How To Do The Full-Body Triceps Press

Full-Body Triceps Press
(Image credit: Unknown)

The full-body triceps press is a move you’ll rarely see performed in the gym, and we reckon that’s mostly down to people not knowing about it, because it’s one of the best triceps exercises going.

Not only does it work all three heads of the triceps but it’s also very easy to increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise by moving the bar you’re leaning on up or down. It’s a fair bet you’ll need to move the bar up to make the exercise easier when you first attempt it, because the full-body triceps press falls into the “surprisingly difficult” category. Even if you’re regularly doing other triceps exercises like kick-backs, overhead extensions and skullcrushers, the full-body press will exhaust your triceps in rapid fashion.

If you’re using a bar you’ll need a rack to support it during the exercise. A Smith machine is ideal since it’s simple to move the bar up and down using its various rack positions. You can also do the full-body press down using a bench or study table – if you happen to have an adjustable standing desk at home, this could be a whole new use for it since you can change its height easily.

How To Do The Full-Body Triceps Press

Stand facing the bar or bench. Lean forwards and grasp the bar in an overhand grip with your hands shoulder-width apart and your arms fully extended, then walk your feet back so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe. The lower the bar, the further your feet will be from it and the harder the exercise will be, since you’ll be supporting more of your bodyweight with your arms.

Bend your elbows to lower your forehead towards the bar. Don’t bend at the hips or knees – keep your whole body still aside from bending your elbows. Lower until your forehead almost touches the bar or comes just below it, then press back up. 

As mentioned above, the full-body triceps press is a surprisingly hard exercise so don’t be afraid to raise the bar to make it easier and complete your set.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.