Skip the Gym — Work Your Chest and Triceps at Home With These 7 Moves

Skip the Gym — Work Your Chest and Triceps at Home With These 7 Moves

You can get a great chest and triceps workout at home without weights — take it from Robert Herbst, a 19-time World Champion powerlifter and member of the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame. His go-to move for strengthening the chest and triceps at home? Standard push-ups.

“The best home exercise for chest and triceps is push-ups, as they also work the core,” Herbst says. “Also, you can do many variations to emphasize different muscle groups. You will never get bored.”

And even if you don’t have dreams of setting a world-record bench press, having a chest and triceps workout you can do at home is still crucial to your general fitness.

“Chest and triceps are super important to develop because they are your pushing muscles,” says Medwin Mina, CPT. “It’s such a functional movement that we use every day from pushing open doors or pushing ourselves up from the ground.”

If cranking out endless push-ups sounds a little daunting, we put together a more varied chest and triceps workout you can do at home without weights — one that includes push-up variations and other tried-and-true upper body strengtheners.

For this at-home chest and triceps workout, you’ll only need floor space and a resistance band.

1. Banded Push-Up

Benefits: Makes push-ups more challenging
Want to make the traditional push-up even harder? By adding a resistance band, you’ll feel this movement in your chest and triceps after just a couple of reps.

Man Does Banded Push Ups at Home | Chest and Tricep Workout at Home

  • Holding the ends of a resistance band in each hand, stretch it across your upper back and assume a high plank position with your hands on the ground directly below your shoulders and your feet together or hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your core engaged, your elbows at a 45-degree angle away from your sides, and your head in line with your spine, lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor.
  • Reverse the movement to return to the starting position and repeat.

2. Triceps Push-Up

Benefits: Get an even better triceps workout
The closer hand position and tucked elbows for this push-up increase the load on your triceps.

  • Assume a high plank position with your feet together, your body straight from head to heels, your arms straight, and your hands in line with (but slightly narrower than) your shoulders.
  • Keeping your core engaged, your elbows tucked in, and your head in line with your spine, lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor.
  • Reverse the movement to return to the starting position and repeat.

3. Triceps Chair Dip

Benefits: Can be done just about anywhere
The beauty of this chest, shoulder, and triceps strengthener is that it can be done almost anywhere you can sit. Just grab a sturdy chair, bench, or box and get to dipping.

  • Sit on the edge of a chair or sturdy bench and place your palms (fingers forward) on the seat next to your hips.
  • Supporting your body weight with your arms, shift your butt forward and off the chair. Your arms should be straight, your shoulders down and back, and abs engaged. You can keep your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground. Or, for a greater challenge, straighten your legs and rest just your heels on the ground.
  • Keeping your forearms vertical and your elbows at your sides (not flared), slowly lower yourself with control. Stop when your upper arms are almost parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.

4. Wrap-Around Chest Press

Benefits: A challenging exercise without the gym
This banded chest press doesn’t require a barbell. Using just a band, this single-arm press targets the chest and triceps muscles.

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Fold a resistance band in half and, holding the ends in each hand, wrap the folded band around your upper back so that it’s just under your armpits.
  • Holding the folded end close to your chest to create resistance, extend the opposite arm forward. Keep your arm at shoulder-height and your palm facing inward.
  • Complete all reps before switching sides.

5. Bear Crawl

Benefits: Helps with everyday movement
A staple of primal fitness, the bear crawl builds endurance in the chest and triceps muscles while training the cross-crawl, an essential movement pattern.

  • Get on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, and your knees bent 90 degrees below your hips and hovering a few inches above the ground. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, move forward using a “cross-crawl” pattern, simultaneously moving opposite hands and feet together (i.e., left hand and right foot, right hand, and left foot).
  • Continue moving forward with opposite hands and feet in unison for the specified number of steps, then reverse the movement to work your way back.

6. Mountain Climbers

Benefits: Helps you feel the burn
Because mountain climbers are done from a high plank position, they challenge the endurance of your chest and triceps while you work up a sweat.

  • Assume a push-up position: feet together, core braced, body straight from head to heels, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Lift your right foot off the floor and draw your right knee toward your chest, making sure to keep your back flat, your butt down, and the rest of your body stationary.
  • Return your right foot to the starting position, and immediately repeat with the opposite leg. That’s one rep.
  • Continue alternating legs, performing equal reps on both sides.

7. Burpees

Benefits: Strength training meets cardio
Burpees are a total workout in and of themselves. They work tons of muscle, including the chest and triceps, and will get your heart pumping in record time.

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Bend your knees, hinge at your hips, and squat down, placing both palms on the floor.
  • Jump your feet back to a push-up position: hands and balls of your feet on the floor, body straight from head to heels, core engaged, and back straight.
  • Do a push-up: Lower your torso until your chest is a few inches from the floor and quickly push back up.
  • Jump your feet back to your hands and explode upward, jumping into the air.
  • Land softly and immediately begin your next rep.