How to build triceps with Calisthenics
People always say that they want to have huge arms. So they do bicep curls and all of the biceps exercises whilst neglecting the triceps. But do you know what? It is triceps that makes 2/3 of your arm. Many forget about the importance of the triceps and you definitely shouldn’t be one of them! There are many ways to build triceps but bodyweight exercises are amongst the best ones. So if you want to have developed arms, make Muscle Ups easier for you or just be strong – continue reading on how to BUILD TRICEPS with CALISTHENICS.
TRICEPS – WHAT, HOW AND WHY
Triceps consists of 3 heads. Usually, the exercises engage all of them but they do it to a different extent. This is why it is important to properly train and develop all 3 triceps heads. You target different heads more or less depending on the angle of your arms during each movement.
Triceps consist of:
What is even better, by training triceps properly not only will you build your arms but it will also be easier to do skills such as Muscle Ups or Impossible Dips. Why? Because they simply require strong triceps. That’s why I put below 4 exercises that I believe are the best ones for building triceps.
4 BEST CALISTHENICS EXERCISES THAT WILL BUILD YOUR TRICEPS
Two important things – warm-up and perfect form. Always start your workout with a proper warm-up and remember about full range of motion, control the movement whilst keeping the perfect form. When training triceps it is very important to keep elbows close to your body in the exercises I list below, otherwise other muscles will be involved and less stress will be put on the triceps.
Ready? Let’s move to the exercises. I chose 1 compound triceps exercise and 3 that will focus on different triceps heads.
STRAIGHT BAR DIPS – TRICEPS GENERAL
This one is a bit different than normal dips as you use straight bar dip in front of you rather than two bars on the sides of your body. Straight Bar Dip is also a pre-requisite move for mastering the Muscle Up. This is a compound exercise which engage primarily your triceps and chest and also your front deltoids to a lower extent. Lean a bit forward and keep your arms close to your body, elbows facing behind you and head neutral. Then simply perform the dip by going lower and returning to the starting position.
Let’s now dig into moves that isolate triceps more and activate its different heads.
SKULL CRUSHERS – LONG HEAD
Whoever told you that you need weights to build triceps definitely wasn’t aware of this exercise. Find a bar, preferably waist to chest high (the lower the bar the more your triceps is engaged), and grasp it with your hands, palms facing forward (pull-up grip). Squeeze your core and bent your elbows whilst keeping them narrow until you touch a bar with your head and then return to starting position by extending the triceps. Some of you might find it challenging, but it is definitely worth doing.
BENCH DIPS – MEDIAL HEAD
You will need something to place your hands on for this exercise, could be a bench, a chair, a bar – whatever you have. Say, you got a bench, keep it behind you and position your hands on it with your palms facing straight (the direction where you look). Focus on activating your triceps in this exercise by keeping your elbows close to your body. Keep your legs extended in front of you or place them higher (on another bench/chair) if you want to make the exercise more challenging. This exercise will help you develop necessary strength for Korean Dips.
DIAMOND PUSH-UPS – LATERAL HEAD
As you might have learnt from the article on How to Build Chest with Calisthenics [hyperlink], push-ups engage both, your chest and triceps. Which muscles are mostly involved depends on how widely you spread your hands. Here’s how to do it. Put your hands down and make a diamond shape out of your fingers, bring your elbows close to your body, squeeze your core and keep the body straight. As simple as that, but be careful, they might be challenging for beginners! If so, simply help yourself by going on your knees.
These 4 exercises will serve you as an amazing base for developing strength for more challenging moves as well as building your triceps in general. Triceps consist of 3 heads and you should be careful not to focus too much on some heads whilst neglecting the others. Perfect form here is crucial because other muscles might get easily engaged and you won’t work your triceps as much as you would like to. You should really focus on the triceps extension by keeping your elbows close to your body.
WANT TO TAKE YOUR BODY AND STRENGTH TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
If you really think about going level up with your training and achieving the body of your dreams in little time – take a look at my program. It covers 20 (!) levels of training with different difficulties and with all workout days recorded. Everything is structured and explained so the only thing that you need to get yourself is MOTVIATION. You will also find skill guides for exercises such as Muscle Up or Front Lever (and many more), as well as nutrition guide together with diet plans. Shredded abs or building mass? Everything is covered.
Let me know in comments what you think and what would you like the next article to be about.
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