We’re all familiar with the benefits of the pull up by now (our last article was a love letter to the pull up!). However, the pull up mate isn’t just for building a better back and gymnastic skills.
Today we’re going to give you the quick and dirty guide to building better triceps with the pull up mate. Stick around – it’ll be 5 minutes to better triceps.
Dips: Variations and the Pull Up Mate Dip Kit
The Pull up mate offers a great chance to work on dips at home.
Dips are some of the most effective and important chest and tricep building exercises around. They’re definitely a staple of every high level gymnast and calisthenics athlete’s training and they should be a part of your training.
The first variation you should look at is the “bench dip” – the kind you’ve seen with the hands on a surface behind you and the feet on the floor or elevated on a box or platform. These are easier than real dips, but offer a way of training your triceps effectively without equipment – especially for beginners.
The pull up dip expansion kit is a great way to expand on this. You can move your dip bars further apart or closer together. A closer-grip dip is a great way of focusing on tricep development and can be used to really add meat to your triceps.
As you progress, you can also perform interesting variations like the single bar dip or Korean dips (a single bar, but behind the back). These offer interesting ways to train the triceps and develop to more advanced skills.
Push Ups: Beyond the Floor
Whatever your skill level, the pull up mate provides a great way to tailor push ups to your needs and abilities.
You can start out with the regular push up from the floor. If you can’t perform one, you’ll need to elevate your hands onto a box, step, or other raised surface to improve your leverage and make it feel lighter.
As you progress, the hand-release push up is one of the best ways to cue effective movement and keep the shoulders strong and stable during the movement. This carries over really well to future bodyweight exercise, as well as strength training exercises like the bench press or dip.
One of our favourite examples of a push up for tricep strength and size is the incline diamond push up. This is an exercise that requires huge tricep strength on the floor but performing it on the pull up mate’s horizontal bars makes it possible to shift focus to your triceps without making the exercise too difficult.
You can also use the pull up mate bars to perform drop sets on regular push ups by taking advantage of the incline. This allows you to perform more repetitions despite the fatigue of other forms of push ups. This leads to more volume, which means more muscular hypertrophy.
Push ups are a simple, but crucial, part of effective training for calisthenics and tricep gains.
Bodyweight Skullcrushers: As Brutal as They Sound
This is an underrated but fantastic way of training your triceps. You’re using at least some of your bodyweight in a movement that is really weak normally.
You can load the bodyweight skullcrusher slowly and you’re not likely to ever be too strong for it. You’d have to be able to lift your whole bodyweight with just your triceps.
It’s a great exercise for training the whole range of tricep heads. You can also easily change the incline of the movement with the Pull up mate’s various bars, allowing you to change your weight distribution and difficulty on the fly.
Home Tricep Workouts
When it comes to getting an effective workout, the important part is to work on the various exercises and their variations in a sequence from hardest to easiest.
This approach allows you to work on specific skills at high intensity, as well as producing better changes to the muscles and tendons though higher volumes.
We’ve put together 3 simple and effective home workouts for the triceps. The first is a full no-equipment approach, while the latter 2 require nothing but a pull-up mate.
- Balanced Tricep Home Tricep Workout with No Equipment
Diamond Push up: 5 sets to failure
“Bench” dip: 3 sets of 12
Decline Push up: 3 sets of 10
Narrow-Grip Push up: 4 sets of 8
Hand-Release Push up: 4 sets of 8
Incline push up: 4 sets to failure
Wall-Hold/ Wall Push Up: 3 sets to failure
- Beginner Home Tricep Workout with Pull Up Mate
Diamond Push up: 5 sets to failure
Incline Diamond Push ups: 5 sets to failuare
“Bench” Dips: 4 sets of 12
Hand-Release Push ups: 4 sets of 10
Incline Narrow-Grip Push ups: 4 sets to failure
Incline Push ups: 3 sets to failure
Wall-Hold Isometric/Push Up: 2 sets to failure
- Balanced Home Tricep Workout with Pull Up Mate
Dips: 5 sets to failure
Bodyweight skullcrushers: 3 sets to failure
Incline Diamond Push ups: 4 sets of 10
“Bench” dips on PUM (progressively higher each set!): 4 sets of 10
Narrow-Grip Push ups: 4 sets of 8
Hand-Release Push up: 5 sets to failure
Staying Safe With Home Tricep Workouts: Stretching and Form
The crucial aspects of tricep training centre around the simple fact that it crosses two of the most commonly-injured joints in the body. The shoulder is particularly vulnerable, while the elbow is a common place for injuries from overtraining or poor exercise form.
The elbow requires stability and a freely-moving bicep to improve mobility and keep healthy ranges. This chest and bicep stretch is a great way to prepare yourself for dips by mobilising the elbow and shoulder together:
The shoulder has the largest range of motion of any joint on the body and requires serious mobility and stability training.
You need to keep the shoulders mobile, as a tightly-bound joint is easily-injured. This should take the form of stretching the chest and front head of the shoulder muscle – here are three key stretches you should use:
Our Final Thoughts
The triceps aren’t the main focus of the pull up mate (hence the name), but it still provides an amazing tool for arm development.
Don’t limit your training just because of the name. Pull up mate and its bars and dip sets provide some of the best variations of bodyweight tricep training around. From dips to skullcrushers and all the variations of push ups, you’re in a position to get a full home tricep workout.
Leave no weakness – pair your pull ups and bicep gains with these fantastic exercises to develop a well-rounded upper body!