Bodyweight triceps extension exercise

Bodyweight triceps extension

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Lower Pectoralis Major, Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (short head only)
  • Mechanics: Isolation (see Comments and tips)
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Get on your hands and knees.
  2. Rest your elbows and palms on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Extend your feet backward and straighten your body so that your bodyweight is being supported by your forearms and the fronts of your feet. Your hands should be approximately level with your face.


  1. Keeping your elbows tucked in to your body and your body straight and rigid, exhale as you push your body up from the floor by extending your elbows.
  2. Inhale as you slowly lower your elbows down to the floor by reversing the movement.
  3. Repeat the bodyweight triceps extension for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The bodyweight triceps extension is an advanced bodyweight exercise that few people can do in good form. When done in good form, the exercise almost completely isolates the triceps brachii, which are often not strong enough to lift the individual’s full body weight. The weaker the triceps brachii are, the more the pectoralis major, the anterior deltoid, and the short head of the biceps brachii will have to get involved to complete the movement.
  • Even though there is movement in both the elbows and shoulders, the bodyweight triceps extension has been classified as an isolation exercise because movement in the shoulders is minimal when performed in good form.
  • To make the bodyweight triceps extension easier, do it on your knees.
  • Also known as the triceps extension push-up and the bodyweight triceps press.
  • See also the machine triceps extension, the diamond push-up and the close-grip push-up.

Bodyweight triceps extension video


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