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How To Hit Long Head Tricep

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How To Hit Long Head Tricep


How To Hit Long Head Tricep: This exercise involves extending your arms overhead while holding a dumbbell, barbell, or cable handle. It specifically targets the long head of the triceps, as it requires strong shoulder extension. By keeping your arms in a fixed position behind your head, skull crushers place a significant emphasis on the long head of the triceps. Be sure to use proper form to avoid strain on your elbows.

When performing rope pushdowns on a cable machine, try to flare your elbows slightly outward and push the rope downward behind your body. While this exercise primarily targets the entire triceps, using a close grip can emphasize the long head to a greater extent. The key is to lower the barbell to the lower part of your chest or even slightly below to maximize long head engagement.

Ensure you achieve a full range of motion in your tricep exercises. Fully extend your arms to engage the long head effectively. You can also benefit from incorporating stretches for the triceps to improve flexibility and muscle activation. As with any muscle group, progressive overload is essential for long head tricep development. Increase the weight, repetitions, or intensity of your exercises to challenge your muscles and promote growth.

How To Hit Long Head Tricep

Why is my tricep long head not growing?

Now, your problem involving the triceps is that you might be putting too much effort on the lateral and medial heads and not enough attention on the long head. This lack of muscle activation might be the reason that your triceps aren’t growing to their full capacity.

Lack of Targeted Training

The long head of the triceps requires specific targeting to stimulate growth effectively. If your tricep workout primarily consists of exercises that do not sufficiently engage the long head, such as standard push-ups or bench presses, this may limit its development.

Insufficient Volume and Intensity

Triceps, like any other muscle group, require adequate training volume (sets and repetitions) and intensity (weight/resistance) to promote growth. Doing too few sets or using weights that are too light may not provide the necessary stimulus for muscle growth.

Neglecting Stretch and Full Range of Motion

The long head of the triceps benefits from a full range of motion, especially during exercises that involve overhead movements. Insufficient stretching and a limited range of motion may limit muscle activation.

Overtraining or Inadequate Recovery

Overtraining, which can occur when you work the triceps excessively without adequate rest and recovery, can hinder muscle growth. On the flip side, not giving your triceps enough time to recover between workouts can also impede progress.

How long does it take to grow long head triceps?

Train Your Triceps Twice Per Week

As long as you don’t increase your triceps training frequency for more than 6-8 weeks, 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.

Individual Goals

Your specific goals also affect the timeline for tricep growth. If you’re aiming for modest improvements in muscle tone and strength, you may see results sooner than if you’re striving for significant muscle hypertrophy (size increase).

Training Experience

Novices tend to experience quicker initial gains compared to experienced lifters. This is often referred to as “newbie gains.” As you progress in your training journey, gains may become slower and more incremental.


Age can influence the rate of muscle growth. Generally, younger individuals tend to experience faster muscle development compared to older individuals. However, regardless of age, consistent training and proper nutrition can still lead to meaningful progress.

Individual Variability

It’s crucial to recognize that everyone’s body responds differently to training and nutrition. Some people may see noticeable improvements in a matter of weeks, while others may take several months to achieve the desired results.

Do skull crushers work the long head?

Skull crushers work all three heads of the tricep but the medial head is the main driver. This exercise can be performed with dumbbells barbells, EZ bar, and the cable machine, and can be done on a bench or on the floor.

Skull crushers work all three heads of the tricep and can be a helpful tool for building strength and size in the arms.

Elbow Position

Skull crushers involve extending your arms from a position behind your head while lying on a bench or the floor. This movement places the long head of the triceps in a stretched position, which maximizes its activation. The long head is particularly engaged during the eccentric (lowering) phase of the exercise when you lower the weight toward your head.

Targeted Muscle Activation

As you lower the weight during skull crushers, the long head of the triceps is responsible for controlling the movement and maintaining tension in the muscle. This targeted activation of the long head is what makes skull crushers an effective exercise for its development.

Compound Exercise

Skull crushers are considered a compound exercise because they engage multiple muscle groups in the upper arms, including all three heads of the triceps. While the long head is emphasized due to the exercise’s mechanics, the lateral and medial heads also contribute to the movement, resulting in comprehensive tricep activation.

Which head makes the triceps bigger?

The long head of the triceps

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.

Overhead Triceps Extension: This exercise stretches the long head effectively. It can be done with a dumbbell, barbell, or an EZ-bar.

Skull Crushers: Skull crushers, also known as lying triceps extensions, target the long head and allow for heavy weights to be lifted.

Rope Pushdowns: Rope pushdowns emphasize the stretch at the bottom of the movement, engaging the long head.

Close-Grip Bench Press: While this compound movement targets all three heads, using a closer grip shifts more emphasis onto the long head.

Incline Dumbbell Extensions: This exercise places the long head under tension throughout the range of motion, promoting growth.

Are 3 tricep exercises too much?

The number of exercises that make an effective arm workout can range from 1-3 movements per session, with any more than that resulting in excessive fatigue and inconsistent form and technique.

Choose Quality Over Quantity: Focus on selecting a mix of compound and isolation exercises that target all three tricep heads effectively.

Prioritize Progressive Overload: Instead of increasing exercise quantity, aim to increase weight, reps, or intensity gradually over time.

Monitor Recovery: Pay attention to how your triceps recover between workouts. If you notice excessive soreness or decreased strength, consider reducing the number of exercises or incorporating more rest days.

Alternate Workouts: You can have different tricep workouts on different days. For example, one day might focus on heavy compound movements, while another could emphasize isolation exercises for higher reps.

Listen to Your Body: Everyone’s body responds differently. If three tricep exercises feel right and don’t hinder your progress or recovery, there’s no need to change your routine.

Do dips hit all three tricep heads?

Unlike some triceps movements, dips hit every head of the triceps: the long, medial, and lateral. While it’s okay to target individual heads to bring up weaknesses, the core of your triceps program should revolve around big movers like the dip.

Proper Form: Maintain good form throughout the exercise. Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and elbows tucked in close to your body.

Full Range of Motion: Lower yourself as far as comfortably possible to maximize the stretch on the triceps. This helps activate the long head.

Vary Your Grip: Experiment with different grip widths (wider or narrower) to change the emphasis on specific tricep heads. A wider grip can engage the lateral head more.

Add Resistance: To increase triceps engagement, you can use a dipping belt or hold a dumbbell between your feet.

Long Head: Dips can provide a substantial workout for the long head of the triceps, especially when performed with a forward-leaning torso. This forward lean places greater emphasis on the long head by increasing the stretch on the muscle.

Lateral Head: The lateral head is engaged to a significant extent during dips, primarily due to the extension of the elbow joint, which is a primary function of the triceps. The lateral head gets worked as you push your body back to the starting position.

Medial Head: The medial head is activated to a lesser degree compared to the other two heads during traditional dips. However, it is still involved in stabilizing and assisting in the movement.

Are triceps usually weaker than biceps?

The biceps is thought to be the stronger of the two, but the triceps is the larger muscle. The two muscles need each other in order to function properly. These muscles can experience similar injuries and recover with similar treatments. There are plenty of exercises that target both muscles individually or as a pair.

Muscle Size: One of the most significant factors influencing strength is muscle size. The triceps, particularly the long head, are larger than the biceps. In many cases, a larger muscle has the potential to generate more force.

Biomechanics: The biomechanics of the triceps provide an advantage for generating force. The triceps’ primary function is extension, which is mechanically favorable for generating strength. In contrast, the biceps’ primary function, flexion, may not be as conducive to producing raw power.

Training Emphasis: Another factor to consider is the emphasis placed on each muscle group during training. Many people focus more on biceps training, leading to disproportionate development. Equal attention to triceps training can help correct this imbalance.

Genetics: Genetics play a significant role in individual muscle development and strength. Some individuals may naturally have stronger triceps or biceps, depending on their genetic predisposition.

Training History: An individual’s training history can also impact relative muscle strength. If someone has consistently trained one muscle group more than the other, it can lead to differences in strength.

Why can’t I flex my tricep?

Most of the time, triceps tendonitis is caused over time by overuse. Triceps tendonitis can also occur with shoulder and elbow problems that have caused damage to the area, such as arthritis, muscle tears, or dislocation. Often, triceps tendonitis can get better with simple rest.

Injury or Overuse

Injuries to the triceps or overuse of the muscle can lead to difficulty in flexing. If you’ve recently experienced an injury or have been overtraining your triceps without allowing them to recover, it’s essential to give your muscles time to heal. Consult a medical professional or physical therapist if you suspect an injury.

Neurological Issues

In some cases, neurological issues can affect muscle control, making it challenging to flex specific muscles, including the triceps. Neurological conditions or nerve damage can disrupt the signals from your brain to your muscles. If you suspect a neurological issue, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Dehydration or Fatigue

Dehydration and fatigue can impact muscle function and control. Ensure you stay adequately hydrated throughout the day, as dehydration can lead to muscle cramping and reduced muscle function. Get enough rest and prioritize recovery to prevent muscle fatigue that might hinder your ability to flex your triceps.

Psychological Factors

Sometimes, psychological factors, such as stress or anxiety, can affect muscle control. Stress can lead to muscle tension and reduced range of motion. Incorporating relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and stress management strategies into your routine may help alleviate these issues.

How To Hit Long Head Tricep


Incorporate compound movements like close-grip bench presses, dips, and skull crushers into your workout routine. These exercises engage the long head of the triceps and stimulate growth. Ensure that you maintain proper form during your triceps exercises. Incorrect form can lead to injury and limit muscle activation. Focus on controlled and precise movements. This allows for optimal muscle activation and development. 

Experiment with different grip widths and angles to target the long head from various angles. A narrower grip during close-grip bench presses can emphasize the long head. Progressive overload is essential for muscle growth. Gradually increase the weight you lift over time to challenge your triceps and stimulate hypertrophy. The long head of the triceps is essential for achieving a well-rounded and impressive arm physique.

Incorporate isolation exercises like overhead triceps extensions and rope pushdowns to specifically target the long head of the triceps. These movements can help you achieve a greater muscle pump. Ensure that you use a full range of motion during your exercises. Periodically change your triceps workout routine by incorporating different exercises and rep schemes to prevent plateaus and keep the muscle growing.

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