Fitness Tips

Side Push-Ups Target Your Triceps Like No Other Variation

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/ Studio Firma

If you’re a fan of push-ups, you’ve probably made your way down the list of variations. While there’s plenty of different options to choose from that’ll put your upper body strength to the test, one that’s often forgotten about just so happens to be an exercise that challenges you in an entirely new way.

Side push-ups are a sneaky way to work your triceps—and, as Maxine Goynes of MG Method says, will make scrawny arms a thing of the past. That’s because when you’re lying on your side and pushing your body up and down with one arm, your tricep does a lot of the work. Since triceps can be harder to hit than the biceps (and are often the weaker of the two), it’s a great way to ensure every muscle in your arm is getting attention.

When you’re ready to try the move for yourself, press play on the video below.

How to do a side push-up

  1. Lie on your side on a mat. Your knees should be stacked, and your bottom arm should be wrapped around your body, as if you’re giving yourself a hug.
  2. Take your upper hand and place it flat on your mat alongside your upper arm. The bottom of your wrist should be just above your elbow, and your fingertips should be around the top of your shoulder. Spread your fingers as wide as you can for support.
  3. Drawing your belly in, press your palm flat into the mat as you push your body up in a nice controlled movement. If your heels are popping up, focus on pressing them into the ground.
  4. Once your arm is straight, slowly lower your body back down to the mat. That’s one side push-up.
  5. Perform 12 reps, then repeat on the opposite arm.

You can also learn how to master the tricep push-up by following along with this video:

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