chest, anterior deltoids, back, and abs, making it a great upper-body move. It’s also easier on the joints and enhances upper-body flexibility.

      How to:

      1. Stand an arm’s length away from a wall, extending your arms and placing yourhands flat on the wall. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width.
      2. Bend at the elbows, pressing your body toward the wall until the elbows are at 90 degrees.
      3. Straighten your elbows, pushing against the wall to return to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (11)

      Challenge yourself by contracting your triceps at the top of this movement before lowering down. To create a larger range of motion, raise your butt higher off the ground.

      How to:

      1. Start on the floor with your back facing down, hands shoulder-width apart, directly under the shoulders. Your legs extend in front of you with a slight bend in the knees. Your feetshould be shoulder-width apart.
      2. Straightenyour arms, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
      3. Slowly bend the elbows, lowering the upper body toward the floor until your arms are at 90 degrees.
      4. Slowly push your body up to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (12)

      For beginners, bringing your feet closer to the body, placing them entirely on the floor, and bending the knees will provide more stability. To increase the difficulty, straighten your legs with only the heels on the floor.

      How to:

      1. Sit on a chair or bench with arms at your sides and feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart.
      2. Placeyour palms by your hips with fingers gripping the front of the chair seat.
      3. Move your torso off the chair, extending the arms. Your butt should hover over the floor. Here, you can have your legs closer to the body by bending your knees and keeping the entire foot touching the floor, or extend your legs with only the heels touching the floor.
      4. Slowly lower your body by bending the elbows to a 90-degree angle.
      5. Push up to the starting position by straightening the arms.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (13)

      The "parallel" dip easily one of the best bodyweight triceps exercises there is. For this tricep dip progression, use stable chairs that allow for good grips on the backrest. You may want to place dumbbells or heavy books on the seat areas to keep them stationary during the movement. If your chairs don't seem stable, get creative at home and look for a pair of objects or piece of furniture that is parallel, horizontal, and sturdy. Whatever you choose needs to withstand your weight, have a flat surface top or bar-like grips for your hands, and provide room underneath for you to dip. Finally, keep your body as upright as possible to target the triceps. If you start to lean forward, the exercise will work the chest muscles instead.

      How to:

      1. Stand between two chairs, placing your hands on the backrests. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight and your torso upright.
      2. Place your bodyweight in the fully-straightened arms, and bring the feet up, bending them behind you.
      3. Slowly bendyour arms untilyour upper arms are parallel to the ground and elbows bent to a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight, and elbows tucked into the sides.
      4. Push your body up by fully straightening the arms. Repeat.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (14)

      This is really a great exercise for nearly the entire body, as most planks are. Get the most out of this exercise by doing it slowly. Keeping the core engaged will also give your abdominals a solid workout.

      How to:

      1. Begin in a plank position with your entire body engaged. Lower the right elbow to the mat followed by the left so you end in an elbow forearm plank position.
      2. Putyour right hand on the mat, straightening the elbow. Placeyour left hand on the mat, straightening the elbow so you’re back to a full plank.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (15)

      This challenging exercise is a progression of the tricep floor dip exercise as it requires a lot of upper body strength to complete. In addition to burning out the triceps brachii, it also works the gluteus maximus and quadriceps.

      How to:

      1. Place your hands palm down and shoulder-width apart on a bench or chair with your knees bent in front of you and feet on the ground and arms supporting your body weight.
      2. Straighten your right arm and left leg in front of you. The left fingers are pointed laterally away from the body before bending the left arm. Slowly loweryour body until your elbow bends at a 90-degree angle and the upper arm is parallel to the floor.
      3. Drop the hips straight down toward the ground, staying close to the seat. Hold the dip for a second, and straighten your arm back to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (16)

      You do not need gym equipment to replicate this move. You can use a kitchen countertop, kitchen table, or the back of your couch as substitutes for a bar in this exercise. Just look for something that is stable and at the correct height. There should be room for the body to extend and the head to lower.

      How to:

      1. Stand an arm’s length away and grasp onto a bar or an alternative, such as a kitchen table or bench, using an overhand grip. Extend your arms but keep a slight bend in the elbows.Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, toes on the ground with lifted heels, and your back and legs are straight in a push-up position.
      2. Bend the elbows, pressing the body toward the bar until the elbows are at 90 degrees. The triceps are parallel to the ground with the head directly underneath the bar.
      3. Straighten the elbows, pushing against the wall to return to the starting position.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (17)

      After mastering the incline push-up, progress to this exercise. Position yourself the same way, but only place your fingers on the bench. A different hand placement allows you to bring your head down further and work the triceps even more.

      How to:

      1. Stand 3 to 4 feet in front of a flat bench.
      2. Lean forward, grasping onto the edge of the bench with arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The legs are extended, and the toes remain on the ground with lifted heels. Tighten your core, keeping your back straight. The body is in a straight line.
      3. Bend the elbows, lowering the body down so the head is in line or slightly under the bench. Do not let the elbows flare out.
      4. Straighten the elbows, pushing yourself up to the starting position.
      5. Repeat.


      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (18)

      Proper hand placement in the diamond push up ensures the triceps work. This version is more challenging than a standard push-up or wall push-up, so you may have to work up to your normal reps range.

      How to:

      1. Start on the hands and knees with the hands under the chest. Place your index fingers and thumbs so they touch, forming a diamond shape. Straighten the arms to elevate your body, and form a straight line from the head to the toes.
      2. Lower your chest toward your hands by bending the elbows. Keep the elbows tucked into the sides.
      3. Just before your chest touches the floor, pause, and then straighten the arms to push back up to the starting position.


      When putting together a routine for bodyweight triceps exercises, select 3 to 4 movements, and swap them out for more challenging versions as you progress. Perform 3-4 sets of each move, including 8-12 reps per set.

      For a more challenging triceps exercise, such as tricep dips with two chairs or diamond push ups, aim for 6-10 sets per rep. Aim to work the triceps 2-3 times a week.


      After working these bodyweight exercises into your fitness rotation, you may be ready to elevate your routine byadding resistance bandsor suspension trainers. These are inexpensive equipment options that can lead to further tricep gains. Equipment is not necessary for triceps exercises, but it can be a great way to continue gaining strength and varying your routine.

      Other Bodyweight Exercises:

      • Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises
      • Bodyweight Back Exercises
      • Bodyweight Chest Exercises
      • Bodyweight Leg Exercises
      • Bodyweight Core Exercises
      • Bodyweight Biceps Exercises

      Bodyweight Workouts:

      • Bodyweight Full Body Workout
      • BodyweightLower Body Workout
      • Bodyweight Upper Body Workout

      8-Week BodyweightWorkout Plan

      15 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (2024)


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