The triceps muscles make up a large portion of the upper arm, and are responsible for extending the elbow joint. Building big, strong triceps is important for not only aesthetic purposes, but also for improving performance in exercises such as the bench press and overhead press. In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies and exercises for building big triceps. Whether you’re a bodybuilder looking to add mass to your arms or an athlete looking to improve your performance, building strong triceps is essential. So, let’s dive into the world of triceps training and learn how to build big triceps.
The anatomy and functions of the triceps muscle group
The triceps muscle group is located on the back of the upper arm and is made up of three individual muscles: the long head, lateral head, and medial head. Each of these muscle heads plays a unique role in the function of the triceps group.
The long head of the triceps originates from the scapula and extends down to the elbow joint. It is responsible for the majority of the mass of the triceps and plays a critical role in the extension of the elbow joint.
The lateral head of the triceps is located on the outside of the arm and is responsible for the bulk of the triceps when viewed from the side. It assists the long head in the extension of the elbow joint and is also involved in the horizontal abduction of the arm.
The medial head of the triceps is located on the inside of the arm and plays a supporting role in the extension of the elbow joint. It is responsible for the overall shape of the triceps muscle group.
The triceps muscle group functions to extend the elbow joint, allowing the arm to be pushed away from the body. This action is critical for many upper body exercises such as the bench press, overhead press, and dips.
In addition to their primary function of elbow extension, the triceps also play a role in stabilizing the shoulder joint during upper body exercises. A strong triceps group can help prevent shoulder injuries and improve overall upper body strength.
Understanding the anatomy and function of the triceps muscle group is critical for designing an effective training program. By incorporating exercises that target all three heads of the triceps and varying the volume and intensity of your training, you can effectively build big, strong triceps and improve your overall upper body strength and performance.
One of the muscles responsible for a strong press is the triceps. This muscle is used by all kinds of athletes, including Olympic weightligters (e.g. during push-pressing the weight) The triceps, however, can be trained in many different positions. As you should be aware, the triceps has 3 heads. Medial head, lateral head and long head. The long head of the triceps is responsible not only for elbow extension but also for shoulder extension (bring the arm closer to the body). The long head of the triceps aids your body in stabilising your humerus.
Performing overhead triceps extensions will help you to stretch your long head out. This is also good for shoulder mobility. Apart from that, it will teach your long head to contract in a stretched position as well. The same story goes for extending the elbow while the shoulder is in a flexed position. However, the long head of the triceps will be contracted this time. It will accumulate more time under tension and you will teach it how to generate more force in a shortened position.
Assuming you are already pressing in the sagittal plane (bench pressing for instance), you are already covering the angle where the long head is neither stretched nor shortened, therefore you are making sure to train it in all 3 positions. Including all these 3 types of elbow extension movements allows you to utilise a holistic approach to your triceps development. I can guarantee you that training this way will only make your triceps bigger, stronger and more versatile.
A similar approach is often utilised by bodybuilders and that’s what makes it so overlooked in strength sports. Most strength athletes assume that they don’t need “bodybuilding exercise” as they are training for strength development and that is, my friend, simply not true.
Including so-called “bodybuilding exercises” in a strength routine can help one to not only improve their physique but also allow for more strength gains. It happens so because usually, at least some (if not most) of the smaller stabilising muscles are being under-developed as they are omitted in training. Not including the exercises that target small muscle groups might hurt in the future because those muscles pretty often play important roles in overall development.
As each of the triceps’ heads is responsible for different functions, they fully activate in different ranges of motion. That transfers to force production at a certain angle and overall strength in a certain range of motion. Having generally bigger triceps also adds the elastic forces into the equation thus making the athlete stronger simply by having more muscle tissue. This tells us that bigger arms are not only just for the look but can help also help the athlete to increase the strength of elbow extension.
So if you want to get the most out of your training, next time you program a workout, make sure you include these 3 types of movement as it will allow you to build bigger and stronger triceps. It will build more muscle mass in all of its 3 heads, allow you to build more strength, and provide you with a more holistic approach to developing your arm size and strength.