What is the Tricep muscle?
The tricep muscle sits in the back portion of your upper arm, between your elbow and shoulder joints. The muscle is made up of three muscle heads, hence “tri” in the name. Each of the three heads, the long head, medial head and lateral head, play a different role in each movement that it produces.
The long head of the muscle is located on the inside portion of the arm, whilst the lateral head sits on the outside and the medical head is positioned between the two. It is surprising that the triceps actually accounts for two thirds of the muscle mass in the upper arm.
What does the Tricep muscle do?
The Tricep’s main function is to assist in stabilising the shoulder joint. It produces elbow extension (straightening out the elbow), shoulder extension (pulling the arm back) and adducts the shoulder (bringing the arm in towards the body).
What are the best exercises to work each head of the Tricep?
Tricep dips are a fantastic triceps exercise that can be both progressed and regressed depending on your level of ability. They focus on working the lateral head of the tricep but also target the medial and long head too.
Overhead tricep extensions are another versatile exercise that can be done seated or standing. Whilst this exercise only uses one dumbbell it is important that you have a good grip with both hands on the dumbbell to ensure it is completed safely.
Tricep pulldown with a neutral grip target the long head of triceps but altering the grip position can change the dominant head of the tricep that is working too. This exercise can be done using a cable machine or resistance band at home.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist.