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Tricep Push-Ups - How To Do Them for Optimal Muscle Growth

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: June 29, 2023

Are the regular push-ups getting a bit dull?

Challenge yourself with the tricep push-ups, which get your push-up sessions on another level, engage your hard-to-reach triceps, and give you a killer set of upper arm muscles.

To guide my clients on doing triceps exercises, I dug into tons of articles and research. Here's everything to know about doing this exercise in proper form.

Quick Summary

  • The best tricep push-up variations to try include from your knees, and from an incline position.
  • Some benefits attributed to tricep push-ups are activating your arm muscles, boosting your upper-body strength, and improving your arm strength.
  • The chest, core muscles, chest, and triceps are the muscles worked on when you perform tricep push-ups.

What Are Tricep Push-Ups?

A man doing a diamond push-ups in his garage

Tricep push-ups also called diamond push-ups or triangle push-ups, are an advanced variation of a standard push-up that focuses on the triceps.

Unlike the regular push-up, you don’t place your palms at shoulder width with the triceps push-up.

Instead, you move your palms directly under your chest, doing a diamond or triangle form, as you lower and lift your body back up.

This triceps push-up is a lot harder to perform, but it pays to engage your triceps as it will give you a bigger and toned upper arm.

How To Do A Proper Tricep Push-Up?

A man doing a Tricep push-up

Here are some exercise tips: It’s crucial to do the proper push-ups to avoid injury and build strength.

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. Do a high plank position with your palms under your shoulders. Make sure your body is in a straight line, core engaged, and neck neutral.
  2. Move your palms under your chest, make sure your thumbs and index fingers are touching, creating a diamond shape.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your upper body until your chest is a few inches from the floor. Keep your body aligned and your elbows pointing backward.
  4. Push against the floor with your palms, feeling the squeeze in your tricep muscle as you lift your body back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement for recommended reps.

Recommended Reps:

Complete at least two to three sets of 10-12 reps of this exercise with a 30 second to a minute rest between sets.

Tricep Push-Ups Variations To Try

A man in orange shirt doing a push-up on a bosu

1. From your knees

If these regular exercises are challenging to perform, you can start from an easier position. Do the same exercise, except for your knees. Keep practicing this form, and you'll be on your toes in no time!

2. On an incline

Doing this exercise on an incline puts less tension on your elbows and reduces the amount of weight you need to lift. So, doing the exercise on an incline can be a great compromise if you’re having trouble with the regular ones.

Do the same exercise, but from a standing position, and bend over at 30 to 45 degrees while placing your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or your kitchen counter.

Related article: Tricep Killer Workout 

Muscles Worked

A person flexing his right arm


In a study to determine the most effective triceps exercises, the triceps push-up showed the highest tricep muscle activity compared to other tricep exercises such as triceps kickbacks, close-grip bench press, and dips [1].

Diamond push-up or tricep push-up may be a killer exercise, but it effectively targets and strengthens the triceps, bringing stability to your arms and shoulders.

Chest, shoulders, and core muscles

Tricep push-ups also work the chest, shoulders, and core; thus, making it an amazing strength-builder exercise.

Related: 10 Best Push-Ups For Chest

What Are The Benefits?

A man showing his both arm muscles

"Most people often consider push-ups as a strength exercise, but they can be great cardio workouts, too. Push-ups engage different muscle groups, causing the heart to work harder, and this improves cardiovascular health."

— Dannah Bollig, Certified Personal Trainer & Founder of the DE Method

Activates Your Arm Muscles 

If your goal is to have impressive upper arms, you have to give equal importance to your biceps and triceps.

So, don’t leave the regular push-up altogether, but try to incorporate this exercise into your workout routine to activate your triceps, too.

Boosts Arm and Upper-Body Strength 

Targeting your triceps does more than just make your arms look great — it also boosts your upper-body strength and stabilizes your arms and shoulders.

Having a strong upper body corrects your posture, boosts your athletic performance and allows you to move efficiently and effectively for everyday tasks.

It Makes a Good Home Workout

Another great thing about triceps push-up is that it is a full-body fitness exercise that requires no equipment. You can perform it anytime, anywhere, and you can try different push-up variations and modify its form according to your fitness level.

Related: Decline Push-Ups 101 Guide

Are You Going to Try Triceps Push-Ups?

Triceps push-up is a great exercise you may add to your workout routine to target your triceps and work for multiple muscle groups.

Though a pretty challenging push-up variation, it will help boost your upper body strength for a better posture, improved balance and stability, and efficient movement.

I would also recommend adding a high-quality protein to your post-workout routine:

You can use these to speed up your recovery time so you don't get stiff after workouts.


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