Long head Triceps Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

If you’re looking to pack size onto your triceps and maximize the development of your upper arms. Building up the long head of the triceps is an important step in the process, and these long head triceps exercises will help you.

There is a wide range of Long head triceps exercises to help you increase the size of your arms and strengthen your bench press, overhead press, dips, and other pressing movements.

In this article, I will discuss what the long head of the tricep is, how to target the long head of the tricep, how it contributes to greater performance, and give you the best long head tricep exercises.

Know About Triceps Muscles

The triceps is a large muscle on the back of the arm.

Triceps consists of 3 parts, the medial, lateral, and long head. It begins just below the socket of the shoulder blade and at two distinct areas of the humerus.

Long head Triceps Exercises for Bigger, Stronger Arms

The lateral head of the triceps is the outer side of the humerus. This is the horseshoe shape that shows on the upper part of the back of your arm.

The medial head of the triceps is the middle of the back portion of the upper arm. Originating from the humerus and finishing at the elbow, it lays opposite the long head.

The long head of the triceps is the largest part of your triceps and is found running down the back of your arm. The long head is different from the medial and lateral heads, as it crosses the shoulder joint and assists in shoulder extension.

How To Target The Long Head Tricep

It is impossible to fully isolate any one of the tricep muscle heads during an exercise. However, it is possible to shift emphasis onto one or more of these muscle heads at the expense of the others.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand which types of exercises recruit which of these muscle heads.

If you want to emphasize the long head tricep during workout, main techniques can help you achieve that:

  • Bring the arms overhead
  • Keep the arms in front of the body.

This happened because the long head of the triceps attaches to the scapula (shoulder blade), it is more strongly contracted during exercises, when you keep the arm overhead and in front of You.

Therefore, exercises that are done overhead such as overhead extensions (with dumbbells, barbells, or cables) best stress the long head of the triceps.

Exercises that place the arms in front of the body, such as lying triceps extensions (with barbells, dumbbells, or cables) also hit the long head to some degree.

Why Is It Important To Isolate The Long Head?

While all triceps heads work together in most exercise movements, it’s the triceps long head that you put on a show.

It’s the largest and most visible of the tricep heads, and also provides the majority of strength.

This makes it a vital component of all-around pushing strength. Therefore, if you want incredible pushing power, train your triceps as a whole and by training your individual heads. 

The one unique component of the long head that isn’t seen in the medial or lateral head is its role in stabilizing the shoulder.

Therefore, if you want optimal shoulder stability, you need to train every muscle involved in the manner it functions.

Best Exercises For The Long Head Of The Triceps

You have quite a few exercises to choose from, both compound and isolation long head tricep exercises. Therefore, we’ll break these exercises into these two categories.

Just like with a workout session, we’ll start with big compound exercises that will allow you to add a significant load for maximum strength.

Next, we’ll go over the isolation movements you can use to finish a session off with a lot of volume for maximum growth. 

14 Best Long Head Triceps Exercises

1. Diamond Push-Ups

If you’re looking for a compound long head tricep exercise for developing all the tricep heads., diamond Push-ups are a great staple exercise to get you started.

Diamond push-ups, aka triangle push-ups, in which you bring your hands too close together to form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest.

Diamond Push Ups

Muscles Worked

Primary: Triceps.

Secondary: Lower Pectoralis Major, Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid.

Execution Technique

  1. Get on the floor with your hands together under your chest. Position your index fingers and thumbs, so they’re touching, forming a diamond shape.
  2. Now extend your arms so that your body is elevated and forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Lower your chest towards your hands, ensuring you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides and keeping your back flat.
  4. Stop just before your chest touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
Tips
  • Keep your body straight and rigid.
  • To make the diamond push-up easier, do it on your knees.

2. Kneeling bodyweight triceps extension

Kneeling bodyweight triceps extension is one of the best triceps exercises to isolate your triceps brachii in the absence of dumbbells, barbells, and weight machines.

It’s an ideal beginner’s exercise for those who have limited upper body strength, and it can be used to build both muscle and strength progressively.

Kneeling bodyweight triceps extension

Execution Technique

  1. Get on all fours with your hands together under your chest
  2. Lower your elbows to the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lean forward so that your body weight is supported by your elbows. Exhale as you push your body off the floor by extending your elbows.
  4. Inhale as you lower your elbows to the starting position by flexing your elbows. Repeat the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Keep your elbows tucked in to your body. Do not flare them out.
  • Stop the exercise if you feel pain in your wrists

3. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

The One-arm dumbbell overhead triceps extension is a single-joint exercise that targets the triceps while increasing stability throughout the core and the shoulder regions.

It is also worth doing the exercise with one arm at a time, this focuses on perfect form in that one arm and allows for a greater range of motion. Must add this exercise in your Long head triceps workout.

One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Stand shoulder-width apart and lift a dumbbell overhead with your right hand.
  2. Hold it straight overhead with an overhand grip (palm facing forward).
  3. Keeping your upper arm right beside your head, lower the dumbbell behind your head and toward your left shoulder until your elbow forms a 90-degree angle.
  4. Then lift it back to full arm extension.
  5. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
Tips
  • Weight should move in a controlled manner.
  • The chin should remain parallel to the floor and core braced throughout the duration of the exercise.
  • Keep your upper arms as still as possible, allowing your forearms to drive the movement

4. Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

The overhead triceps extension is a relatively simple yet effective exercise for the development of the triceps. It works all three heads of the muscle, it especially targets the long head of the triceps.

Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Sit on a low-back bench and extend a barbell overhead, holding it with a shoulder-width grip.
  2. Keep your upper arms right beside your head.
  3. Slowly lower the bar behind your head until your elbows form 90-degree angles, then lift it back to full arm extension.
  4. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
Tips
  • Keep your body and upper arms still. Only your forearms should move.
  • Using the EZ bar instead of a standard barbell can be easier on your wrists.

5. Close-Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is a variation of the bench press and an exercise used to build muscle and strength in the triceps and chest.

It is a superior movement when talking about exercises that will pack mass onto your triceps as well as the chest

Close-Grip Bench Press

Execution Technique

  1. Lie flat on a bench-press bench with your feet flat on the floor. With your hands shoulder-width apart, grasp the barbell with an overhand grip.
  2. Unrack the bar and slowly lower it to your lower chest, keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible.
  3. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows should be a little lower than your shoulders.
  4. Press the bar back up to the starting position.
Tips
  • Using anything closer than a shoulder-width grip increase triceps involvement, but can increase stress on the wrists.
  • If you’re new to weight lifting and this exercise, use a spotter.
  • Inhale slowly as you lower the bar to your chest, and exhale during the push upward.
  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement.

6. Dumbbell Kick Back

When doing a long head of tricep workout, there are plenty of single-arm exercises you can add to correct potential imbalances.

The tricep dumbbell kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles.

It is an isolation exercise, this means that unlike other exercises such as the push-up or bench press, the tricep kickback specifically targets the triceps muscle.

Dumbbell Kick Back

Execution Technique

  1. Place your right knee and palm on a flat bench so that your torso is parallel with the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in the left hand and keeping the left foot flat on the floor, press your left arm tight against your side with the upper arms parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend at the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  4. Flex the triceps hard for a second, then return to the starting position.
  5. Complete all reps on the left arm and then repeat on the right arm.
Tips
  • Keep your body as still as possible, move only your forearms.  
  • Keep control of the weight as you slowly lower down the dumbbells back to the starting position.

7. Two Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

The seated dumbbell overhead tricep extension is a fantastic movement that builds optimal muscle and strength in all three heads of the tricep muscle. But 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.

Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Hold one side of the dumbbell with both hands while seated on the bench.
  2. Keeping your upper arms beside your head, aise the dumbbell above your head such that the arms are fully extended and the weight of the dumbbells sits in the palms
  3. The upper arms should remain stationary, and the movement comes only from the forearms. You should feel a large stretch through the triceps.
  4. When the elbows have reach their maximum range of motion, reverse the movement by pushing up through the triceps and extending the arms back to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.
Tips
  • Keep the head in a fairly neutral position, don’t allow the neck to jut forward, as this may place excessive pressure on the cervical spine.
  • Weight should move in a controlled manner.
  • The chin should remain parallel to the floor and core braced throughout the duration of the exercise.

8. Rope Triceps Extension

The rope tricep extension is another great exercise for your long head tricep workout.

This exercise is used to build the muscles of the triceps. Well-built triceps also have many positive carryovers into your pressing movements, such as bench press variations and shoulder press variations.

Rope Triceps Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Keep feet shoulder-width apart, face a high pulley machine enabled with a rope attachment.
  2. Grasp the ends of the rope so that your palms are facing inward and your elbows are by your waist.
  3. Keeping your body stationary, exhale as you lower the rope by completely extending your arms until they are straight down by your sides.
  4. Hold for a moment and then inhale as you slowly return the rope to the starting position.
Tip
  • Use only your forearms as you raise and lower the rope.
  • Standing upright with the spine straight is the standard position.
  • Contract your triceps as you lower the rope.

9. Lying Triceps Extension

The lying tricep extension (AKA skull crusher) is one of the best tricep-building exercises. This exercise is another great option that will help you to target the long head of tricep and grow your arms.

This is an isolation exercise to build the triceps muscle group in the upper arm.

A wide grip emphasizes the inner tricep (long head), whereas a narrow grip targets the outer tricep (lateral head).

Lying Triceps Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor.
  2. Hold a barbell at full arm extension over your chest.
  3. Keeping your upper arms stationary, slowly lower your lower arms to bring the bar down to your forehead, then push it back up.
  4. Do not lock your elbows out, and repeat for desired reps.
Tips
  • Keep the movement in your shoulders to a minimum. Most of the movement should be in your elbows.
  • This exercise should be done slowly and carefully under good control.

10. Parallel Bar Triceps Dip

Parallel bar triceps dip is one of the most effective compound movements for the upper body pushing muscles in the chest and triceps especially.

When performed on narrow parallel bars with elbows back and your torso upright, the dip becomes one of the best bodyweight exercises for building triceps mass.

Parallel Bar Triceps Dip

Execution Technique

  1. Grasp the dip bars with your arms extended and locked. Keep your body as vertical as possible to keep the emphasis on the triceps and away from the chest.
  2. Keep your elbows as close to your sides as possible as you bend them to lower your body down until your upper arms are about parallel to the floor.
  3.  Press your hands forcefully into the bars to extend your arms and raise your body back up.
  4. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Do not lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • To focus effort on the triceps, keep your body upright and elbows tucked in.

11. Cable overhead triceps Extension

The overhead rope tricep extension is a variation of the rope tricep extension and an exercise used to build the muscles of the triceps.

Overhead 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.

Cable overhead triceps extension

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the cable machine and face away from the pulley.
  2. Hold the rope with both hands with palms facing each other (neutral grip), extend your arms until your hands are directly above your head.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Slowly return to starting position and repeat the desired number of sets and reps.
Tips
  • 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.

12. Incline Cable Triceps Extension

One of the best exercises for drawing and pumping the long head of triceps is the Incline Cable Triceps Extension.

Triceps extensions can be beneficial for fixing imbalances in the triceps or rehabilitating from injury.

It put no pressure on the wrists, so they are an alternative for people with wrist strain or injury.

Incline Cable Triceps Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Attach the rope handle to the lower block, grasp it with your hands, sit on the bench with your back.
  2. Bend your hands in the elbows, so that the ends of the handle are located behind your head.
  3. Slowly straighten your arms, keeping your elbows in a fixed position. At the final point, prolong the peak contraction, withstood a short pause.
  4. Return to the starting position.
Tips
  • Concentrate on keeping your elbows stable.
  • Do not allow your elbows to flare out to the sides.
  • Slowly lower the weights and do not use momentum.

13. Cable High Pulley Overhead Extension

Overhead 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.

Cable High Pulley Overhead Extension

Execution Technique

  1. Attach a rope to a cable stack as high as possible and assume a standing position.
  2. Utilize a split stance, grasp the rope overhead with a neutral grip (palms facing), and lean forward by hinging at the hips.
  3. Initiate the movement by extending the elbows and flexing the triceps.
  4. Pull the rope downward until the elbows are almost locked out, and then slowly lower under control back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions
Tips
  • 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.

14. Resistance Band Tricep Extensions

Finally, if you’re looking for one more Long head Triceps workout that you can be done at home then, resistance Band Tricep Extensions is for you.

Tricep extensions with the resistance band help to isolate the tricep muscle and avoid cheating with different areas of the body.

Resistance Band Tricep Extensions

Execution Technique

  1. Secure the band with object or place one foot in the middle of the band to secure it to the floor.
  2. Hold both handles, Bring your hands behind your head.
  3. Your elbows should be pointing forwards on either side of your head. Keeping your elbows as close to your head as possible, extend your arms to raise your hands, stopping just before your elbows lock out.
  4. Shorten the length of the band between your foot and hand if there’s not enough resistance. Bring back down and repeat.
Tips
  • Keep your upper arms as still as possible, allowing your forearms to drive the movement.
  • The chin should remain parallel to the floor and the core should brace during the exercise.

Takeaways

While all long head triceps exercises work the long head, you’ll build bigger arms if you pay a little more attention to this muscle. After all, it makes up about two-thirds of your triceps mass, so it’s essential not to neglect it.

Proper form is key when targeting the triceps, long head, or otherwise. Control your movements and up the repetitions before pushing the weight. With a combination of compound movements and isolation, you can get stronger long head triceps and bigger arms. 

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions that I can help you with.

FAQs

Train Your Triceps Twice Per Week

Training your triceps twice per week can provide a nice stimulus for greater growth. This muscle group recovers fairly quickly, so 2-3 days between workouts is all you need.

What tricep exercise hits all 3 heads?

Diamond push-ups are a great way to hit all three heads simultaneously, as are close-grip bench presses, kickbacks, and tricep push downs.

Know More About Tricep Training

References:

1 — American Council on Exercise: ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises (source)

Video Illustration of Best Triceps workout with Dumbbell for Bigger Arms
Video Illustration of How to Build Biceps and Triceps| Best Biceps and Triceps Workout

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