7 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises (Home Workout Included)

January 31, 2023

No gym? No problem! The triceps are a muscle group that responds exceptionally well to volume. So, if you’re at the gym hitting heavy compound exercises, you can use these bodyweight triceps exercises at home for more volume.

More volume (to a certain point) means bigger triceps! But before diving into the best bodyweight triceps exercises, we must understand basic triceps anatomy.

Triceps Anatomy

The triceps consist of three muscle heads. Hence the name triceps. These three heads are:

  • Lateral head
  • Long head
  • Medial head
Anatomy Triceps

The triceps are the prime movers for elbow extension (straightening of the elbow). However, the long head crosses two joints making it biarticular. These are the elbow and the shoulder. So not only does the long head extend the elbow, but it also extends the shoulder. This long-head muscle (along with the lateral head) will give you the most meat on your triceps.

Specifically, it will give a full look from the front when striking a double bicep pose. That round shape at the bottom of the arm is the long head of the triceps. The lateral head is the bulging muscle you’ll see from the side or behind when the arm hangs down, or the triceps are flexed.

The “horseshoe” or “fishtail” is a combination of the lateral and long head. The medial head of the triceps is a small muscle toward the inside of the elbow.

Training at long muscle lengths is the superior option to maximize triceps size. Using the overhead triceps extension led to a 1.5 more significant difference in long-head triceps muscle growth than the triceps extension (28.5% vs. 19.6% respectively) [1].

This is difficult to perform at home, but I have plenty of options for you to get a great triceps workout.

7 Best Bodyweight Triceps Exercises At Home (No Equipment Needed!)

Handstand Push-Up

The simplest way to turn a push-up into a triceps blaster is to change the angle you push. You’re essentially performing an upside-down overhead press by supporting your bodyweight on your hands with a vertically aligned body. But, instead of moving an implement, you’re moving yourself.

Handstand push-ups are no joke. Only a few lifters possess the bodyweight strength to pull these off. But the mass you’ll put on your triceps is extreme if you can do them. Here’s how to do it:

  • It is not worth doing this freestanding. Support yourself with a wall. Place a cushion in front of a wall and your hands on either side. Kick your feet up to the wall with your arms straight.
  • Lower your head to the cushion and lightly tap it with your head. Don’t bounce your head off the cushion, as you can hurt your neck. Maintain contact with the wall with your heels as you descend and ascend.
  • Push to the starting position with your arms straight.

Pike Push-Up

Handstand push-ups aren’t for everyone. But by piking your hips in the air, you create a vertical torso without needing to support the weight of your lower body on your hands. This makes it a regression to the handstand push-up since it is lighter.

The most basic version is with the hands and feet on the floor. But a true pike push-up is with the feet elevated on a bench. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your feet on a bench and your hands on the floor. Your hands need to be closer to the bench than if you were setting up for a push-up—approximately 50% closer.
  • Straighten your legs and push your hips in the air creating a vertical torso from your hands to your hips.
  • Lower your head to the floor while maintaining the high hip and straight leg position. Press back to the starting position.

Close Grip Decline Push-Up

The decline close grip push-up is essentially a close grip bench press turned upside down. However, elevating the feet supports more bodyweight over your arms and generates higher forces [2]. I’ve found this is best used within a superset to completely trash the triceps after a stretching triceps exercise.

For example, an overhead triceps extension paired with the decline close grip push-up. Here’s how to do it:

  • Elevate your feet on a bench and place your thumbs under your shoulders. Lower your chest to the floor with your elbows moving past your ribs.
  • Maintain a straight line from your feet to your head and push to the starting position locking the arms out.

Close Grip Push-Up

If the decline close grip push-up is too challenging, then the regular close grip push-up is the regression. If that’s still too difficult, you can place your hands on a bench to perform incline push-ups.

Regardless, the form is the same for each variation. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your thumbs under your shoulders. Lower your chest to the floor with your elbows moving past your ribs.
  • Maintain a straight line from your feet to your head and push to the starting position locking the arms out.

Bodyweight Skull Crusher

This exercise is not for the faint-hearted. If you have a history of elbow pain, I recommend avoiding this exercise. And if you do use the bodyweight skull crusher, don’t make it your first exercise, as you want warm elbows.

Depending on how deep you go, it ends up being a pseudo-overhead triceps extension and skull crusher. You will need to find a stable surface you can move under, like a large dining table. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lean against a tabletop counter or heavy dining room table, supporting yourself with your arms. Maintain a strong plank position.
  • Lower your body and head under your hands, then extend your elbows to get back to the starting position.

Chair Dips

Dips will never go out of fashion. But if you want to do them to target your triceps, you need to stay vertical when performing the movement [3]. Lean forward for the chest, and remain upright for the triceps. You’ll feel your long head screaming the following day.

When I talk chair dips, I’m referring to using two chairs with a hand on each. Doing them like bench dips is an option with both hands on one chair, but they typically aren’t ideal for the shoulders. Here’s how to chair dip:

  • Stand between two chairs on either side of you. Place your hands on the chair with your arms extended and bend your legs to support your weight on your hands.
  • Slowly lower yourself until your knees are slightly above the floor, then push to extend your arms.

Band Overhead Triceps Extension

As per the latest research, placing the triceps under stretch while extending the elbow leads to greater long-head triceps growth. By holding the arms overhead, you stretch the long head of the triceps at the shoulder.

Then, as you flex the elbow lowering the weight behind your head, you stretch the long head at the elbow resulting in extreme muscle lengths. Even though the long head isn’t as “activated” in this shoulder position, the intense stretch is such a potent stimulus it leads to extraordinary muscle growth.

I know this technically isn’t a bodyweight exercise, but having a few resistance bands is a must if you train at home. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand on the band with one foot, then turn your body as you twist the band into the overhead position.
  • Flex and extend your elbows to perform the overhead triceps extension.

Home Triceps Workout With No Equipment

A1) Handstand Push-Up 3 x 8-10

B1) Chair Dips 2 x 10-15

C1) Decline Push-Up 3 x 20-25

D1) Bodyweight Skull Crusher 2 x 15-20


Even if you have no equipment, you can still get a decent triceps workout. Whether you’re at home or in a hotel room, try these exercises. When we were stuck in quarantine, my wife and I used many of these to hit the triceps!


1. Maeo, S., Wu, Y., Huang, M., Sakurai, H., Kusagawa, Y., Sugiyama, T., … & Isaka, T. (2022). Triceps brachii hypertrophy is substantially greater after elbow extension training performed in the overhead versus neutral arm position. European Journal of Sport Science, 1-11.

2. Ebben, W. P., Wurm, B., VanderZanden, T. L., Spadavecchia, M. L., Durocher, J. J., Bickham, C. T., & Petushek, E. J. (2011). Kinetic analysis of several variations of push-ups. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research25(10), 2891-2894.

3. Bagchi, A. (2015). A comparative electromyographical investigation of triceps brachii and pectoralis major during four different freehand exercises. Journal of Physical Education Research2(2), 20-27.

About the Author

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your training.

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