If you think that if you wand bigger and stronger triceps, your only option is weights, you are totally wrong. With the help of Calisthenics and the resistance provided by your own body weight, you can achieve your goals, in terms of muscle size and strength.
Your tricep consists of 3 parts: the medial, lateral, and long head. So, in training, it is really important to select exercises that are diverse enough, so that they emphasise on all three tricep heads.
Of course, when you’re extending your arm from the elbow, you’re always gonna be engaging your triceps. But, depending on the exercise, the angle and your body position, you can put emphasis on each tricep head, in order to ensure that you’re getting a full workout that’s actually gonna benefit you.
The following exercises are designed with these aspects in mind.
1. DIAMOND PUSH UPS
The diamond push-up is the best push up variation you can do, in terms of triceps development.
Generally, when doing push ups, if you keep your hands wider apart, your elbows are more in a vertical line with your wrists and this will put more focus on the chest.
Now, if you use a closed grip your elbows are more tucked in and placed behind your wrists. This will put the focus onto your triceps.
2. BODYWEIGHT DIPs
The Bodyweight dip is an isolation exercise, perfect for working your triceps.
Start in a table top position with your fingers pointing your heels. Then bend your elbows and descend to the bottom of the dip.
Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the hole movement.
If you need an easier variation, you can try the same exercise using a bench to keep your upper body higher, in order to reduce the resistance.
BENCH BODYWEIGHT DIPs
An easier version of this exercise is the Bench bodyweight dip.
For this variation you are, basically, following the same steps as before, but you change the lever by performing the exercise on a bench.
3. TRICEP EXTENCIONs
The Tricep Extension is an isolation exercise, perfect for working your triceps.
Of course you have to use your abs, hip flexors and even your legs to stabilise the movement but in comparison to the diamond push-up or the dip, you don’t involve the shoulders or the chest that much.
Start in a push-up position but with your arms forward, right in front of your shoulders. Your spine and pelvis must be neutrally aligned.
Then, keeping your core tight, lower your body just at the elbows towards the floor and back up again.
Focus on letting the triceps do the work and make sure you turn your elbows in-words.
In time, you can progress in more difficult variations, increasing the resistance by placing your hands on a horizontal bar, bench or even ropes!
4. BAR TRICEP EXTENCIONS
The bar tricep extensions exercise, is one of the best exercise for building bigger arms.
It’s main difference with the floor tricep extensions is the bigger range of motion. With the arms going over the head, you are able to get a complete stretch through the triceps.
The more you place your body in a horizontal position, the harder the exercise gets. The more you place it in a vertical position, the easier the exercise gets.
This full range of motion, that balances the entire joint, apart from fully stretching the working muscle, increases your mobility and flexibility too.
Doing a handstand is not only fun, it’s a great form of exercise too.
Apart from strengthening the legs and glutes, straight line handstand opens up your shoulders, strengthens the core and works your triceps too, as they try to stably support your hole body weigh.
So, when holding yourself upside down with straight arms, the triceps are constantly active, in order to keep your elbows straight.
But, in order to get the most from handstands, in terms of bigger and stronger triceps, time under tension is really important. Triceps can handle a lot of tension in a handstand, which means you’re going to need to accumulate several minutes upside down, if you want to stimulate muscle growth.
Finally, you shouldn’t forget all the extra benefits you can get from practising the handstand: increased lean muscle mass, improved mood, increased bone density, and increased strength, just to name a few.
Using the exercises described in this article, you will effectively work all 3 tricep heads, without using any special equipment.