The 5 Best Triceps Exercises for Beginners in Calisthenics

triceps calisthenics

Did you know that two-thirds of your upper arm consist of your triceps muscle? That’s a good reason to start working on your triceps if you want bigger upper arms. But how can you achieve this with just calisthenics bodyweight exercises? Well, there are many difficult calisthenics arm exercises and our vision is to keep it simple and realistic for everyone. This article gives you the 5 best triceps exercises for beginners in calisthenics.

Bench Triceps Dips

Starting position

Sit on a bench and grab the bench in a pronated grip. This means the palms of your hands are facing towards the ground. Your hands are placed at shoulder width. Now you extend your legs and elbows and move your body forward so that as you bend your elbows your body no longer touches the bench.

How to Perform the Exercise

You start with extended elbows and then bend them. But make sure your elbows are aligned to your body and point backwards. Because this allows your triceps to do most of the work instead of your chest . Keep your abdomen contracted and your back straight. Your legs keep fully extended during the exercise. As you go down, move slowly to have a more eccentric load on your triceps and then stretch your elbows fully again. Start with 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.

How to Progress

You can progress by adding more reps to your sets or do 4 sets instead of 3. Another way to progress is to move further away from the bench with your body, thereby extending the range of motion (ROM). Alternatively, you can put your feet onto something higher, for example a different bench, to increase ROM of your triceps. Adding a weight to your body is another option to increase. As you can see, there is a lot you can do to progress in triceps exercises!

Assisted Paralel Bar Dip

Starting Position

Grab the bars in a supinated grip. This means the palms of your hands face towards you. Jump upwards so your elbows are stretched and you are hanging on the bars. Your hands should be right next to your body.

How to Use the Resistance Band

Put the ends of the resistance bands in your hands and put them over the bars. As you jump up to your starting position put your knees on the now-tensioned resistance band.

How to Perform the Exercise

Again, make sure that when you bend your elbows your abdomen are contracted and your back is straight. The elbows only point backwards and not outwards to get more focus on your triceps. Bend until the elbows have a 90 degree angle and then push your body up again.

How to Progress

First, build up to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps with the resistance band. Then try it without the band and do 3 sets of your maximum reps. Add 2 sets of negative parallel bar dips (jump up and go down as slowly as possible until you reach the floor). As soon as you can perform 3 times 12 to 15 regular parallel bar dips, start improving your ROM or add some weight to your body.

Diamond Push Up on the Knees

Starting Position

Lie on your stomach with your hands in a pronated position. Your thumb and index finger should form a sort of triangle and you place them on the lower center side of the chest. Keep your abdomen and back straight and contracted as you lift up your toes from the ground. Your knees will support your bodyweight.

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How to Perform the Exercise

Push your body away from the ground and your elbows will point a bit outward. The upper legs stay stretched and your toes are up from the ground. Then slowly go back to the ground until your chest almost touches your hands.

How to Progress

Once you are able to perform 3 times 15 reps, try to perform regular diamond push-ups. Build up your reps again. After this, start increasing your ROM with paralletes.

Triceps Extension Against the Wall (Skull Crusher)

Starting Position

Bend your back between 90 and 120 degrees with your face and hands against the wall (pronated grip). Put your chin on your chest and bend your elbows as wide as you can. Now your hips should be higher than your head and you can put your feet under your hips.

How to Perform the Exercise

Start pushing your elbows until they are fully stretched. Again, keep them tucked against your body, not letting them point outwards. As you return to the starting position, make sure your head does not touch the wall.

How to Progress

Start with 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps and increase to 3 sets of 15 reps. You can increase the difficulty by putting your feet further away from your body. And you can increase range of motion by performing this on a bar or when standing elevated.

Resistance Band Triceps Extension

How to Use the Resistance Band

Put the resistance on a low bar by putting it around the bar and running it back through the band. Now pull it tight and together. See here how to do it:

Starting Position

Grab the band with both hands with your back facing the band. Lift your hands above your head (pronated grip) and bend your elbows. Your elbows should point forward. Step forward with one leg and bend your back in a extended line from your hands. In this position the band needs to be under a lot of tension and follow the same angle as your body.

How to Perform the Exercise

Now extend your elbows upward and forward as much as you can. If this is too difficult, move backward a bit so the band is under less tension.

How to Progress

Start with 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps. You can increase the tension of your band by stepping forward. Eventually, try this with 1 arm instead of 2. You could also use another resistance band that’s stronger.

More Than Triceps Exercises for Bigger Arms

If getting bigger arms is your goal, you can do more than just triceps exercises. Click here to check out our guide for the best biceps exercises for beginners in calisthenics. Triceps exercises go together well with chest exercises. Find the three best chest exercises for you right here. If you need any of the equipment we mentioned above, like resistance bands or pull-up bars, check out the recommended equipment that we use ourselves.

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