A strong upper body is crucial in our daily life activities. Having a strong upper body means we can carry our children, play with them, move furniture around, carry multiple groceries’ bags (ain’t nobody making two trips to the car) and help others carry stuff. With that said, getting a guy to train chest and triceps is as easy as getting a fish in the water. On the other hand, women are a different story.
As a woman myself, there was also a point in my life where I thought that training upper body will make me look manly and ‘bulky’. However, through practice and education I learned that’s not the case. Building muscle is definitely not easy, especially for women who have lower testosterone levels. Furthermore, it’s important to train upper body to gain better strength overall. If you train upper body, you’ll notice how easier some of the other exercises get. In addition, it opens up a whole new world full of fun exercises you can try and get great at!
So ladies, and gentleman, grab your dumbbells, a mat and two chairs (because that’s all you need) and let’s crush this at home chest and triceps workout!
At Home Chest and Triceps Workout
50 Push Up
Doing 50 push ups just for warm up?! YUP, I’m challenging you because if you’re not challenging yourself, you won’t notice any progress.
To perform a push-up get into the high plank position. Imagine your body is a straight line, from your head to your toes. Place your palms in line with your shoulders or slightly wider. Turn your elbows inward so they’re pointing towards your feet.
From this position pull your belly button in towards your spine, engage your core and gaze slightly forward. Keeping your elbows at your sides and gaze forward, inhale as you lower down until your chest touches the floor.
Your shoulder blades should be drawn back and down. Pause here for a second then exhale and come up to starting position. It’s not important in which way you complete 50 push ups. It can be 5 sets of 10 reps or 3 sets of 12 reps + 1 set of 14, it’s all up to you, as long as you do 50!
If you can’t do a push up and need help, read this blog post on mastering push-ups.
10 Around The World (3 rounds)
After 50 push ups, move onto the following warm-up exercise: “around the world”. It’s up to you whether you want to do it standing tall or lying down on the floor. It was easier for me to film the standing version so here we go.
Stand tall with a lightweight dumbbell in each hand, your arms are at your sides. Engage your core, bend your elbows slightly, so they don’t lock out, and begin lifting your arms outward and up until your hands meet above your head. In a slow and controlled motion bring your hands down to starting position. That’s one rep. Keep repeating for the specified amount of reps, rest for 20-30 seconds and repeat for 2 more rounds.
Now that your body is nice and warmed up, you can move onto the actual workout. Today’s at home chest and triceps workout consists of three supersets followed by an optional burnout round. There’s not much else left for me to say so if you’re ready, let me show you the exercises!
SUPERSET #1 (3 rounds)
First superset includes two exercises; chest press which hits primarily your chest muscles and overhead tricep extension which hits primarily your triceps muscles. If you’re unfamiliar with how to do supersets let me help you. A superset is a form of strength training when you move from one exercises to another without taking any rest in between.
So you’ll do 10 reps of chest press then immediately move onto doing 10-12 reps of overhead tricep extension with each arm. Now you’re ready to take a break because you completed your first round. Rest for about 60-90 seconds then begin your second set. And so on, until you’ve completed all 3 sets. Same rules apply for superset #2 and superset #3.
10 chest press
The king of all chest exercises – chest press. This exercise will help you build upper body strength, increase your pushing power and help you maintain healthy joints.
How to perform:
Lie on a bench/chair or floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be pressing into the floor. (If you’re doing this exercise on a chair be careful of the weight you choose. It can be rather tricky getting yourself in a correct position whilst holding heavy dumbbells.) Draw your shoulders down and back then bring the dumbbells at your shoulders.
Your palms should be facing forward and your thumbs wrapped around the handle. Engage your core and ensure you’re in a stable position. Now you’re ready to lift. As you exhale push the dumbbells upward and pay attention to your elbows so they don’t lock out. The weights should now be in line with your shoulders.
10-12 single arm overhead tricep extension
This single-arm triceps exercise is a great isolation exercise to strictly target the triceps and even out imbalances between two arms.
How to perform:
Begin by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in one hand. Activate your core and lift the dumbbell up above your head until your arm is fully extended. Your opposite hand should be placed firmly on your hip.
Begin bending your arm at the elbow and slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head. Contract your tricep and press the dumbbell back upward above your head. That’s one rep. Keep repeating until you’ve done all the reps with both arms. One thing to keep in mind is to not let your elbow flare out but keep it tracking forward.
SUPERSET #2 (3 rounds)
10 single arm chest press
Another unilateral exercise, only this time it focuses on your chest muscles. Performing this single-arm exercise improves muscular balance on both sides of the body while actively engaging your core at the same time.
How to perform:
Lie on a bench/chair or floor but this time with a dumbbell in only one hand. Press your feet into the floor and maintain a long neutral spine. Place your free hand on your hip. Draw your shoulders down and back then press the dumbbell directly above your sternum, with your palm facing away from you. Keep a slight bend in the elbow so it doesn’t lock out. This is your starting position.
From here, slightly stick your chest out and begin lowering the dumbbell. Make sure to do a full range of motion and lower the dumbbell down until it touches the side of your chest. Pause, then press the dumbbell back up to starting position. Perform the exercise for the specified amount of reps with each arm.
20 tricep dips w/ raised feet
One of my favourite triceps exercise! I love regular tricep dips but this slightly advanced version of it is perfect to strengthen your arms even more and build endurance.
How to perform:
First things first – get yourself two chairs. Sit on the edge of one chair with your hands just outside your hips then rest your feet on the other chair in front of you. Keep your legs straight and your upper body tall. This is your starting position.
Inhale and begin lowering yourself down until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Meaning your elbows should be bent around 90 degrees. Exhale, contract your triceps and push yourself up to starting position. When you’re pushing yourself up imagine as if your trying to push the chair that’s behind you into the ground. One more thing, make sure your elbows are pointing back at all times, don’t let them flare out. Keep repeating for the specified amount of reps.
SUPERSET #3 (3 rounds)
12 chest fly
A simple, essential movement that’s a staple in my chest workouts. Aside from helping you have a nicer, stronger chest, this exercise is a great chest opener. It can help alleviate pain in the upper back, help you increase ROM (range of motion) and reduce tightness in the upper body.
How to perform:
You can do this exercise lying on the floor or another flat surface like a chair or a bench (if you have one at home). If you’re doing this on a chair/bench, make sure your head and shoulders are supported and your feet are flat on the floor. Lift the dumbbells up above your chest, palms facing each other. You’re in starting position now.
Begin lowering the dumbbells outward (in an arc out to the sides) as far as comfortable. However, your elbows should remain in line with your torso to prevent overstretching. Pause for a second then bring your arms back to starting position using your chest muscles only. Make sure to keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout this whole movement. Also, don’t let your back arch. Keep it flat on the chair/bench, as if it’s glued to the surface.
12 skull crusher
The ultimate isolation exercise for the triceps. The skull crusher is a great option for increasing triceps strength and building size (with continuous weight increase). In addition, this exercise can help improve overall elbow extension abilities.
How to perform:
Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Raise the dumbbells up above you, keeping them in line with your shoulders. Palms are facing each other. Make sure your elbows are straight but not locked. From this starting position slowly lower both dumbbells toward your head moving your forearms only.
Aim to lower the dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent to 90 degrees. Pause for a second then extend your elbows to drive the dumbbells back up to starting position. The key for this exercise is to do it by moving your forearms only whilst keeping your elbows in.
BURNOUT ROUND (optional)
Like it says in the title, this round is optional. However, I definitely recommend you give it a go and challenge yourself!
50 push up
We’re finishing this at home chest and triceps workout with yet another 50 push ups. Feel free to do the same thing as you did during warm up – complete the reps in whichever way you want. All at once or divided into 5 sets or less.
10 close grip chest press (3 rounds)
After completing 50 push ups, move onto the next and last exercise – close grip chest press. This exercise is a variation of the classic chest press, except it allows for a greater activation of the chest muscles and incorporates triceps more than other chest press variations.
How to perform:
Lie back flat on a bench/chair or floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Feet are pressing into the floor. Lift the dumbbells up above you and bring them close together, palms facing each other. This is your starting position. Inhale, and lower the weights down to your chest. Pause for a second, squeeze your pecs, exhale and bring the weights back up to starting position. That makes one rep. Repeat for the specified amount of reps, rest for 30 seconds and do 2 more rounds.
YOU DID IT!
Congratulations! You completed the at home chest and triceps workout so here’s a big virtual hi-5! Hope you enjoyed this workout. Now it’s time to hydrate and eat a healthy snack/meal before you move on with your day. Tell me in the comments below what’s your favourite chest/tricpes exercise and how you’re staying active at home during this crazy time!
Stay safe guys, chat soon,