• Photo for End-of-Bench Tricep Push-ups
    Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith

End-of-Bench Tricep Push-ups

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

The triceps are a collection of three muscles—the medial head, lateral head, and long head—that work together to extend the elbow. The close grip on the end-of-bench tricep push-up isolates these muscles by putting more of the burden on pushing the body up and down on the triceps instead of the pectoral muscles.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Stand behind an incline bench with the incline set at an approximately 45-degree angle. Place your hands on the top of the bench with your palms facing inward and each corner held in the palm of the hand. With your arms straight but your elbows not locked, walk your feet back until your body can be extended straight with your toes on the floor and your heels in the air (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, lower your body until your chest touches or almost touches the bench. Be sure to keep your spine and neck engaged; do not lower your head or push your chest out to touch the bench (see Photo 2).
  2. Pause, then push up from the bench to return the body to the starting position (see Photo 3).
  3. Repeat.
Variations to Increase Difficulty To increase the difficulty of this exercise, simply increase the amount of weight your triceps must support by lowering yourself closer to the floor. You can use a flat bench, a medicine ball, or—for the most advanced—do close-grip push-ups on the floor. This will put more weight on your triceps as they lift and lower your upper body (see Photo 4).

About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.