Try This: Overhead Tricep Press

Try This: Overhead Tricep Press


Overhead Tricep Press is a great way to get amazing looking arms for summertime! I love this exercise because not only does it target that underarm area that clients always want looking tighter and toned, but it also strengthens and stabilizes the upper body.

Why you should be doing the Overhead Tricep Press

  • This exercise will strengthen your triceps along with shoulder muscles.
  • It strengthens scapula stabilizers which will give you a nice looking back.
  • It will increase torso stabilization and help with a stronger trunk.

How to perform the Overhead Tricep Press


Step 1

To start, sit on the reformer facing the foot bar with your torso lined up over the sit bones and grab the straps in your hands.

Step 2

Hinge slightly at the hips reaching your arms long and shoulder distance apart and your palms facing down. Try to have your arms in line with your ears.

Step 3

Inhale – With control, bend at the elbows bringing your hands behind your head stabilizing through the upper arms. You should maintain a flat back, scapula stability, engaged core and long legs.

Exhale – Lengthen your arms long back to the starting position while keeping your core engaged, stability through the scapula, and legs lengthened long.

I recommend repeating this exercise 10 times.


  • For low back support, try sitting with criss-cross legs, or even on top of the short box.
  • If your shoulder or arms are bothering you, check to see if the handles or straps are more comfortable to hold.  
  • For wrist support, make sure to keep your wrist straight.

Ready for a challenge?

There are different sitting positions that can challenge you while doing this exercise listed from easy to challenging.

  • Easy:  Sit on the short box, or sit on the carriage with criss-cross legs.
  • Medium: Sit on the carriage with your legs straight out or kneeling with the hips on the heels.
    abcpilates.com/try-this-triceps | Medium Challenge
  • Challenge: Kneeling with the hips up over the knees.
    abcpilates.com/try-this-triceps | Hard Challenge
  • If you want extra quadricep work: Lower your hips down over your heels while doing step 2 and raising back to your starting position while doing step 3.
  • You can even do Overhead Tricep Press using TRX straps!
    abcpilates.com/triceps | TRX Straps



MonicaMonica began practicing Pilates a decade ago; she immediately fell in love after seeing the difference Pilates made in her core strength, posture and overall health. She then decided that she wanted to share her passion with others and earned her Pilates teaching certificate. Monica has been sharing her Pilates love and expertise with her students while continuing to expand her training programs to incorporate TRX and Spin.
Click here to learn more about Monica and the other ABC Instructors.


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