Part of any good workout program, like Arnold’s Blueprint to Mass, is tricep exercises.
Did you know that the tricep muscles make up 75% of your arm? So, if you want BIG arms- you need to work out your triceps.
But, on most workout programs you’ll notice a famous tricep exercise: tricep extensions.
But, are tricep extensions good?
Yes! Tricep extensions are one of the best, if not the best tricep exercise out there. Tricep extensions give a great stretch that works all three heads of your triceps. Furthermore, they provide over 74% muscle activation, meaning you’re basically guaranteed to get muscle growth from this exercise. I recommend them to everybody trying to put some serious size onto their triceps.
Let’s cover this a little more in-depth.
Tricep Extensions Target All 3 Heads of The Tricep
Your tricep is made up of 3 heads, the long head, lateral head, and medial head.
Now, if you just do sloppy form- you won’t be targeting the 3 heads.
But, if you use the correct form and stretch out your palms outward at the end – all 3 heads will be targeted.
Many people make the mistake of just going to the tricep extension exercise, and just doing tons of reps with bad form because it’s usually on a cable or dumbbell. Many people just think that triceps are a muscle that just requires a lot of lazy reps to grow- but this isn’t true at all.
Triceps are tough muscles, but they are easy to grow if you work them out in the right way.
Using correct form and slow reps that emphasize the time under tension and fully stretch out the triceps at the end will result in MASSIVE muscle growth.
Again, the triceps are one of those muscles that just grow massively when you force them under tension for slow and controlled reps. This is because your triceps are used to not being activated like this.
Your triceps are used to just being kinda activated on things like Bench Press and Overhead Press for just a few seconds at best. They aren’t used to those controlled and slow reps that force the tricep to grow and break down.
The Tricep Extension Lets You Control The Pace To FORCE Muscle Growth
The tricep extension is one of the best exercises for just this reason. The tricep extension lets you control the pace to force muscle growth.
It isn’t like a bench press where you can’t really just slowly keep doing reps and push through muscle failure. (If you reach muscle failure on the bench without a spotter- you’re going to have a broken rib cage).
Tricep Extensions let you control the pace and stretch of the exercise. Furthermore, you can push through muscle failure without really injuring yourself- forcing more tricep muscle growth. (Safely of course, never push too hard)
You can use the cable to do slow, controlled reps. This will do a ton to grow your muscle with that time under tension.
You’ll also be able to control the range of motion and stretch, this will let you activate all three tricep heads and force your triceps to grow as they’ve never been worked out like that before.
Lastly, you’re able to push through muscle failure on a cable tricep extension easily without the risk of injury.
Like I said above, if you reach muscle failure on the bench press- you’re going to have a bad time. But, if you reach muscle failure on the cable extension, you just release the cable back up and no injury is done.
(Obviously, guys, do this safely. We all know our limits, don’t try to be the hulk and tear your tricep)
I like to push through those last 1-2 reps on the tricep extension as hard as I can- I feel those extra reps at muscle failure really do a lot to grow your triceps.
Over 74% Muscle Activation!
One of the most important parts of any muscle exercise is determining the muscle activation of it, or the “EEG level”.
The muscle activation level represents how much of your muscles are actually being worked during an exercise.
A low muscle activation, like 2% showcases that the exercise just doesn’t really target that muscle at all. Meanwhile, a high muscle activation, like 99% shows that nearly every single part of your triceps are being activated during that exercise.
A 74% activation is very good, but don’t let that discourage you from not seeing a fat ‘99%’ on it. Part of the tricep extensions is that your forearms will take a big brunt of lifting that weight right away. So, I’d reckon the total muscle activation is much higher in reality.
You can really feel your triceps on this one for sure. There is no doubt about it.
Follow These Tips To Perfect Your Form and Maximize Muscle Growth
I see way too many people messing this exercise up. This is probably why people don’t think it works.
Here are some tips to perfect your form and maximize that muscle growth:
- Keep your shoulders locked.
- Ideally your shoulders should not be moving at all during this exercise, the focus should be on the triceps moving the weight.
- At the end of the rep, turn your wrists from inward to outward. (So, you make them face away)
- This will activate all 3 tricep heads and make sure you get a good stretch in the bottom of your long head of the tricep.
- Slow, controlled reps.
- Don’t pick a weight you cannot do.
- Try different variations of the exercise, like overhead, standard, dumbbell, cable.
Conclusion of Are Tricep Extensions Good?
Yes, tricep extensions are good! In fact, they are one of the best tricep exercises out there- if not the best!
So, start doing them. Do good form, slow reps, and turning those palms out at the end of the rep will pay off big time!