Rather than an exercise on its own, the tricep extension is more a term which encompasses a collection of similar, but slightly different extension exercises.
In this article, I’ll take you through the most well-known varieties of tricep extensions.
Dumbbell tricep extension:
In an upright seated position, hold a loaded dumbbell behind your neck with two hands. The dumbbell should be held in such a way that you are basically holding onto the inside of one side of the plates, with the bar running in between your thumbs – so the dumbbell is pointing upwards.
Now, it’s simply a case of using the power of the triceps to straighten out above your head, and as always, giving a slow controlled negative.
Be extra careful about holding the dumbbell securely – you do not want to drop a weight on your head at all, but least of all in this position where the actual bar end will probably kill you. (Hey, just being honest!)
One arm tricep extension:
This exercise is performed as above, only this time, you are using one arm only, and so you grip the dumbbell behind your head in the vertical position by actually holding the bar this time.
Some people perform this exercise by lifting the dumbbell from the back of the opposite shoulder blade to above the head, as opposed to holding it directly from behind. Do whatever feels comfortable for you.
Barbell tricep extension:
Really, there are 3 different kinds of bar you can use for this exercise, but the movement is all the same. A straight barbell, an EZ Curl bar, or a specialized triceps bar. So, select your weapon of choice, and get seated in an upright position.
If you are using a straight barbell, then you will have to find the grip width which suits you best. The best grip is normally the close one which allows your elbows to remain pointing directly forward throughout, as opposed to flared inward or outward. This will of course vary from person to person.
Lower the bar behind the head again, and using the power of the triceps, lift it above your head to lock out, and slowly lower.
So there you have it – the different types of tricep extension you can include in your workouts.