This Pushup Modification Takes Strain Off Your Shoulders & Fires Up The Triceps

Woman Doing Push Ups in a Gym

If you’re looking for a simple, approachable move to work your triceps, look no further. Tabletop triceps pushups are beginner-friendly, but will offer anyone a great arm workout with no equipment necessary. Plus, you can modify the movement to make it more challenging, should you choose.

Here’s how to do them, plus the benefits, as demonstrated by certified Pilates instructor, Helen Phelan.

How to do a tabletop triceps pushup:

Helen Phelan - Tabletop Triceps Pushup

  1. Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Stack shoulders right on top of the hands and hips right over knees.
  2. Keep your elbows pointed toward your knees. Inhale as you bend the elbows and bring your chest toward the floor. Go as far down as you can; try to line your nose up with your fingertips.
  3. Engage your core, and slowly lift your chest back up to start. Keep your chest open, but don’t arch your back
  4. Perform three sets of 10 reps.

  • Engage your core throughout the entirety of the move: hug your belly button up and in, and straighten out the spine, to support the lower back.
  • If your elbows tend to flare out, try wrapping a strap or resistance band around your upper arms, to keep them hugging in.
  • To make this move more challenging, straighten out the legs to come into a high plank. Lower down to forearm plank, and engage your triceps as you press yourself back up.

The triceps have a bit of a reputation for being difficult to target—but this is one of many moves that specifically fires them up, making it a great addition to your arm day routine. When you do the movement correctly, this is also a fantastic exercise to help work the core.

Always mind your form to get the most out of any move, and in the case of tabletop triceps pushups, your arms are sure to feel the burn.

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