What is a tricep extension?
Whenever you flex or extend your arms, you are using your tricep muscles. Located at the back of your arms, the tricep muscles start at your shoulders and end at your elbows and contain three heads that are responsible for keeping your upper arms active.
Strengthening your triceps will make it easier to perform everyday tasks, as well as improve your strength in upper body lifts, particularly pushing exercises like bench press. The triceps also help to stabilise the shoulders, so you'll see an improvement in the strength and stability of your chest, back, and shoulders. Plus if your goal is to have bigger arms, tricep exercises will also help - they make up two-thirds of the arm!
Tricep extension exercises are an effective way to target your tricep muscles by repetitively flexing the elbow joint against resistance. Here, we look at several tricep extension variations so you can find your preferred way to isolate the triceps.
Commonly asked questions about triceps
The best way to get bigger triceps is through a combination of compound exercises (plenty of chest exercises work the triceps) and isolation exercises, like the ones below. Aim to work this muscle group twice a week, train close to failure, and progressively overload for best results.
There are many ways to stretch your triceps. Examples include the: overhead tricep stretch, cross body stretch, and lean body stretch.
Tricep extension tips
- Try to keep your elbows as still as possible throughout the exercises to ensure you're isolating your tricep muscle and avoid placing strain on the elbows and shoulders.
- To get the most from each extension, hold the position for a second or two when your arms are fully extended before continuing the movement.
The overhead tricep extension is a great variation which helps to improve shoulder stability. Overhead Tricep Extension
Skull crushers are a variation of the tricep extension that involve lying down on a bench or the floor. Skull Crushers
The tricep kickback is a unilateral exercise which can help to improve imbalances between the two sides. Tricep Kickbacks
Tricep pushdowns use the cable machine to provide constant tension on the muscles. Tricep Pushdowns
If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.