Triceps extensions offer great focus and isolation on the triceps muscle group and focus specifically on the mid and outer portions of the triceps muscle complex. This movement can be performed while lying on flat bench, and also on incline or decline benches. It can also be performed while standing, and each of these different methods can hit the triceps in a different way, and they will help to add variation to your workout.
This exercise can be performed using either the EZ Curl/ Scott bar or a straight bar. This exercise is generally done using a narrow grip. If you are unsure how wide of a grip to take using the straight bar, a good starting point may be to touch your thumbs to the middle of the bar and take a grip with the thumbs fully extended. Once you’ve found the right grip, wrap your thumbs around the bar and get into position.
Stand at the end of a flat bench holding the bar with your arms extended. Slowly sit down on the bench and allow the bar to rest on your thighs as you sit. Both feet should be flat on the ground on either side of the bench. Slowly lean back until your back is flat on the bench. As you lean back, use your legs to help move the bar towards you with a slight upward kick, and then carefully move the bar to a position above your chest with the arms fully extended. Your spotter should also be able to assist as you get into position.
Beginning with the arms fully extended and keeping the elbows in a fixed postion, slowly bend the elbows and lower the weight until it lightly touches your forehead. Use you tricep muscles to press the bar upward until the arms return to the fully extended position.
As you perform this motion, imagine that there is a pin running through each of your elbows holding them into place. This imaginary pin should keep your elbows from moving forward or backward, and all of the motion should be performed by your elbows hinging to raise and lower the bar.
The motion for this exercise will be the same whether performed on an incline bench, decline bench, or while standing. Keep in mind that each method will work the triceps in a different way and can help to add variation to your workout as needed.
Tips From the Trainer
When performing triceps extensions with a straight bar, remember to experiment using wider and narrower grips. This exercise can be performed with the hands almost touching in the middle of the bar or with grip as wide as your shoulders. Changing the width of the grip is another great way to add variation and change to your workout and keeping your muscles from building up a resistance to your workouts.