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 close grip on the end-of-bench tricep push-up isolates the three heads of the tricep muscles by putting more of the burden on pushing the body up and down on the triceps instead of the pectoral muscles. For this variation of the exercise, you'll max out three times on increasingly steep inclines, doing the push-ups with speed and power throughout.
Stand behind an incline bench with the incline set to a flat 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).
- From the starting position, quickly lower your body until your chest 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 Photos 2 and 3).
- Pause, then push up quickly and with power from the bench to return the body to the starting position (see Photo 4).
- Continue doing tricep push-ups on the flat bench until you have maxed out and can do no more while maintaining your form.
- Next, set the bench to a significantly higher incline and do another set of the speed tricep push-ups until you have maxed out and can do no more while maintaining form.
- Finally, set the bench to yet another higher incline and again do a max-out set of the speed end-of-bench tricep push-ups.
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.