Triceps exercise: Triceps press-up

Photos by Geoff George Image by: Photos by Geoff George Author: Canadian Living


Triceps exercise: Triceps press-up

Strong triceps make many daily activities easier; you use your triceps to push yourself out of bed, off the floor and out of chairs, and they help boost performance in all the sports that rely on having strong arms. This triceps exercise also helps improve shoulder strength and stability, and reduces underarm jiggle – and it’s easy on the shoulder joint, too.

The triceps (the muscles at the back of the upper arm) are tougher muscles to train than the biceps (located at the front of the upper arm) and are generally weaker than the biceps. But since this exercise uses the weight of your body as your resistance and mimics activities that you perform daily, it gives quick results.

Starting position

• Sit tall about halfway forward on a chair or bench. Keep knees bent at 90 degrees and feet on the ground about hip-width apart.
• Place heel of hands beside you on the front edge of the chair, thumbs under your thighs and fingers pointing down. Don’t lock elbows (A).

• Lean forward from your hips as you press down firmly into the palms of your hands – as if you are going to stand up; exhale. Your hips should lift slightly off the chair (B). Keep your chin in, your neck aligned and your abdominals pulled in to maintain a straight spine.
• Hold as you breathe in slowly; exhale and lower down to starting position.
• Inhale. Repeat, trying to hold longer. Remember to keep your abdominals pulled in.
• Do one to three sets of five repetitions, two to three times per week.

Maureen's tip
To decrease strain on your wrist joint (and forearm muscles), rest only your palm on the chair and let your fingers hang off the side or front edge so you can bend them.

What not to do
• Do not round your back or let your shoulders hike up toward your ears.
• Do not let your chin poke forward (or your neck arch excessively).

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Triceps exercise: Triceps press-up