How to Work the Long Head Triceps

Your triceps -- the muscles on the back of your arms -- has three heads. While all three aspects of your triceps function to extend your arm, or straighten out your elbow, the long head of your triceps crosses your shoulder joint. To fully activate the long head of your triceps, you must stretch your arm out above your head. Only when your arms are in a fully extended position and your shoulders are flexed does this aspect of your triceps get completely activated. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any exercise program.

A woman is doing tricep extensions.
Credit: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Sit on a heavy bench with back support. Your torso must be vertical. Plant your feet firmly on the ground.

Step 2

Hold a barbell overhead with your hands 6 to 12 inches apart. Your palms should face up. Your elbows must be locked and your arms straight overhead.

Step 3

Lower the barbell behind your head. Lower only to the limit of your flexibility. Return the barbell to its original position. Only your elbows should bend during this exercise. Repeat for sets of eight to 15 repetitions.

Things You'll Need

  • Bench with heavy back support

  • Barbell or dumbbells


This exercise can also be performed with a dumbbell.


Never allow the weight to drop into the bottom of the repetition. Never lift without a spotter.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.