Did you know you have THREE HEADs to your triceps (cue the name)? The long head is the only head that crosses the shoulder joint while the other two attach to the humerus (upper arm bone). Often referred to as the short head. When you can see the developed musculature, the triceps make a “horseshoe” shape on the back of the arm above the elbow and below the deltoid.
Many many exercises work the triceps. The three I have chosen today work them from different angles. But please don’t think there aren’t other options! In the end, do whatever feels the most engaging for YOU.
The triceps aid in ADDuction (bringing the arm back towards the midline body), and shoulder EXTENSION (bringing the humerus/upper arm bone DOWN).
In the overhead tricep extension the long head is fully lengthened as the weight drops back (stretched at the shoulder AND the elbow joint). Thoracic spine mobility or general ability to get the shoulder into full flexion could be a limiting factor here. So be aware of that. You’ll still be working the tricep within it’s functional range, but it may be an uncomfortable position. Keep the elbows tight, and avoid a large flare out at the sides.
In the classic kick back, the long head is helping work to keep the arm close to the body (adduction). It does the same in the skull crusher – otherwise the elbow would floppy dop out to the sides. As with the overhead triceps extension – we don’t want this to get the most out of the exercise.
Triceps extend the elbow and can be worked in may ways. These are just three from varying positions. My fav tricep exercise is actually a simple cable tricep push down. You?
P.S. all videos can be found on YouTube, organized by playlists. Please feel free to use them in your programming as well. I know the struggle.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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