I won’t bore you with the explaining the basics of…
“the triceps are made up of 3 heads”
“to work the triceps requires extending at the elbow”
We know what we are talking about so let’s cut straight to why you clicked on this article….TO LEARN THREE NEW TRICEP EXERCISES FOR NEW MUSCLE GROWTH!
EXERCISE 1 – Flared Tricep Rope Extensions
Target Area – Lateral Head
This is one head that is often overlooked down to the fact it requires, what I feel, is a somewhat awkward position, in terms of your body mechanics needed to isolate it.
Overlooked no more!!
This exercise is similar to the common rope tricep extension, but it requires you to be internally rotated at the shoulder joints (this causes the flare in the elbows), your shoulders almost over the top of the cable. This means as you extend, the ropes flare out to the sides (rather than backwards towards the body) in line with the elbows horizontally. At this point you can focus on isometrically contracting and isolating the lateral head effectively.
This is not going to be a heavy exercise based on the style used, it is totally based around contraction and blood flow. With this in mind I like to carry out 2 working sets, the second set being the reverse of the first.
9 x reps +9 second isometric hold
8 x reps +8 second isometric hold
7 x reps +7 second isometric hold
6 x reps +6 second isometric hold
5 x reps +5 second isometric hold
4 x reps +4 second isometric hold
3 x reps +3 second isometric hold
2 x reps +2 second isometric hold
1 x reps +1 second isometric hold
TIP – I find holding the ropes half way up rather than at the bottom provides even further tension at the end of the movements strength curve (full extension)
EXERCISE 2 – Reverse Cable Tricep Extension Variation
Target area – Medial Head
To target the medial head of the triceps, a reverse grip is optimal for an extension, weather you use cables, an EZ bar or dumbbells. Again, I like to use cables as I can easily vary the point of maximum tension throughout the movement. Now, I hate reverse grip movements, especially using straight and EZ bars. If the pain during the final reps isn’t enough, you have to battle with both your grip and wrist pain when in a fully pronated position…. Or maybe this is just me because my flexibility is shocking.By using two single cable handles, attached to the same cable, you can assume a grip which allows you to be as comfortably pronated in hand position as possible.
Set wise; Keep it simple! 4 sets pyramiding in weight using rep ranges between 8-20.
TIP – If your gym offers cable handles with the extended nylon cord variation (the rope like material which runs through the handle and to the cable attachment at the other end) you can come past your legs when fully extending.
EXERCISE 3 – Smith Machine Bodyweight Skull Crusher
Target Area – Long Head + Fascia Stretching
With the first and second exercise focusing on muscle contraction, this exercise is going to focus on stretching the fascia (the sack of fat which encapsulates the muscle holding it in place). This exercise includes a dynamic stretch, ultimately allowing the muscle room to grow into, and improve your active range of motion (or AROM).
No weight required, just your own bodyweight, and either a smith machine or barbell on a rack. Set the bar up just above waist height, stand around 3ft away, with an overhand grip on the bar, hands about shoulder width apart. At this point simply replicate the movement of a skull crusher, while letting your head pass under the bar and sink into the stretch. Hold for 2 seconds before pushing out and extending. On the last rep of each set, hold the stretch for 15 seconds. (minimum advised by studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine to increase AROM).
Adjusting how far you stand from the bar and the height of the bar will add more or less resistance, so adapt this and look to finish the workout off with 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
TIP – If this movement provides any discomfort or you are finding it hard to sink into the stretch the exercise can be done using a TRX machine.