Our arms are among the most prominent features of our physical appearance. They are the pillars of our physical strength and dexterity, playing a significant role in almost all our daily activities. While many people focus on their biceps when trying to gain arm mass, the triceps actually comprise about two-thirds of our arm muscle. To effectively increase the size and strength of your arms, you need to work on all three heads of your triceps: the long head, medial head, and lateral head. Let’s dig into each tricep head and learn how to train them for bigger, stronger arms.
The triceps brachii, as the name suggests, is a three-headed muscle located on the back of the upper arm. The three heads include the long head, which originates from the shoulder blade and extends down the arm; the medial head, which lies underneath the long head; and the lateral head, which is located on the outer side of the humerus.
Each of these tricep heads contributes to elbow extension, which is vital for pushing movements. The long head also plays a role in shoulder extension due to its origin from the shoulder blade. To achieve a well-rounded arm workout and hit all three heads, a variety of exercises are necessary.
The long head of the triceps is the largest of the three and contributes significantly to the horseshoe shape of the triceps. Its unique attachment to the shoulder blade allows it to assist in shoulder extension and adduction.
To isolate the long head, incorporate exercises that stretch it at the top of the movement. Overhead tricep extensions, either with dumbbells or cables, are excellent for this purpose. Skull crushers, also known as lying tricep extensions, are another effective exercise that targets the long head.
The medial head of the triceps is the smallest and lies beneath the long and lateral heads. Although it may not contribute much to the overall appearance of the triceps, it provides stability and support during heavy or compound movements.
To target the medial head, focus on exercises that require elbow extension against resistance, like close-grip bench presses or tricep pushdowns. In these movements, the medial head is engaged throughout the entire range of motion, promoting strength and stability.
The lateral head of the triceps is the part that gives your arms that coveted “pop”. When fully developed, it provides a strong, defined look to your upper arms.
Exercises that target the lateral head typically involve elbow extension with the arm by your side. Tricep pushdowns, kickbacks, and diamond push-ups are great exercises for stimulating the lateral head. Remember to keep your elbows close to your body during these exercises to ensure maximum engagement of the lateral head.
It’s important to note that while you can emphasize a particular tricep head during training, you can’t entirely isolate one from the others. All three heads work synergistically during tricep exercises, and a balanced approach is crucial for overall development.
Variety is key. Include a mix of compound and isolation exercises in your training routine. Compound movements like bench presses and dips engage all three tricep heads, while isolation exercises allow you to focus more on each head.
Don’t forget about the importance of progressive overload. This principle involves gradually increasing the amount of weight or volume in your workouts to challenge your muscles and stimulate growth. Additionally, adequate rest and nutrition are equally important for muscle recovery and growth.
In your quest for bigger arms, the triceps often hold the key. They make up a significant portion of your upper arm and thus, warrant focused attention. By understanding the role and function of each tricep head – the long, medial, and lateral – you can customize your workouts to effectively target each one.
Remember, the long head responds well to overhead movements and exercises that stretch the muscle at the top. Like skull crushers and overhead tricep extensions. The medial head, which plays a crucial role in providing stability and support. Ccan be targeted with exercises requiring elbow extension against resistance, such as close-grip bench presses and tricep pushdowns. Finally, the lateral head, which gives your arm its defined, muscular look, can be targeted with tricep pushdowns, kickbacks, and diamond push-ups.
In addition to these specific exercises, don’t neglect compound movements like bench presses and dips, which engage all three tricep heads. Such exercises not only build strength and mass in the triceps but also promote overall upper-body development.
Remember that muscle growth is a process that requires consistency, progressive overload, and adequate rest. It’s not just about lifting heavier weights; it’s about doing so in a controlled, consistent manner. You must also ensure that your body gets sufficient rest to heal and grow. You also need the proper nutrition to provide the fuel necessary for your workouts and recovery.
To conclude, by taking a holistic approach to tricep training that includes understanding the function of each tricep head. Incorporating a variety of exercises, and adhering to principles like progressive overload and adequate rest, you can effectively build bigger, stronger arms. So, the next time you hit the gym, remember to give your triceps the attention they deserve. The results will be worth the effort.
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