When it comes to sculpting impressive arms, the triceps play a pivotal role. Among the three tricep heads, the long head is the largest and can significantly contribute to the overall size and definition of your arms. In this comprehensive guide from ‘Physical Fitness Care,’ we will explore a range of long head tricep exercises that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Long Head Tricep Exercises: The Basics
The elbow joint can expand thanks to the long head tricep muscle, which is located on the back of the upper arm. Exercises that isolate and stress this muscle group must be done in order to target it efficiently. To accommodate a range of fitness levels and interests, we’ve listed a variety of long head tricep workouts below.
Long Head Tricep Exercises
Understanding the Long Head Tricep
One of the three muscular heads that make up the triceps brachii muscle group is the long head tricep, also known scientifically as the triceps brachii long. This muscle, which arises from the scapula and attaches to the ulna bone of the forearm, runs along the back of your upper arm. Its main job is to open up the elbow joint, which lets you straighten your arm. For many daily tasks, such as pushing and pulling, this muscle is essential.
Equipment for Long Head Tricep Exercises
Minimal Equipment Options
Your long head triceps can be worked on without a fully stocked gym. All people can perform several efficient exercises because they require little to no equipment. These workouts feature bodyweight exercises and routines that only need a few simple equipment pieces, such as resistance bands or dumbbells.
There are many equipment and cable systems created especially for tricep workouts for individuals who like the comfort and diversity provided by a gym. The long head tricep can be precisely isolated with this equipment, allowing for focused muscular growth.
Bodyweight Long Head Tricep Exercises
Diamond push-ups are a bodyweight exercise that effectively targets the long head tricep. To perform them:
- Start in a push-up position but with your hands close together, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers.
- Lower your chest toward the diamond shape while keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position.
This exercise engages the long head tricep while also working your chest and shoulders.
Bench dips are another fantastic bodyweight exercise for the long head tricep. Here’s how to do them:
- Sit on the edge of a sturdy bench or chair with your hands gripping the edge.
- Slide your body forward, keeping your legs straight, and lower your hips toward the floor.
- Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Bench dips effectively isolate the long head tricep while also engaging the chest and shoulders.
Dumbbell Long Head Tricep Exercises
Overhead Tricep Extension
The overhead tricep extension is a classic exercise that targets the long head tricep with the use of dumbbells. Follow these steps:
- Stand or sit with a dumbbell held vertically with both hands, palms facing upward.
- Raise the dumbbell overhead, keeping your upper arms close to your ears.
- Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbell behind your head, then extend your arms to lift it back up.
This exercise provides an intense stretch to the long head tricep, promoting muscle growth and strength.
Skull crushers, also known as lying tricep extensions, are effective long head tricep exercises using dumbbells. Here’s how to perform them:
- Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended vertically over your chest.
- Bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbells toward your forehead.
- Extend your arms to lift the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Skull crushers target the long head tricep while also engaging the lateral and medial tricep heads.
Cable Machine Long Head Tricep Exercises
Rope pushdowns are a popular cable machine exercise for triceps. Follow these steps:
- Attach a rope handle to a high pulley on the cable machine.
- Stand facing the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and your elbows tucked to your sides.
- Grip the rope with both hands, palms facing downward.
- Extend your arms downward, fully straightening them, then return to the starting position.
This exercise isolates the long head tricep and provides constant tension throughout the movement.
Cable kickbacks are another cable machine exercise that effectively targets the long head tricep. Here’s how to perform them:
- Attach a single-hand handle to a low pulley on the cable machine.
- Stand facing the machine with your feet staggered for balance.
- Bend your hips and knees slightly, keeping your back straight.
- Grip the handle with one hand and extend your arm behind you, fully straightening it.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
Cable kickbacks isolate the long head tricep and help develop the mind-muscle connection.
Kettlebell Long Head Tricep Exercises
Kettlebell Tricep Press
The kettlebell tricep press is a unique exercise that challenges the long head tricep. Follow these steps:
- Hold a kettlebell with both hands, palms facing upward, and lift it overhead.
- Keep your upper arms close to your ears as you bend your elbows to lower the kettlebell behind your head.
- Extend your arms to push the kettlebell back up to the starting position.
This exercise engages the long head tricep while also improving shoulder stability.
Kettlebell Skull Crushers
Kettlebell skull crushers put a twist on the traditional skull crusher exercise. Here’s how to perform them:
- Lie on a bench with a kettlebell in each hand, arms extended vertically over your chest.
- Bend your elbows, lowering the kettlebells toward your forehead.
- Extend your arms to lift the kettlebells back to the starting position.
Kettlebell skull crushers provide a unique challenge for the long head tricep and improve overall arm strength.
Advanced Long Head Tricep Exercises
Close-Grip Bench Press
The close-grip bench press is an advanced exercise that targets the long head tricep while also working the chest and shoulders. Follow these steps:
- Lie on a bench with your hands positioned close together on the barbell.
- Lower the barbell to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Push the barbell back up to the starting position.
This compound movement is excellent for building overall upper body strength.
One-Arm Tricep Pushdowns
One-arm tricep pushdowns with a cable machine provide an intense workout for the long head tricep. Here’s how to do them:
- Attach a single-hand handle to a high pulley on the cable machine.
- Stand facing the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grip the handle with one hand, palm facing downward.
- Extend your arm downward, fully straightening it, then return to the starting position.
This exercise promotes unilateral strength and tricep definition.
Long Head Tricep Exercise Routine
Creating a structured workout plan for your long head tricep exercises is essential for achieving consistent results. Here’s a sample routine to get you started:
Day 1: Bodyweight Exercises
- Diamond push-ups: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Bench dips: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 2: Dumbbell Exercises
- Overhead tricep extension: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Skull crushers: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Day 3: Cable Machine Exercises
- Rope pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Cable kickbacks: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 4: Rest and Recovery
Day 5: Kettlebell Exercises
- Kettlebell tricep press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Kettlebell skull crushers: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Day 6: Advanced Exercises
- Close-grip bench press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- One-arm tricep pushdowns: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per arm
Day 7: Rest and Recovery
Feel free to adjust the sets and reps based on your fitness level and goals. Remember to incorporate progressive overload by gradually increasing the weight or intensity over time.
Benefits of Targeting the Long Head Tricep
Focusing on the long head tricep offers several advantages for your fitness journey:
- Improved Arm Aesthetics: Developing the long head tricep contributes to a well-rounded, defined arm appearance, enhancing your overall aesthetics.
- Enhanced Functional Strength: A strong long head tricep improves your ability to perform daily tasks that involve pushing or lifting objects, making daily life easier.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
While working on your long head tricep, be mindful of these common mistakes:
- Poor Form and Technique: Using improper form can lead to injury and reduced effectiveness of the exercises.
- Overtraining: Overworking your triceps without adequate rest can hinder muscle recovery and growth.
Nutrition for Tricep Muscle Growth
A balanced diet plays a crucial role in muscle growth. To support your long head tricep development, consider:
- Consuming a protein-rich diet to aid muscle repair and growth.
- Incorporating supplements like whey protein or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) for enhanced recovery.
Recovery and Injury Prevention
Recovery is as vital as the exercise itself. Follow these tips to ensure proper recovery and prevent injuries:
- Schedule regular rest days to allow your muscles to recover and grow.
- Incorporate stretching and mobility exercises into your routine to maintain flexibility and prevent muscle imbalances.
Tracking your progress is essential for staying motivated and making informed adjustments to your workout plan. Consider:
- Measuring your arm circumference regularly to monitor growth.
- Keeping a workout journal to record sets, reps, and weights used in each session.
Expert Tips for Maximum Results
To achieve maximum results in your long head tricep exercises, consider the following expert tips:
- Incorporate periodization into your routine, varying intensity and volume over time.
- Focus on the mind-muscle connection by concentrating on the tricep during each repetition.
FAQs on Long Head Tricep Exercises
How often should I train my triceps?
It’s advisable to train your triceps 2-3 times a week with adequate rest between sessions for optimal recovery.
Can I perform tricep exercises at home?
Yes, many effective tricep exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment, making it convenient for home workouts.
What’s the ideal rep and set range?
A rep range of 8-12 reps for 3-4 sets is generally effective for tricep hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Is it necessary to use heavy weights?
While heavy weights can be effective, focusing on proper form and technique is more important than lifting extremely heavy weights.
How long does it take to see results?
Results vary from person to person, but with consistent training and proper nutrition, you can expect to see noticeable changes in 4-8 weeks.
What are the alternatives to traditional tricep exercises?
Variation is key to preventing plateaus. Consider trying different exercises and angles to target the triceps effectively.
Arm strength and definition can be dramatically improved by including long head tricep exercises in your workout regimen. You’ll be on the correct track to reaching your fitness objectives by being aware of the anatomy, employing the appropriate tools, and sticking to a regimented workout schedule. For long-term success, keep in mind to give appropriate form, recovery, and nutrition first priority. It’s time to unleash the full potential of your long head triceps, so grab those dumbbells, to the gym, or just utilize your own body weight.