William Toro ‧ CPT & Nutritionist
William is a certified personal trainer from NASM, he has also been a rehab physiologist for sports persons. He has more than 15 years of experience training people. And has featured in multiple publications like FoxNews, CNBC, Bustle, and other.
Contrary to what many believe, bigger biceps don't equal stronger or more muscular arms. Training and strengthening your biceps is crucial; however, to ensure your arms reach their full potential, you have to prioritize your triceps.
The Triceps muscle group is made of three different sections. You must focus on the section closest to the body, which lies along the inside of your arms, i.e., the long head.
The long head can be trained to increase your upper arm mass and strengthen your tricep muscle. Not just that, but with a routine long head tricep workout, you can achieve shoulder stability and a stable shoulder extension.
So without further ado, let's look at some of the best long head triceps exercises.
Best Tricep Long Head Exercises For You
1. Close Grip Dumbell Press
How To Perform Close Grip Db Press?
This is one of the best long head tricep exercises. To perform it, start by choosing a dumbbell of your choice. Lie on a flat bench with your face facing upwards. Arch your back slightly, ensuring you don't lift your shoulders or your back. Pull your shoulders together.
Pick up the dumbbell by extending your shoulder. Join the two barbells and keep them directly above your chest. Keep your elbows tucked at about a 30-degree angle relative to your torso. Lower the dumbbells and bring them towards your lower chest. Press them explosively towards the starting position as soon as they touch your chest.
Benefits Of Close Grip Db Press
It is one of the most effective workouts that help you target the long head. This exercise increases the weights gradually and safely, something that is impossible with other exercises like skull crusher. Moreover, it helps build your upper body, including your biceps, chest, and shoulders.
2. Barbell Close Grip Bench Press
How To Perform Barbell Close Grip Bench Press?
The close grip bench presses are easy to pull off and are one of the best long head tricep exercises. To do a bench press, Lie on a bench with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
Grab the barbell’s straight bar at the overhand grip and bring it directly over your head. Keeps your arms straight and perpendicular to your chest.
Squeeze your shoulder blades, brace your core, lower the barbell, and bring it to your chest. Hold the position for a moment and extend your arms. Keep your elbows close, and press up with all your might to ensure all the emphasis is on your triceps. Additionally, avoid arching your back while doing a close grip bench press.
Benefits Of Barbell Close Grip Bench Press
This is also among the most effective long head exercises. A close grip bench press will help you train your triceps muscle and allow for a full elbow extension. Moreover, it will target the head of the triceps and help them achieve resilience.
3. EZ Bar Skull Crushers
How to Perform EZ Bar Skull Crushers?
While lying straight on a flat bench, your back aligned with your shoulders and your feet on the ground, hold an EZ bar above your chest. Now, bend your elbow and bring the bar down to your forehead as if touching it.
Inhale as you bring the bar towards your forehead, and exhale as you bring it back to the starting position. Hold this position for a few seconds to allow some contraction, and then repeat the steps. Make sure that your elbows point forward throughout this exercise, rather than flaring to either of your sides.
Moreover, if you want to increase the range of motion while doing an overhead triceps extension, you can lower the pressure on your elbows by bringing the bar behind your skull.
Benefits of EZ Bar Skull Crushers
This overhead triceps extension is a fantastic isolation exercise for training the head of the triceps. It also ensures you have a good posture and a proportional and well-defined upper body. Moreover, it allows for a steady triceps movement.
4. Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extensions
How To Perform Db Overhead Triceps Extensions?
This exercise involves triceps extensions and is relatively easy. Lean forward, Grip a dumbbell and hold it from the end. Make sure it is slightly tilted to ensure more muscle engagement. Lift it overhead and keep your arms straight. Your palms should hold one end of the dumbbell, whereas the other end should face the ceiling.
Next, lower the dumbbell and bring it behind your head. While bending your elbows, ensure they are upright, and your hands are not touching your neck. Hold it for a few seconds, and then bring the dumbbell back to its original position.
Moreover, keep your spine neutral, your torso upright, and your head straight to maximize the many benefits of overhead triceps extensions.
Benefits Of Db Overhead Triceps Extensions
This is one of the best exercises involving triceps extensions because it helps stretch your entire body by placing your arms overhead. Researchers believe stretching your body during overhead triceps extension helps with muscle growth and a proper form.
5. Rope Overhead Triceps Extensions
How To Perform Rope Overhead Triceps Extensions?
This is another great exercise involving triceps extensions. Start by attaching a rope to the bottom end of a pulley machine.
Hold the rope with both hands and bring them directly over your head, allowing for a full arm extension. Keep a small distance between your elbows and bring them close to your head.
While performing the overhead rope extensions, your arms should be perpendicular to the ceiling. Your knuckles should point in the direction of the ceiling. Next, while holding your upper arms still, bring the rope behind your head. Inhale when you lower the rope and pause for a few seconds to allow full triceps extension.
Exhale, flex your triceps, and move back to the starting position. Repeat this until you complete your desired reps.
Benefits Of Rope Overhead Triceps Extensions
Triceps extensions during this workout help build stronger long head triceps. Additionally, it helps build your core muscles at the back and the hips, thus making it one of the best tricep exercises.
6. Cable Triceps Kick Back
How To Perform Cable Triceps Kick Back?
For this exercise, you must set up a pulley system at your knee height. Face the pulley, bend, and ensure your back is parallel to the floor. Grab the cable and bring it close to your chest and pin it. Next, bend your arms so your elbow is at a 90-degree angle from your forearm.
Next, with your elbow fixed, extend your arm by bringing your hand behind you. This will contract your triceps. Pause for a few seconds, squeeze your tricep at the top, and then return to your starting position.
Once you are done with the left side, do an equal number of reps on the right side. This ensures consistency and a good balance.
Benefits Of Cable Triceps Kick Back
This exercise engages all three triceps heads. However, it puts particular emphasis on your lateral head. It also helps build functional strength and improves flexibility of the head of the triceps, thereby improving your long head muscle.
7. Parallel Bar Dips
How To Perform Parallel Bar Dips?
You will need access to a parallel bar dip station for this. There are usually two grip settings. Choose the narrower one to engage your triceps or the wider grip to engage your chest.
While at the starting position, grip the parallel bars firmly and keep your chest and head up. Look straight ahead as you start your rep. You can have your feet behind you with bent knees or straight underneath your body.
Next, bend your body slightly while keeping your elbows close together and your arms at the sides. Keep lowering your body until your elbow joints form a 90-degree angle and your upper arms parallel the floor.
Focus on your triceps and hold for a moment. Bring your body back to the starting position, exhaling until your arms are straight. Make sure to have an upright posture throughout the exercise.
Benefits Of Parallel Bar Dips
These primarily target the long head of your triceps. You can build tremendous triceps mass if you choose narrow parallel bars. This exercise primarily targets your chest and triceps but also helps strengthen your front deltoids.
8. Weighted Back Dips
How To Perform Weighted Back Dips?
Start by placing two benches in proximity to each other. The distance should be approximately the distance between your back and feet. Choose an appropriate weight and sit on one of the benches while facing the other bench. Place the weight on your thighs.
Next, hold the end of the bench you are sitting on with your palms facing inwards. Place your feet on the bench in front of you. At this point, your body will be hanging in the air with your hands and feet touching the benches.
Now, lower your body and bring your hip as close to the floor as possible. Hold the position for a moment and then return to the starting position. Your arms will be supporting your entire body weight, so make sure they are up to the task.
Benefits Of Weighted Back Dips
When doing this bench press, you can use increased weights for healthy and sustainable triceps training. It also strengthens your elbow joint and engages your medial or lateral head, depending on your upper arm extension.
9. Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension
How To Perform Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension?
For EZ bar triceps extensions, lie down on a decline bench with your back flat facing the floor. Take hold of an EZ bar, extend your arms up, and make sure they are perpendicular to your chest. Keep your elbows straight, and don't bend your back or your knees.
Next, bring the EZ bar towards your head and hold the position for a few seconds. You should ideally feel a strong stretch in your tricep muscle. You can also lower the EZ bar behind your head for a full range of motion. Return to the original position and complete your reps.
The EZ bar triceps extensions combine overhead extensions and help target your tricep muscles. Moreover, it also helps you build stronger and bigger arms.
Benefits Of Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension
10. Decline Db Triceps Extensions
How To Perform Decline Db Triceps Extensions?
Start by choosing appropriate weights. Adjust a decline bench to allow an angle between 15 and 30 degrees. Next, hook your feet under the foot holders and lie on the decline bench with your back facing the floor.
Press the weights together, and extend your arms until the weights are directly over your face. Lower the dumbbells to your head or behind your head according to your level of expertise. Keep descending until you feel an intense stretch in your triceps.
Return to the original position. Repeat the exercise for 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps. Moreover, make sure that your elbows are upright throughout the exercise.
Benefits Of Decline Db Triceps Extensions
Due to the scope of the bench, this workout engages your long triceps head and allows for a complete shoulder extension. It is also a great exercise to build muscle mass.
FAQs About Best Long Head Tricep Exercises
Triceps exercises are many in number, but many people only know a handful. In this section, we will share some information that will help you create your very own unique, tricep workout.
What Is The Action Of Triceps Brachii?
The triceps brachii is a thick and large muscle situated on the dorsal part of your upper arms, mainly on the posterior aspect of the upper arm. Its primary function is triceps extensions at the elbow joint.
How Does It Help With Long Head Tricep Exercises?
Moreover, it also helps hold the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity. Subsequently, this helps prevent displacement of the shoulder joint. All in all, the triceps brachii is integral for all kinds of long head tricep exercises.
Why Is It Important To Target The Head Of The Triceps?
Although it is one single muscle, the triceps is made of three distinct heads; the long head being the most important.
The long head is the most important of the three upper arm heads involved in triceps exercises. It helps in the adduction and extension of the upper arms at the shoulder joint. Moreover, it also makes your triceps workout safe by preventing any displacement of the humerus.
However, while doing any exercise involving your long head tricep, maintain your shoulder width and a steady posture; it helps engage your entire body.
What Long Head Exercise Works For All 3 Tricep Heads?
Diamond push-ups make for the best triceps exercise to work all three heads of the triceps. It also builds muscle strength.
It is easier and can be done in the earlier stages of your workout.
They work your chest, back, and all your tricep heads.
What Is The Function Of Each Of The Three Heads Of The Triceps?
There are three triceps heads:
The lateral head,
The medial head
The long head
Among the tricep heads, the medial and the lateral heads are relatively less important than the long head.
The medial head is used in all forms of triceps extensions. However, the lateral and long heads are primarily active only during the elbow extension against resistance. They are also significantly active during bodyweight exercises.
What Part Of The Body Should The Best Triceps Exercises Target?
These exercises primarily target the head of the triceps and the radial nerve. They help you build strength, good body mass, and muscle resilience. Moreover, the long head triceps exercises help ensure a good body and posture.
Why Are Strong Triceps Muscles So Important?
The triceps muscle acts as an extensor of the shoulder and the elbow, ensuring stability for the shoulder joint. The exercises engage the long head of the triceps and help you build greater flexibility and increased range of motion.
Which Bodyweight Exercises Engage The Head Of The Triceps?
Tricep push-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises that target the head of the triceps. To do this, bring the top hand directly in front of your bottom shoulder. Maintain a good shoulder width, your spine straight, press yourself lower, and back up.
This workout helps with sustainable triceps training.
Why Are Cable Overhead Triceps Extensions Considered Hard?
Cable overhead triceps extensions are one of the most significant but often neglected long head triceps exercises. Including cable overhead triceps extensions in your workout helps build strength in your upper arms. However, many find it challenging to pull off.
How To Engage Triceps Long Head?
All you have to do for an overhead rope tricep extension is choose an appropriate weight. Always start with the minimum weight and then build on your strength.
Next, stand with your back to the machine, hold the rope, maintain a suitable shoulder width, and pull the rope. This triceps workout engages both your long head and your lateral head.
Do Triangle Push-Ups Engage Tricep Muscles?
Triangle push-ups make for a great exercise. You can do them at home or the gym. They help build lean muscle in your triceps. They also help build triceps mass.
What Is The Best Long Head Triceps Exercise?
Any long head triceps workout that involves full shoulder extensions and consistency is considered suitable. Several exercises, including tricep pushdowns, skull crushers, EZ decline, and overhead triceps extensions, fall in this category.
What Is The Importance Of Shoulder Extension?
Shoulder extensions help prevent shoulder injuries and ensure all your muscle groups are adequately engaged. Shoulder extension also works out essential body muscles, including the coracobrachialis, pectoralis major, and the anterior deltoid. A consistent workout, including shoulder flexion, will also help you achieve a steady posture.
When thinking of your workout, targeting the triceps long head should be your prime concern. While the medial and lateral heads are essential, they don't ensure optimal shoulder stability.
To engage your long head, perform a full elbow extension. While performing triceps exercises, you must also maintain a steady and stable posture. This will guarantee core engagement and a sustainable triceps muscle mass.