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Triceps Extension

Triceps extension -- upper arm triceps muscle

The triceps extension is used to build the triceps muscles. The triceps muscles are on the back of the upper arm.

When these muscles are developed the arm is fuller and firmer. This exercise can help get rid of flabby arms and improve arm strength dramatically.

Start with the bar gripped with both hands and the elbows flexed

woman doing triceps extension -- elbows flexed

Triceps extension -- starting position

The triceps extension -- also called triceps pushdowns -- is done with a cable machine.

Start with the bar grasped in both hands. The elbows should be flexed.

Fully extend arms at the elbows

woman doing triceps extension -- elbows extended

Triceps extension -- second position

Then fully extend your arms. You should be able to feel the contraction in the muscles in back of the arm.

Do a nice, smooth movement. Don't jerk the weight.

Use a weight that you can actually do so you can keep good form. Keep your head up throughout the exercise -- it reduces stress on the neck.

Triceps extension -- partial range of motion

woman doing triceps extension -- elbows at 90 degrees

Triceps extension -- elbows at 90 degrees

In general it's a good idea to exercise muscles through their full range of motion. But there is a use for exercises in a partial range of motion.

Sometimes you need to change things a little to make better gains. One way you can change things with triceps extensions is to do "partials" -- which use only part of the range of motion.

Change up your routine with "21s"

One way to vary your routine is with "21s". With 21s you don't do your usual 5 or 10 or 12 repetitions. You do 21 repetitions.

You do 7 repetitions from starting position to 90 degrees. Then you do 7 repetitions from 90 degrees to fully extended. Then you do 7 repetitions with the full range of motion -- fully flexed to fully extended.

You can do 21s with any exercise. It is a fun and different way to improve your development and break out of a plateau.

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