The overhead Cable tricep extension is an isolation exercise that works the muscle on the back of the upper arm, known as the triceps.
Big Triceps make the arms look big, contrary to the popularity of big biceps, which are smaller in comparison. So it’s essential to focus on and work the three tricep head muscles for maximum gains.
The Overhead Cable tricep pull is a versatile movement that targets your tricep muscles by repetitively flexing the elbow joint against resistance. To give your triceps a workout, try out the exercises below.
In this section, we will discuss the various ways of doing overhead cable tricep extension.
- Single arm overhead cable tricep extension
- Cable High Pulley Overhead Extension
Overhead Cable Extension Exercise Details
- Also, Known As: Overhead cable pull, overhead rope press, overhead tricep pull
- Main Muscles: Triceps
- Exercise Type: Strength
- Exercise Mechanics: Isolation
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Equipment Needed: Cable column, rope attachment
Muscles Worked During the Overhead Tricep Extension
The overhead tricep extension is an isolation exercise rather than a compound motion. This makes it a great exercise for targeting your triceps.
The primary muscle group worked by the tricep extension is your triceps.
There are a variety of secondary muscle groups that activates during overhead cable tricep pull are biceps, forearms, lats, abs (rectus abdominis), obliques, pecs, and traps (trapezius). These secondary muscles engage to stabilize and support the motion.
Do Overhead Tricep Extension With Proper Form
It is crucial to know the mistakes made by athletes and weight lifters while performing tricep extensions. It will help you gain a better perspective about your form.
Elbow Flaring Out
During a downward push, people tend to flare their elbows outwards. This can put unnecessary stress on the shoulder as well as the chest muscles.
Excessive Elbow Movement
Many people let their elbows sway back and forward during the movement. While you can technically lift more weight using this momentum, you are actually using your lats to complete the exercise.
Too Much Weight
Adding more weights than required might not be a good idea. Overdoing this exercise can strain your muscles, making them sore, and may cause injury.
Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
Cable overhead triceps extensions are another great exercise for your tricep cable extension workout.
Overhead Cable Tricep extension variations are especially good at targeting the long head of the triceps. The denser your long head muscle is, the overall larger the triceps appear.
- Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the cable machine and face away from the pulley.
- Hold the rope with both hands with palms facing each other (neutral grip), extend your arms until your hands are directly above your head.
- Your elbows should be in close to your head and the arms should be perpendicular to the floor with the knuckles pointing to the ceiling.
- Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you hold the upper arms stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
- Slowly return to starting position and repeat the desired number of sets and reps.
- Never load up to where you cannot maintain a stable body position. This is an isolation exercise that does not require maximum loads.
- Keep your arms close to your head for maximum triceps engagement.
- Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement from start to finish.
Cable Overhead Extension Variations
1. Cable High Pulley Overhead Extension
Cable High Pulley Overhead Extension is one of the best two-arm tricep cable extension exercises that you can do during your upper body workout.
This is the more advanced exercise works not only your triceps, but also your torso, legs, and shoulders in fixing your body in position.
Using the cable allows your triceps to be exercised under tension throughout the entire range of motion (ROM).
- Attach a rope to a cable stack as high as possible and assume a standing position.
- Utilize a split stance, grasp the rope overhead with a neutral grip (palms facing), and lean forward by hinging at the hips.
- Initiate the movement by extending the elbows and flexing the triceps.
- Pull the rope downward until the elbows are almost locked out, and then slowly lower under control back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions
- Don’t allow the rope to pull you backwards or cause you to overarch throughout your lumbar spine.
- You may need to tuck the chin slightly to allow the rope to travel overhead and not graze the back of your head.
2. One Arm Cable Overhead Extensions
When doing a tricep extension workout with a cable machine, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.
You can use this exercise to target each side of the triceps separately. This will balance the strength of each arm and will give you an asymmetrical look. This exercise can be done standing or seated.
- Attach a stirrup (handle) to a cable pulley that is a little lower than chest high. Grasp the stirrup with one hand and press it up, over your head.
- Turn away from the pulley, lean a little forward, stagger your feet for balance, and lower your hand behind your back.
- Your elbow should be raised high, the cable should be pulled taut, and you should be feeling a stretch in your triceps brachii.
- Keeping your elbow close to your head, exhale as you raise the stirrup over your head by extending your elbow.
- Inhale as you flex your elbow to lower the stirrup towards the starting position until you feel a mild stretch in your triceps brachii.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions. Repeat the exercise with your opposite arm.
- Keep your body and upper arm still. Only your forearm should move.
- Keep your elbow close to your head.
Overhead Cable Triceps Extension Alternatives
If the cable stack not be accessible to you. You may also be searching for an alternative of cable tricep extension, below you will find some suggestions.
1. Two Arm Dumbbell Extension
The seated dumbbell tricep extension is a variation of the tricep extension and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the triceps. The dumbbell overhead triceps extension is an alternative to the cable overhead triceps extension.
It is particularly useful in targeting the long head of the triceps muscle. Having a larger and denser long head will give you an overall appearance of a larger tricep.
2. Bench Dip
Bench dips are a bodyweight exercise designed to activate muscles in your arms, shoulders, and chest. They are also known as triceps dips. If you don’t have cables, this is a great bodyweight exercise to do at home.
Tricep dips are an exercise that you can use to build your arms at home, at the gym, or even on a park bench during your morning run.
3. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
The dumbbell overhead triceps extension is a single-joint exercise that targets the triceps while increasing stability throughout the core and the shoulder regions.
By using dumbbells instead of an EZ-bar for the overhead extension, you work each arm separately and ensure one stronger side isn’t carrying the weaker one. This lets you focus on perfect form in that one arm and allows for a greater range of motion.
Overhead triceps extensions are an important part of strength training and weight lifting.
The Below, How-to video tutorial shows you the proper way to do overhead triceps extensions with a cable machine.