You are currently viewing 9 Body Weight Exercises to Sculpt Your Upper Body and Triceps

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With today’s post I want to suggest you 9 body weight exercises, that will help you shape your triceps. For a lot of men, push-ups and as a whole pushing movements are not a problem and they often do not understand why a woman is challenged to perform them. In reality, if until now you haven’t trained your upper body or you haven’t performed the exercises with a full range of motion, there is nothing strange in the fact that your arm are weaker and that you feel challenged. Think this way – the sooner you start training, the quicker you will gain strength. You have no idea how satisfying it is to do different push-up variations and feel control over your body.

If there is a person who knows exactly how you feel, this will be me. After 6 really bad shoulder dislocations, in the next 6 years, I used to make excused that I can’t do pull ups, that I can’t do push-ups or train my upper body. As a whole, my upper body workouts were always just a little effort to fool myself I was doing something. I was still in pain, I didn’t have enough mobility and besides that I had a paranoiac fear of another injury – all of that kept me aside from giving my best when I did upper body exercises.

One day, I watched a video and I was thinking that I also want to be able to do push-ups, pull ups and other variations. I said to myself, that if for the past 6 years, instead of making excuses, I was working on recovery, now I would be pain free and I wouldn’t feel like a beginner. I got mad at myself and I started with easy progressions. It was pretty tough and a lot of times I felt like quitting. I started with incline push-ups, push-ups on my knees, bench dips and really ugly chaturangas. Thus, 6 months later, I was able to do my first 5 strict push-ups. Since then, I’ve been building on my strength and if you follow me, you’ve probably saw that now I am doing a lot of different variations and harder progressions. Progress requires, effort, dedication and patience.

Besides that, I know how many women do not like their arms, because the skin on their triceps looks saggy.  I guarantee you, that if you include, first the easier progressions and then the harder once, suggested below, in a few months you will be proud of your arms and you will dress in tank tops all the time. 😉

Triceps exercise

This is an easier variation of this exercise. As a whole, if you are advanced, you might try to go down and up with both arms simultaneously. If you are still not advanced, try the variation from the video – do not forget to go up with one arm and then with the other. Instinctively, we always start with the stronger arm first, but we should train the weaker one, as well.

If this is still hard, try getting on your knees. Do not give up – you might initially do 2-3 reps, but if you do 3-4 sets of a couple reps, workout after workout, in a month you will feel stronger and you will be able to do more reps and a harder progression.

Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. When you get them, move on to a harder progression.

Pike Progression

This is a great way to do Pike push-ups progressions. You might try it with two chairs at home (do not forget to place a mat under them, so they do not slide). The great thing about this progression is that you can bend and straighten your legs, together with the descending and ascending and this will take some load away from your arms and make it easier.

Aim at 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Plank to Push-up

The best thing about this exercise is that besides the arms, it trains the core as well. This is one of my favorite core movements. Here, do not forget to alternate your arms. If it is challenging, you can elevate your arms on a bench or on a couple bumpers, so the incline can make it easier for your arms.

Aim for 2-3 sets of 20 reps (10 on each arm).

Push-up and Slide Forward

The first time I was supposed to perform this exercise, it felt impossible. At the beginning, I used to do the slide forward, then I got on my knees and went backwards. Try it this way, and then move on to the progression from the video. This exercise helped me a lot, to strengthen my arms in a different range of motion, where I used to feel pretty weak.

At first, do 3-4 sets of 2-3 reps. It might seem like little, but you will gain strength. When it is hard, always remind yourself that you can get on your knees and do the easier variation, but still feel the challenge.

Negative Push-up

This seems like an easy exercise, but the muscle soreness on the next day, will remind you not to judge an exercise by the way “it looks”. If you feel like the movement on the video is controlled, but your movement is really quick, do not get disappointed – my first reps used to be the same – i.e. gravity used to act upon me with the speed of light. And even if you do the exercise quickly, you will still notice that with time you get stronger and you perform it in a  more controlled way.  And if you are advanced, you might place some weights on your back and do the negative part loaded – it is  a great feeling. 🙂

Here, I recommend you 3 sets of 5-8 reps, because do not forget that the goal is to lower as slow as possible, and not to do as many reps as possible.

Bottom Up Push-up

This variation is once again harder than it seems. The idea is that the weakest phase or the hardest to overcome, when it comes to the push-ups is the one at the bottom. By training the push from a lying position, you build strength in this phase and this transfers perfectly in a better execution of the push-ups. Initially, you might be challenged to go all the way up, but train just to come off the ground with an inch or two. It will have an effect.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 5-6 reps, if you are a beginner and 12-15 reps if you are advanced.


Handstand Push-up Progression

This is a harder progression, but a challenge for those of you who are like me and who love handstands… and standing upside down. This is a progression, because handstand push-ups on the Swedish wall are easier, because your legs can push and help you to go up.

I recommend you start with 4 sets of 4-5 reps and aim at 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Bench Dips

This is an exercise that will definitely hit your triceps and it helps you sustain some range of motion in your shoulders. If keeping your legs straight seems difficult, bring them closer to the bench and flex them, so you can push from your feet as well. In order to feel more load, you might try to increase the time under tension and push up for about 3-4 seconds.

Bridge Push-ups

This is another one of my favorite exercises. It is a favorite one, because of the load you feel and because in order to do it, it means you are also working on your mobility. For me, bridges are one of the main exercises that we should include in our everyday routine. Every kid does bridges and this is no coincidence. Do not let age take you away this ability.

I recommend you start with 3-4 sets of 3-4 reps and then aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.

This is it for today. Try the exercises and leave a comment how you like them.

Ако статията ви е харесала, споделете я с приятелите си. Благодаря, че помагате да достигне до повече хора.

Ines Subashka

Инес Субашка е основател на IFS - зали за кондиционни тренировки и мобилност. Автор е на 6 книги за здравословно хранене и движение.

Ела да тренираш в някоя от залите ни

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dan Clay

    Hello Ines ! These are really superb tips to increase your upper body and triceps. Your videos are really good and quite helpful to people who have just started to take up exercising and bodybuilding in a big way. Apart from that push-ups are the most popular and effective forms of exercise for an overall chest development along with strengthening your triceps.


    1. Ines Subashka

      Hello Dan 🙂 I greatly appreciate this. Thank you for taking the time to write me.

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