How To Do Tricep Extensions? Benefits, Variations, Tech Tips, Muscle Worked, 10 Videos

arm workout Tricep Extensions Tricep Extensions Mistakes Tricep Extensions Muscle Worked Tricep Extensions Tips Tricep Extensions Variation

Tricep extensions, also known as skull crushers or lying tricep extensions, are a strength training exercise that primarily targets the triceps muscles on the back of the upper arms.

Triceps Extension Benefits

  • Isolates and strengthens the triceps.
  • Builds upper body pushing strength.
  • Can be progressed to heavier weights over time.
  • Helps develop overall arm size and definition.

Triceps Extension Muscle Worked

1. Triceps Brachii

The triceps brachii is the main muscle targeted during the triceps extension. This large three-headed muscle on the back of the upper arm is responsible for extending the elbow joint.
During the triceps extension, the triceps brachii has to contract concentrically to straighten the elbow and lift the weight back up. This places significant tension on the triceps, causing them to work hard and grow stronger over time.
In addition to the triceps brachii, the triceps extension also works:
2. Anconeus
The anconeus is a small triangular muscle that assists the triceps brachii in extending the elbow. It becomes more active during the terminal range of motion at the end of the extension.
3. Anterior Deltoid
While not the primary mover, the anterior (front) deltoid muscle plays a stabilizing role in the overhead position of the triceps extension. It helps keep the upper arm stationary.
4. Pectoralis Major (Chest)
The pectoralis major can become engaged to a minor degree, especially if the elbows flare out to the sides during the exercise.

How To Do Tricep Extensions?

Video 1: How to Do a Dumbbell Tricep Extension | Arm Workout

Video 2: How to Do Triceps Dumbbell Extensions

Video 3: How To Do Cable Tricep Extensions More Effectively

Video 4: 7 Tricep Exercises for Bigger Arms (DON'T SKIP THESE!) | V SHRED

 Video 5: How To Do Cable Tricep Extensions

Video 6:  Overhead Cable Tricep Extension

Video 7: Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

Video 8:  How To: Standing Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Video 9: The Best Science-Based Triceps Workout For Mass (DUMBBELL ONLY)

Video 10:  The Best Way To Do Tricep Extensions

Triceps Extension Variation

  • Lying Triceps Extension (Skull Crusher)

Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell, EZ-bar, or dumbbells with an underhand grip.
Lower the weight straight back toward your forehead, keeping your upper arms stationary.
Extend your arms back to the starting position by straightening your elbows.

  • Standing Triceps Extension

Stand upright holding a dumbbell or EZ-bar with both hands overhead.
Keeping your upper arms still, bend at the elbows to lower the weight behind your head.
Extend your arms back up to the starting position.

  • Seated Triceps Extension

Sit on a bench or chair holding a dumbbell or EZ-bar overhead with both hands.
Keeping your upper arms tucked, bend at the elbows to lower the weight behind your head.
Extend your arms back up to the starting position.

  • Cable Triceps Extension

Attach a rope or straight bar to a high cable pulley.
Stand facing the cable with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your upper arms stationary, extend your arms down to straighten the elbows.
Slowly return to the starting position.

  • One-Arm Triceps Extension

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and extend your arm straight overhead.
Keeping your upper arm still, bend at the elbow to lower the weight behind your head.
Extend your arm back up to the starting position.

Common Mistakes You should avoid

1. Flaring the Elbows
Many people let their elbows flare out to the sides during the exercise. This takes tension off the triceps and puts more stress on the elbow joints. Keep the elbows tucked close to your head throughout the movement.
2. Arching the Back
Letting your back arch excessively can put unnecessary strain on the spine. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine and core bracing throughout the exercise.
3. Swinging the Weight
Avoid using momentum to lift the weight by swinging or jerking the arms. This reduces the triceps activation and can increase the risk of injury. Lift and lower the weight in a slow, controlled manner.
4. Locking Out the Elbows
Avoid locking out your elbows at the top of the movement. This can hyperextend the joints and reduce continuous tension on the triceps. Stop just short of full elbow extension.
5. Using Too Much Weight
It's easy to get carried away and use too heavy of a weight for this isolation exercise. This can compromise form and limit the triceps contraction. Use a weight you can control throughout the full range of motion.
6. Not Going Through Full Range
Don't cut the range of motion short by not lowering the weight all the way down behind your head. Aim for a full stretch at the bottom before extending the arms back up.
7. Bouncing at the Bottom
Avoid letting the weight bounce off your forehead at the bottom. This can strain the elbows. Pause briefly before pressing back up.
Focusing on proper form and control is key to maximizing the benefits of the triceps extension and avoiding potential injuries. Start light and gradually increase the resistance over time.

What Should Wear When Do Triceps Extension?

When performing triceps extensions, it's important to wear the appropriate attire to ensure safety, comfort, and optimal performance. 

Opt for a lightweight, breathable t-shirt or tank top (including hoodie tank tops, graphic tank tops, stringer workout tank tops) that allows freedom of movement in the upper body.
Avoid loose or baggy shirts that could get in the way during the exercise.

  • Shorts/Pants:

Choose a pair of comfortable, lightweight workout shorts or workout pants that allow full range of motion in the hips and legs.
Avoid restrictive or overly loose clothing that could hinder your ability to maintain proper form.

  • Shoes:

Wear a pair of well-cushioned, stable shoes designed for weightlifting or general gym use.
Avoid flat-soled shoes or shoes with too much cushioning, as they can impede your balance and force transfer during the exercise.

  • Accessories:

Consider wearing wrist wraps or lifting straps if you need additional support and grip for the weight.
You may also want to use a lifting belt if you plan on using heavier weights to provide core stability.
Avoid wearing bulky or restrictive accessories that could limit your range of motion.

Remember, the primary goal is to wear attire that allows you to maintain proper form and technique throughout the triceps extension exercise. Comfort and safety should be the top priorities when selecting your workout gear.

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