Building strong and defined arms is a common goal for many people, but some tend to focus solely on their biceps. However, it is important not to overlook the triceps as they are responsible for a significant portion of upper arm muscle mass.
The triceps brachii is composed of three different muscles – the medial head, lateral head, and long head – all of which play a vital role in supporting the elbow joint and assisting with elbow flexion and extension.
Neglecting the triceps would be a mistake if you want to achieve well-rounded, larger arms. In this article, we will be covering the 5 Best Long Head Tricep Exercises to Achieve Toned Arms.
What is the Long Head of the Triceps?
The long head of the triceps is one of three muscles that make up the triceps brachii muscle in the upper arm. It is located on the back of the arm and contributes to the overall size and strength of the upper arm. The long head of the triceps plays an important role in elbow extension and is often targeted through specific exercises to achieve optimal results.
The 5 Best Long Head Tricep Exercises:
There are several effective exercises that can help you build stronger and larger triceps muscles.
1. Close Grip Barbell Bench Bress
The close grip barbell bench press is an exercise that targets both the chest and triceps muscles. By adjusting the grip width on the barbell, you can specifically target the triceps. Proper form and technique are important for effectively working the triceps muscles, as with any exercise.
Here are the steps to perform the close-grip barbell press:
- Lie flat on a bench and retract your scapula while digging your upper back into the bench.
- Take hold of the barbell with a grip slightly narrower than shoulder-width and keep your wrists straight.
- Hold the barbell straight out and above your chest.
- Slowly lower the barbell towards your lower chest until it reaches about 90 degrees.
- Pause at the bottom for a second or two before pushing the bar back up toward the ceiling.
- Avoid completely locking your elbow joints at the top of every rep to limit joint wear and maintain tension on the triceps for maximum activation.
- One of the main advantages of this exercise is that it places more emphasis on the triceps compared to a traditional bench press, which primarily targets the chest.
2. Overhead Dumbbell Extensions
Overhead dumbbell extensions are a great exercise for beginners to build strength and mass in the long head of the triceps
Here are the steps to perform overhead dumbbell extension:
- Stand or sit on a bench and hold a dumbbell with both hands by its end.
- Lift the dumbbell above your head with your arms fully extended and palms facing upwards.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head, bending at the elbows, and keeping your elbows close to your head.
- Pause for a second when your forearms touch your biceps or when you feel a stretch in your triceps.
- Push the dumbbell back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
3. Diamond Or Triangle Push-Ups
The diamond or triangle push-up is a popular exercise that targets the tricep muscles, particularly the long head and lateral head.
To perform a diamond push-up, follow these steps:
- Begin in a basic plank position with your toes tucked in and your core stable and tight.
- Position your hands directly under your chest and put your fingers together to form a triangle or diamond shape.
- Lower yourself slowly from your high plank position, as you would in a regular push-up.
- Keep your core tight, spine straight, and elbows tucked in.
- Pause at the bottom of the movement to maximize muscle burn.
- Slowly press back up to the starting position.
By following these steps, you can perform a diamond push-up with proper form and effectively target your tricep muscles.
4. Incline Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks
The incline dumbbell tricep kickback is a highly effective exercise that targets the long head of the triceps. By positioning yourself on an incline bench, gravity adds resistance to the movement, putting more pressure on your triceps.
Here are the steps to perform the Incline Dumbbell Triceps kickback:
- Set an adjustable bench to an incline position.
- Lay on the bench facing down onto the pad.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend your elbows so your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your elbows tucked in throughout the exercise.
- Slowly extend your elbows until your arms are straight and parallel to your body.
- Squeeze your triceps at the top for maximum contraction.
- Lower your arms slowly back to their original position.
By using this exercise, you can effectively work the long head and achieve better overall arm strength and definition.
5. EZ Bar French Presses
EZ Bar French presses are a combination of skull crushers and overhead extensions, targeting the long head.
Here are the steps to perform the EZ French Press:
- Sit on a flat or adjustable bench with a 75-80 degree incline and grab an EZ bar using a narrow overhand grip.
- Stretch the bar overhead and keep your elbows tucked in close to your head.
- Slowly lower the EZ bar behind your head while keeping your upper arms straight. This follows a similar movement path to that of the overhead extension.
- Once your elbows are at about 90 degrees, hold for a couple of seconds before raising the bar back up and overhead.
- Make sure to maintain control throughout the entire movement, and avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight.
- Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions, and focus on using a weight that allows you to maintain good form and complete the full range of motion.
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Best Tips For Long Head Tricep Exercises:
To effectively target the long head of the triceps, maintaining proper form is crucial.
It’s important to remember that there is no isolation exercise that solely targets the long head, and other muscles will be engaged during the workout.
Emphasizing the long head can be challenging, so it’s essential to use proper form to avoid transferring the weight load to other muscle groups. By doing so, you’ll be able to effectively build the long head while avoiding injury.
If you want to increase the size and strength of your arms, it’s important to target the long head of the triceps. This muscle makes up a significant portion of the upper arm and can be effectively trained through a variety of exercises and techniques. By incorporating specific exercises that target the long head of the triceps, you can achieve impressive results and supersize your arms.