NO BULL, ONLY BEAST MODE
BUILDING MASSIVE GUNS
You want arms that scream strength and dominance, right? It's time to stop obsessing over those biceps for a moment. Yeah, they're flashy, but guess what? Your triceps are the hidden giants, accounting for a whopping two-thirds of your upper arm size. Ignoring them means you're stuck in "noodle" mode forever.
Here's a little-known secret: Your triceps aren't just a single muscle; they're a triumvirate of power, each with a unique role in sculpting your guns. The "long head," nestled deep within your arm, closest to your body, is the undisputed kingpin. If you're dead serious about upgrading from twigs to tree trunks (as those iron junkies like to say), it's high time you give the long head its due.
This article will be your war plan for the most merciless long head tricep exercises to craft arms that command attention. Brace yourself, we're about to unleash the beast!
Decoding the Long Head of the Triceps
Your triceps aren't just a lump of muscle; they're a calculated trio, each with a distinct mission. Meet the lateral head, the medial head, and the star of the show, the long head.
Witness these muscle commanders from the rear:
Conquering the Long Head Tricep
The long head of your triceps is the commander of the trio—an absolute powerhouse. It's the muscle that turns your triceps into massive, awe-inspiring weapons. So, if you're dreaming of arms that make jaws drop, you've got to make the long head your target.
Now, all three tricep heads team up to extend your elbow, making them the real heroes in exercises like bench presses, overhead presses, and push-ups. But here's the kicker: You can fine-tune your form to make the long head the star of the show and unveil those colossal arms.
Quick disclaimer: We say "fine-tune" because you can't completely isolate one tricep head without the others lending a hand. So, let's embark on this tricep takeover!
Discover Your Ultimate Muscle-Building Arsenal in Just 60 Seconds
The Iron Grip Barbell Bench Press
This exercise is the heavyweight champion of tricep annihilation. It targets all three tricep heads, allowing you to pile on the plates, a feat not easily achieved with other exercises (yes, skullcrusher, we're talking about you). But that's not all—it also gives your chest, shoulders, and biceps a brutal workout, making it the ultimate upper-body warfare.
- Take your position on a flat bench and lock your shoulder blades together and down. No lifting your butt or shoulders off the bench. Slightly arch that back.
- Grasp the barbell with a shoulder-width grip or slightly narrower. Lift the barbell from its resting place directly above your chest.
- Lower the barbell to your lower chest while keeping your elbows at a 30-degree angle to your torso.
- As the barbell makes contact with your chest, explode upwards like a cannonball.
The JM Press: Tricep Fury Unleashed
Think of the JM press as a ferocious fusion of close-grip bench pressing and tricep extensions. It's a master at isolating your triceps and delivering a full range of motion, a key ingredient for muscle growth.
- Lay flat on the bench with your shoulder blades locked together and down. Slightly arch your back, but keep that butt and those shoulders grounded.
- Grip the barbell slightly narrower than shoulder-width and position it directly above your chest.
- Lower the barbell towards your neck. Keep your elbows up and in front of your torso and tilt your wrists backward so your palms face the heavens.
- As your forearms and biceps make a formidable alliance, thrust the barbell back to its starting post.
Barbell Floor Press: The Tricep Titan's Choice
By limiting your range of motion, the barbell floor press thrusts your triceps into the spotlight, leaving your pecs in the shadows. This is your golden ticket to mastering "lockout strength" in pressing exercises and sculpting colossal upper arms.
- Configure the barbell hooks in a squat rack so the bar sits a couple of inches lower than when you flex those biceps.
- Lay flat on the ground between the squat rack. Lock your shoulder blades together and down, and don't dare lift your butt or shoulders. Slightly arch that back.
- Grasp the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath, brace your core, and unshackle the barbell.
- Lower the barbell towards the middle of your chest until your triceps kiss the floor. Keep those elbows tucked at a 45-degree angle to your torso.
- When your triceps have made their point on the floor, explosively hoist the barbell back up.
Weighted Dips: The Tricep Gauntlet
Dips are usually the go-to move for chest development, but here's the plot twist: You can make them a formidable challenge for your long head triceps. Start with bodyweight dips, and when they become child's play, introduce some extra poundage with a dip belt or a dumbbell clamped between your thighs.
- If you've got a dip belt, fasten the chain around your waist and attach the desired weight. Secure the carabiner.
- Grip the handles of the dip bar or dip station. Propel yourself up, straightening your arms and gracefully taking flight from the ground, supporting your entire body weight.
- Keep your torso erect, giving the triceps the starring role. Bend your knees to keep those feet off the ground, and lower your body by flexing your elbows until your upper arms approach parallel to the floor.
- Press forcefully into the handles, lifting your body back to square one.
Dumbbell Skyward Triceps Stretch: Elevate Your Power
When it comes to dumbbell tricep exercises, this one reigns supreme. It hoists your arms overhead, stretching the long head triceps to the max. Studies even suggest that stretching your muscles during training can spur more muscle growth. A win-win scenario!
- Perch yourself firmly on a bench, your back held erect.
- Grasp one end of a dumbbell with both hands and lift it overhead, ensuring your arms remain straight. Your palms should press flat against the dumbbell's end, worshiping the ceiling.
- Descend the weight behind your head by folding at the elbow. Then, heroically straighten those arms to return to the starting point.
EZ Bar Skull Crusher: Crushing Limits, Not Triceps
The skull crusher is the go-to exercise for sculpting all facets of your triceps, guaranteeing symmetrical, awe-inspiring arms.
- Lay flat on the bench, securing an EZ bar with a shoulder-width grip above your chest.
- Descend the bar toward your forehead by bending at the elbow. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
(Tip: For an added range of motion, lower the bar behind your head until it's mere millimeters from the bench.)
Cable Triceps Pushdown: Dominating the Pulley
Research declares that the cable triceps pushdown is an absolute beast for targeting the long head of your triceps. It boasts a complete range of motion, a recipe for muscle growth par excellence.
- Position the pulley on a cable machine slightly above head height, and attach the rope handle.
- Stand upright or lean forward ever so slightly (a staggered stance for balance is a-okay). Grasp one end of the rope in each hand and execute a one-way trip for the rope—downward, powered by those unyielding elbows.
- Once your arms reach full extension and snugly frame your sides, journey back to your starting point.
Cable Triceps Kickback: Triceps on a Rampage
Similar to its cousin, the cable triceps pushdown, this exercise gives your long head triceps a relentless workout.
- Set the pulley on a cable machine to its lowest setting. Attach a single handle.
- Face the pulley and grip the handle with one hand. Take a mighty step back to introduce tension to the cable.
- Bend at your hips, positioning your upper body nearly parallel to the ground. Tuck that elbow tight, slightly flex your knees, and secure your stance.
- Execute a forceful push, extending your arm straight behind you. Then, reverse the journey to return to your starting position.