How to Get Wider Triceps (WORKS EVERY TIME!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today I want to help you guys do something
we started to do in a video prior. That is to fill up these shirt sleeves. We want to talk about, as we’ve done in the
past, how to fill them up. Not just from the front here, by doing the
right exercises to widen out those biceps, but more importantly, from the back. Filling out the shirt sleeves comes down to
having bigger triceps because your triceps are going to take up a lot of the girth inside
that sleeve. As you can see here, there’s a difference
between Jesse and I, in term of filling up the shirt sleeves. Jesse, our beloved Jesse, does have some pretty
damn impressive triceps when viewed from the side. That is because the lateral head – one of
the three heads of the triceps – is really developed pretty well. But when you creep around here to the back,
you start to see some of those inadequacies. I’m not picking on him. We’re talking about reality here. That is the longhead and medial head, which
plays an important role in filling out those shirt sleeves, isn’t developed as much. If you have the same issue as him, I want
to make sure we fix that today. We talk about the triceps and I’ve talked
about one head of the triceps, but it really takes us to have an understanding of the muscle
itself to get a better appreciation for the attack plan that we’re going to use to get
at it. That is, you want to look at this muscle. You can see from the back here, the real meat
of the triceps is coming from this area right here. That’s the longhead. The longhead is going to occupy 2/3 of the
2/3 of the size of the arm. When people talk about the triceps occupying
2/3 of the arm, 2/3 of that is going to come from the longhead. We need to make sure we fill that out and
train it the right way. I’m going to show you three exercises to do
that. Then, of course, this medial head. The one that doesn’t get much attention. It’s certainly got the smallest area, but
the importance in how you train is often overlooked. When you do focus on how to train it right,
things will start to happen really, really well in helping you to fill out those sleeves
and widen out those triceps. So, let’s go back to the longhead. First of all, I think people make a mistake
here. We always hear how, to activate the longhead,
we need to do something with our arms overhead. The origin of this talk is that this head
of the triceps is the only one to cross the shoulder joint and attach on the shoulder,
as you see here. Okay, that’s great. That means if you put your arm up overhead,
you’re going to place that head of the triceps on stretch, favorably hitting it over the
other two heads that don’t cross the shoulder joint. But that’s only half the equation. The full range of motion will require that,
in order to contract that head of the triceps, you need to go the entirely opposite direction. Not just overhead, but down and back behind
your body into extension. To get that arm and shoulder into extension. So, if you want to adequately hit this you’ve
got to do two exercises. The first one, you’re going to place it up
overhead. That’s my favorite of all time. That is this lying tricep extension. I’m using the easy curl bar here. One of the things I always focus on when I
do this is not to allow the bar to ever come fully straight up over my head because I’m
taking the tension off the triceps, or a significant amount of tension off my triceps. To enhance that, I want to make sure my arm
stays angled backward the entire time. But I do this, and when I drop down to the
bottom to get that extra strength, I allow the upper arm – from here to here – to
drop a little bit further back down toward the bench to just give me a little more of
that shoulder flexion, which is going to stretch that longhead of the tricep out a little bit
more. It’s these little details that add up and
make a big difference. Especially when you’re looking for size in
a faster manner than if you’re just doing these the way you normally would. Now we go to the other side of it. We have to make sure we fully shorten that
tricep. For me, I want to pick an exercise that allows
me to do that. This is the drag pushdown. The drag pushdown is a variation of the pushdown
that keeps the elbow as far back throughout the entire pushdown as possible. Meaning, back into extension. That arm back into extension throughout the
entire exercise so we can get that fully contracted and fully squeezed and shortened longhead
of the triceps. Nothing else changes. I’m just trying to keep that bar as tight
to my body as possible. Literally dragging it down the front of my
torso on every, single rep. You will feel the difference immediately if
you take your elbows and let them drift out in front of you as you normally would, and
then perform them with your elbows back as far as you possibly can. The activation of the longhead on that contraction
is going to increase measurably. Now, here’s something if you’re short on time. If you want to have a combo exercise you can
do what I’m doing here with these two dumbbells. You put them up overhead to perform a dumbbell
overhead extension. Again, this is good if you keep your elbows
out in front of your body instead of forcing them out to the side. It’s a little bit of a safer position for
your shoulders in general. But after I get them up overhead, I then bend
forward and turn right back into one sequential kick back. The one area where you might run into some
trouble is your ability to handle weight on the kickback if it’s significantly less than
what you can potentially handle on the overhead extension. In this case, just double or triple up on
the reps that you do overhead. In other words, everyone rep of a kickback
will be partnered off with three reps of the overhead extension. So, you can fatigue on that a little bit faster
and equate the two exercises. The fact is, you’re still able to go from
that overhead stretched position and then down into that fully extended arm behind the
body, into extension fully shortened, longhead of the triceps. Now we’ve got to move onto that medial head. This is the part that I think people overlook. Yes, it is a small area and you can see it
here on the bottom of your elbow when you fully extend your arm out like that. Tough to see here, but the fact is it’s crossing
the elbow and it’s providing stability to the elbow. Mostly in a fully extended elbow. That’s the key. If you want to get that medial head fully
activated, you need to make sure you fully extend the elbow. No matter what exercise you do, that head
of the tricep is responsible for extending the elbow. You can do it on almost any exercise of the
triceps because all of them are geared at extending the elbow. But whether or not you fully extend them is
going to determine whether or not you fully activate and get the best activation of this
medial head. So, what can you do? The first thing you can do here is a tricep
pushdown. Again, this roll here on this exercise is
just to extend the elbow. But you can see this is where a lot of us
will stop. It’s not until I go from here to here that
I fully contract the medial head of the tricep. So, you want to make sure on every, single
repetition you’re fully extending the elbow. We move onto the next exercise, which could
be a bodyweight option like the diamond cutter pushup. Again, a lot of us will perform them to here
thinking we’re almost there. But I guarantee there’s a reason why your
body is cutting off that last inch or two, because it’s damn hard. When you add in, as you see me doing right
here, those extra couple of inches, it changes the game, in terms of the medial head of the
tricep activation. It really makes it more difficult. But if you’re trying to build this muscle
up, you want to make it more difficult. You want to make it do more work. Lastly, we come up here with this last exercise. This is a dumbbell press with the elbows tucked
close to my sides. But I’m doing something a little bit unique
with the thumbs. I call this a thumbs up dumbbell press. I’m trying to make my thumbs point up toward
the sky as I come up. Why? Because I can reinforce the full elongation
of the elbow by letting it follow the thumbs. If I keep the thumbs going, I usually tend
to keep the elbow going into full extension as well. So, it’s a mechanism I use to enforce that
full extension of the elbow. But you can see, once again, that it’s really
hitting this medial aspect of the elbow. The medial tricep. I will say something very interesting here. Power lifters tend to have really well-developed
medial triceps. Why? Because number one: for the loads that they’re
using and lifting, they need the stability. This is the portion of the triceps that provides
the stability to the elbow joint because of that lockout. Second, because power lifters are going to
be judged based on whether they get that rep to full lockout, these guys are not coming
short of that positioning. They’re getting there on every, single repetition. Again, under heavy load. If you got the same principle from them and
do this when you’re doing them and stop cutting them short; you’re going to quickly erase
a problem you already have. Guys, as you can see here, it doesn’t take
a bit attack plan to do the right thing. It just takes the right attack plan to do
the right thing, when you’re trying to widen out those triceps. Again, no matter which angle you’re viewed
at, I want you guys to look good. I want you guys to have the confidence that
you are filling out those shirt sleeves, that you want to make sure you’re applying the
same principles we just covered here. If you’ve found the video helpful, make sure
to leave your comments and thumbs up below. If you’re looking for programs where we never
leave the gaps uncovered, we fill it in because we put the science back in strength; all our
programs are available over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done
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out. All right, guys. See you soon.

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