Sometimes it pays to make things harder than they are. Just like a bottle of wine on a hike for the perfect cheering photo up on the hill. Do you know what else it's worth? Turn a push-up that's difficult enough in itself into a triceps push-up.
While we feel sorry for our lazy selves, sometimes you have to feel sorry to feel the thrill of a screaming – but sculpted – triceps. Triceps pushups, focus the spotlight on your upper arm muscles to make them stand out and attractive. Do not you believe me? Well then not! But listen to what Geoff Tripp has to say, "Regular push-ups are burning, but they recruit all of the main pectoral muscles – your pecs, shoulders, triceps, and core – so the effort is spread across multiple muscles." And just in case you have no idea who Geoff Tripp is? Google and be shocked!
Tricep Pushups And The Right Way To Do It!
Let's get down to business now! Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do triceps pushups properly!
- Start with a high plank position and with your hands just below your shoulders. Now try to get your core engaged by pulling your belly button towards your spine.
- Keep your legs straight and your hips straight. Pull your arms closer to your sides so that your elbows are pointing back, and drive your hands into the floor to keep your shoulder steady.
- Now slowly lower yourself towards the floor while pointing your elbows back and keeping the core engaged. Lower down to your arm, elbow, and shoulder to form a 90-degree angle.
- Press hard enough into the floor to lift your body back up. And that's one, a repetition.
- Aim for two to three sets of triceps pushups of 10 to 12 repetitions with an interval of 30 seconds. And if at any point you can't slide back into a plank, try dropping on your knees to do the trick and continue with the set.
Why should you do triceps pushups?
Triceps pushups target your upper body compression muscles, namely your triceps with supplemental support from the muscles in your chest, core, and shoulders. While regular push-ups – with your hands – work with your chest and upper arms, triceps push-ups target the tris and shoulder in particular.
Triceps pushups are an amazing strength builder without a doubt – but also some kind of catch-22 in that you need strength to do them. If your upper body is still in progress mode during a triceps push-up, it's easier to make the movement a little easier by placing your knees on the floor so you can build that basic tri-power. However, make sure to still keep your elbows close to your chest when practicing a triceps push-up so this is challenging.
Reverse triceps pushups:
A reverse push-up is very different from your regular push-up. Reason? This is because the resistance you experience when performing such a resistance is provided by your own body weight, just like a regular push-up. Otherwise, the two exercises have little in common. However, triceps pushups are popular with people using the bar method as an exercise to strengthen their triceps. However, you may need to keep your eyes open to maintain a very limited range of motion and avoid injury. Would you like to know how? Below you will find step-by-step instructions on how to proceed!
- First, sit on the floor and place your arms slightly bent on either side of you with your palms flat on the floor. Your arms should be just below your shoulders and your legs should be straight out in front of you with your heels pressing into the floor. However, stretch as much as you can.
- Now push your body off the floor by stretching out your arms. And as you do this, try to pull your shoulders back to activate them as stabilizers. Hold this position for about 30 seconds before slowly lowering your body to the floor.
- For this exercise to be done safely and effectively, try to minimize the number of slow repetitions possible. Aim for 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions in each set.
A word of caution, try to move slowly and purposefully as trying to do as many reps as you can as quickly as possible isn't key and won't effectively attack your triceps. Rather, it could lead to a shoulder injury. Maintain proper form, keep your spine straight and your hands under your shoulders at least, as I always say that proper position is the main foundation for any workout and plays an important role in avoiding injuries of any kind.
Some great triceps pushups:
- Traditional triceps push-ups
To do a traditional triceps push-up, take a normal push-up position and place your hands close together but below shoulder level – between your chest and neck – to target your triceps.
- Med Ball version
To create a version of the med-ball, take a push-up position with your hands close together on a med-ball or basketball. Not only does this variation force your triceps to work harder, but it also helps improve your balance and core stabilization since your hands are on an unstable surface.
- Inverted hands on the med ball
To do an inverted hand on the med-ball, start with a sitting position with the ball behind you. Performing a push-up with your hands on a medical ball or basketball also strengthens your hands and wrists, which is very important for pushing and blocking in soccer and passing in basketball. Now place your hands tightly together on the ball, either with your fingertips back or away from your body. The key is to keep your elbows close to your sides and straighten your legs with your heels on the floor. And more intensity needs to be applied on your heels than with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Intermediate: To make these push-ups a little more challenging, try moving your heels on a bench or chair.
- Neutral grip version (practical dumbbell handles)
Assume a push-up position in which two dumbbells are placed vertically close together a few inches apart and your hands grasp the dumbbell handles with your palms together. Keep your head and shoulders in front of the dumbbells to isolate your triceps, making sure the dumbbells are just below your upper chest.
- Reverse dumbbell version
This variation of push-up begins with a pair of dumbbells placed vertically behind your back close together. Now sit on the floor with your legs outstretched and rest on your heels. Grasp the dumbbells with a neutral grip and try to push yourself up. Do not try to bend your knees. Keep your back straight, your heels in the ground, your knees straight, and contract your triceps at the top of the movement. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat. You can make this workout more challenging by doing the exercise with your heels on the medical ball, chair, or bench.
- Swiss ball version
The Swiss Ball version of Tricep Pushups is perhaps the most difficult of all versions. To do this, take a push-up position with your hands close together on a Swiss ball. Now place your hands under your upper chest and let your head and shoulders protrude above your hands. The unstable Swiss ball challenges your core muscles in addition to your triceps and upper body muscles to build size and improve balance between your upper and lower body. However, make sure to tone your abs to prevent your lower back from sagging or the whole point of these push-ups will be in vain. Try doing the exercise with one foot off the floor for the extra intensity, as well as improving balance and core strength! Sounds challenging, doesn't it? That's because it is!
- Toes on the Swiss ball
Another challenging twist on triceps push-ups. Assume in a push-up position with your hands close together on the floor and your toes on the Swiss ball. The unstable Swiss ball challenges your core muscles in addition to your triceps and upper body muscles to build size and improve balance between your upper and lower body. And for an even bigger challenge, do the movement with one foot off the ball.
Pushups are really hard. And it's only natural that the body wants to drop your hips and straighten your arms. Whether you like it or not, maintaining proper form is important to prevent injury and build strength. So make sure your core and body stay in a straight line throughout the movement, with your arms close to your sides, then slowly lower them to 90 degrees and extend all the way up.