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Pump Quiz: Triceps Training

LEAD

Few of us took kinesiology class, but a basic understanding of kinesiology is essential to helping you determine how hand and arm position can influence triceps growth. Try these three challenging triceps training questions to build up all sides of your horseshoes.

By Bill Geiger, MA

1) When doing triceps moves with your arms by your sides and taking an overhand grip (pressdowns, kickbacks), which of the three triceps heads gets the most emphasis?

Pump Quiz: Triceps Training

A) THE LATERAL (OUTER) HEAD
B) THE LONG HEAD
C) THE MEDIAL HEAD
D) ALL HEADS GET EQUAL STIMULATION

2) When doing triceps exercises with an underhand (reverse) grip (reverse-grip pressdowns, reverse-grip cable kickbacks), which of the three delt heads is most activated?

Pump Quiz: Triceps Training

A) THE LATERAL HEAD
B) THE LONG HEAD
C) THE MEDIAL HEAD
D) ALL HEADS GET EQUAL STIMULATION

3) When doing exercises in which your arms are overhead (overhead extensions with a dumbbell, EZ-bar or cable), which of the three delt heads is best targeted?

Pump Quiz: Triceps Training

A) THE LATERAL HEAD
B) THE LONG HEAD
C) THE MEDIAL HEAD
D) ALL HEADS GET EQUAL STIMULATION

ANSWERS

1. The basic overhand grip position puts more emphasis on the lateral head. Here the correct answer is A. Notice we didn’t say isolation, because it’s impossible to completely isolate a particular head. But in this position, the lateral head takes on the bulk of the work.

2. The underhand grip best targets the smaller medial head, the muscle that stabilizes the elbow joint. The correct answer is C. It’s a pretty small muscle, so typically you can’t use as much weight on reverse-grip movements (so they’re best done last in your workout).

3. The triceps long head crosses the shoulder joint, meaning the only way to fully stretch it is with your arm(s) overhead. A muscle that’s not being fully stretched isn’t capable of fully contracting, so it’s with your arm(s) overhead that the long head is more strongly recruited. B, then, is the correct answer.

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