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  1. #1
    Registered User chrisboudreaux's Avatar
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    long head tricep exercise

    I need a recommendation for a new exercise to stimulate the long head of the tricep. Tricep movements behind the head or overhead seem to work the long head the most. What I have in mind is doing a ez bar overhead french curl similar to the picture below.



    I would preferably rather do this sitting down. Now I would do this exact exercise seated, but I'm not sure how to handle going to failure (besides asking for a spot, which is not what I'm looking for here.)

    My question: Can anyone think of a good way to set up this exercise and have a safety rack or something to help when going to failure? Or is there an alternative method that might be better such as cables or something else. I'm not really interested in the dumbbell version though.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User KyleHack's Avatar
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    It’s pretty difficult to do seated without asking for a spot. When seated, I usually just ask for a spot to grab the bar when I’m done if I’m going until failure. Standing is a bit easier to get out of since you should be able to throw some momentum into the bar and get it back over your head, but I wouldn't try that with something very very heavy.

    You can hit that muscle well with cables + rope or bar attachment too, although it's eaiser to do this standing as well.

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  3. #3
    Registered User chrisboudreaux's Avatar
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    I'm digging that Arnold picture. I've tried the standing cable version before. It's not bad actually. The problem I usually have is that the weight stack gets very heavy and it gets almost dangerous when setting the stack down. I think I'll try the rope version seated and I'll try the ez bar version standing. Maybe momentum will help me get out of trouble.
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  4. #4
    Registered User KyleHack's Avatar
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    Are you able to adjust the position of the pulley on the cables you have? That can make life easier.
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  5. #5
    Registered User chrisboudreaux's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleHack View Post
    Are you able to adjust the position of the pulley on the cables you have? That can make life easier.
    hmm good point. Not on the machine I use. I'll definitely check to see if the other machine has adjustable pulleys. That Would make it much easier.
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    overhead DB extension? seems like your exercise would be difficult w/o a spotter.
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    OP. Here are 3 exercises that I think will be the best for you to do because they will engage all 3 heads of the tricep very well, including the Long Head:


    1) French press - this is a skullcrusher,except you go BEHIND your head and throw the bar up to the ceiling. If you only bring it to your head like a standard skullcrusher,long head doesn't get engaged.pull it behind,and it will get decimated

    2)Cable Pressdowns - They engage all 3 heads,especially if you don't just let the rope come to your chest, let it come higher (kind of like shoulder level). When you push the rope down, pull it out. This is amazing for engaging all 3 heads

    3)Overhead Extension - This puts tons of emphasis on the long head more than anything; but honestly you don't even need to do them! Just stick with French Press/Cable Pressdowns and you will hit all 3 heads


    My tricep workout looks like this:

    -3 sets cable pressdowns
    -3 sets french press
    -1 set burnout of some exercise...whatever I feel like...maybe a huge dropset of Close Grip Bench or Overhead Extensions (225 CGBP x 10 to 185x8 to 135x10 etc)


    All you need is the pressdowns and french press! I promise! The rest of your tricep size will come from benching and press
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    I have to try this. With cable ofcourse.
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  9. #9
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    all the exercises mentioned are great. but as far as i know, there is only one move that isolates the long head....meaning that the others are not recruited....

    straight are pushdown. it will recruit some lats, but as far as the tricep is concerned, only the long head is in play.

    if you doubt it, use low weight and high reps.....eventually the burn will identify the muscle for you, and i think you'll see it's the long head.
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    Originally Posted by boathead View Post
    all the exercises mentioned are great. but as far as i know, there is only one move that isolates the long head....meaning that the others are not recruited....

    straight are pushdown. it will recruit some lats, but as far as the tricep is concerned, only the long head is in play.

    if you doubt it, use low weight and high reps.....eventually the burn will identify the muscle for you, and i think you'll see it's the long head.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean straight bar pushdowns, as in with a cable? If so, I believe these are mostly lateral and medial heads. (With the emphasis on Lateral). You must mean something else?
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  11. #11
    Registered User chrisboudreaux's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Obteeyn View Post
    OP. Here are 3 exercises that I think will be the best for you to do because they will engage all 3 heads of the tricep very well, including the Long Head:


    1) French press - this is a skullcrusher,except you go BEHIND your head and throw the bar up to the ceiling. If you only bring it to your head like a standard skullcrusher,long head doesn't get engaged.pull it behind,and it will get decimated

    2)Cable Pressdowns - They engage all 3 heads,especially if you don't just let the rope come to your chest, let it come higher (kind of like shoulder level). When you push the rope down, pull it out. This is amazing for engaging all 3 heads

    3)Overhead Extension - This puts tons of emphasis on the long head more than anything; but honestly you don't even need to do them! Just stick with French Press/Cable Pressdowns and you will hit all 3 heads


    My tricep workout looks like this:

    -3 sets cable pressdowns
    -3 sets french press
    -1 set burnout of some exercise...whatever I feel like...maybe a huge dropset of Close Grip Bench or Overhead Extensions (225 CGBP x 10 to 185x8 to 135x10 etc)


    All you need is the pressdowns and french press! I promise! The rest of your tricep size will come from benching and press
    Thanks for your reply. For the French press, are you talking about seated, standing, lying down?
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    Originally Posted by chrisboudreaux View Post
    Thanks for your reply. For the French press, are you talking about seated, standing, lying down?
    French Press is a very specific movement ( the one I am talking about...I realize people like to use this name for a 1,000 tricep exercises).

    When I say French Press, I mean the following:


    1- Lie down on the Bench
    2- Pick up the Bar as if you are going to do a skullcrusher
    3- Instead of bringing the bar to your head/skull ; bring the bar all the way behind your head
    4- Act as if you are throwing the bar up to the ceiling. Don't bring it all the way over your chest when coming up;it will take less tension of Tricep & transfer more to Chest/Delts.


    It's just a skullcrusher with going farther/deeper back. It really stretches the long head, and is one of the best exercises for lighting up all 3 tricep heads.

    EMG studies also showed it works best on Decline; but I feel awkward doing it Decline. If you can do it - props!
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    Originally Posted by chrisboudreaux View Post
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. Do you mean straight bar pushdowns, as in with a cable? If so, I believe these are mostly lateral and medial heads. (With the emphasis on Lateral). You must mean something else?
    what i mean is keep your arms straight when do the pushdown. or maybe it could be called a pulldown. with a straight bar. give it a shot and see.

    the long head of the triceps attaches not to the humerus, but to the scapula. It aids the latissimus dorsi and teres major in retracting the arm, and so is active during straight-arm pulldowns.
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    Originally Posted by Obteeyn View Post
    French Press is a very specific movement ( the one I am talking about...I realize people like to use this name for a 1,000 tricep exercises).

    When I say French Press, I mean the following:


    1- Lie down on the Bench
    2- Pick up the Bar as if you are going to do a skullcrusher
    3- Instead of bringing the bar to your head/skull ; bring the bar all the way behind your head
    4- Act as if you are throwing the bar up to the ceiling. Don't bring it all the way over your chest when coming up;it will take less tension of Tricep & transfer more to Chest/Delts.


    It's just a skullcrusher with going farther/deeper back. It really stretches the long head, and is one of the best exercises for lighting up all 3 tricep heads.

    EMG studies also showed it works best on Decline; but I feel awkward doing it Decline. If you can do it - props!
    Great! I actually do this at the moment, but when it gets heavy I end up throwing the bar more towards my chest area. I'll lighten the load next time.
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    not trying to derail thread but if i do 2 exercises for my tri's is doing lying extensions and standing cable extensions hitting the same head?
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    Originally Posted by NP603 View Post
    not trying to derail thread but if i do 2 exercises for my tri's is doing lying extensions and standing cable extensions hitting the same head?
    I'm not sure what you mean standing cable extensions. If you are talking about standing upright and pressing a cable downwards towards the ground then all three heads should be hit to some degree. Pulling apart the rope at the bottom will stimulate the long head.

    If you are talking about over head extensions, then the long head is activated.

    I think the lateral head is activated in almost every version of a tricep exercise, but the reverse is not always the case.
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