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  1. #1
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    Isolating Lateral head (tricep)

    I'm wondering if there are any tricep exercises that focus mainly on the lateral head of the tricep. When ever i do my tricep exercises i hit mainly the long head, and i've noticed its quite a bit bigger than my lateral head.

    Any tips/tricks, like certain exercises, or modifying a particular motion? i really want to hit that head hard, but no matter what i do i have a hard time isolating it.

    thanks guys!
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  2. #2
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    in my experience the lateral head is most heavily activated from stuff like heavy pressing. extension work seems to hit the long head mostly for me as well. maybe some CGBP, dips, or even a close grip overhead press might work.
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  3. #3
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by de_barathrum View Post
    in my experience the lateral head is most heavily activated from stuff like heavy pressing. extension work seems to hit the long head mostly for me as well. maybe some CGBP, dips, or even a close grip overhead press might work.
    great thanks, i dont do too much close grip bench, so maybe i'll start to incorporate this into my workout...the reason i dont is because my tri day follows my chest day and i dont want to hit my chest the next day doing close grip. dumb idea? or am i on the right page with that?
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  4. #4
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    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.

    the tricep is a small muscle group that flexes as a whole.

    the best tricep growth will get triggered from heavy compound lifts such as pressing on chest day. or to a certain extent pulling on back day. it even takes a good hit on leg day (squats)

    reverse grip bench is one of the best movements I've done for triceps... every single other movement no matter what it is.. is an extension movement or some kind of variation.. they are all the same.. some more dominent then others such as kick backs (worst) vs overhead db/cable extensions (best).


    if that etched in detail of that tricep to elbow connective tissue is what your after.. then your gonna have to lower your body fat.. which from the looks of your picture ain't all that high in the first place (edit...as I was... isn't high)
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  5. #5
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.

    the tricep is a small muscle group that flexes as a whole.

    the best tricep growth will get triggered from heavy compound lifts such as pressing on chest day. or to a certain extent pulling on back day. it even takes a good hit on leg day (squats)

    reverse grip bench is one of the best movements I've done for triceps... every single other movement no matter what it is.. is an extension movement or some kind of variation.. they are all the same.. some more dominent then others such as kick backs (worst) vs overhead db/cable extensions (best).


    if that etched in detail of that tricep to elbow connective tissue is what your after.. then your gonna have to lower your body fat.. which from the looks of your picture ain't all that high in the first place (edit...as I was... isn't high)
    i'm around 7-8% bf right now, and i can see my triceps great, and i notice when doing single arm pulldowns, if i turn my wrist slightly at the end i can hit the lateral head harder, it gets a much tighter contraction...things like that are what i'm after...i know theres no way to fully isolate the head, but like chest for example. If you want to hit upper chest you do incline, lower, decline, etc...its all one muscle but you can isolate parts of it with different exercises. thats what i'm looking for with triceps.
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  6. #6
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.
    it may be harder to isolate a particular head on the triceps than lets say, the deltoid, but certain movements and grips have different emphasis.
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  7. #7
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fondry View Post
    great thanks, i dont do too much close grip bench, so maybe i'll start to incorporate this into my workout...the reason i dont is because my tri day follows my chest day and i dont want to hit my chest the next day doing close grip. dumb idea? or am i on the right page with that?
    alot of chest work is gonna hit your tris too because they are both used in pressing, which is basically what your chest/shoulders/tris do. if your goal is bigger tris id switch your routine up so that the day you hit your tris is the furthest day away from your chest and vice versa.
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  8. #8
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    Tricep pushdowns with a narrow and underhand grip using a straight bar.
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  9. #9
    spell of iron de_barathrum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheGreatPrince View Post
    Tricep pushdowns with a narrow and underhand grip using a straight bar.
    not a bad suggestion.
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  10. #10
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    all good suggestions so far...i will def. take all of this in and try it out tomroow, as tomorrow is my tri day. i just feel like no matter what tricep exercise i do, i only hit the long head of the tricep hard enough to feel it pumping up and such.
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  11. #11
    f*ck you, carpal tunnel mightymouse37's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..
    Isolate?

    No.

    Emphasize?

    Yes.

    I've found lying skulls done w/a hammer-grip barbell [basically, palms facing in] fry my outer heads like nothing else - I also read recently that the lateral head is most recruited closer to the "lockout" portion of tricep moves, so you could try doing some partials at the end of your sets too.

    I have the same problem, my outer head is much weaker/smaller than the other two. I started working to even that out but unfortunately hit a bit of a snag in the form of a dislocated shoulder back in March, so I just started lifting again recently. Otherwise, I'd hopefully have some more "real world" experiential advice to give ya.
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  12. #12
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mightymouse37 View Post
    Isolate?

    No.

    Emphasize?

    Yes.

    I've found lying skulls done w/a hammer-grip barbell [basically, palms facing in] fry my outer heads like nothing else - I also read recently that the lateral head is most recruited closer to the "lockout" portion of tricep moves, so you could try doing some partials at the end of your sets too.

    I have the same problem, my outer head is much weaker/smaller than the other two. I started working to even that out but unfortunately hit a bit of a snag in the form of a dislocated shoulder back in March, so I just started lifting again recently. Otherwise, I'd hopefully have some more "real world" experiential advice to give ya.
    good advice, i assume u mean DB hammer grip skulls?
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  13. #13
    f*ck you, carpal tunnel mightymouse37's Avatar
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    Cool

    Originally Posted by Fondry View Post
    good advice, i assume u mean DB hammer grip skulls?
    Actually, I was talking about this bad boy:



    I guess some people call em tricep bars too, which makes sense, lol
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    Originally Posted by mightymouse37 View Post
    Isolate?

    No.

    Emphasize?

    Yes.

    I've found lying skulls done w/a hammer-grip barbell [basically, palms facing in] fry my outer heads like nothing else - I also read recently that the lateral head is most recruited closer to the "lockout" portion of tricep moves, so you could try doing some partials at the end of your sets too.

    I have the same problem, my outer head is much weaker/smaller than the other two. I started working to even that out but unfortunately hit a bit of a snag in the form of a dislocated shoulder back in March, so I just started lifting again recently. Otherwise, I'd hopefully have some more "real world" experiential advice to give ya.
    Exactly, emg's will show you can emphasize a certain head of the triceps. Besides lying skull crushers with a neutral grip, some other good ones are close grip bench press, behind the neck overhead press (virtually no long head involved), and kickbacks will all work the lateral head with less emphasis on the long head.

    Kickbacks seem like a good choice if you want to emphasize the lockout portion. I know they get a bad rap for the lack of weight that can be used, but for pure bodybuilding purposes, they may provide just the stimulus you need, especially to the lateral head. I personally think they have their place and are worth a shot.
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  15. #15
    MakinItBIG's Role Model bAby norAA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Derock View Post
    Exactly, emg's will show you can emphasize a certain head of the triceps. Besides lying skull crushers with a neutral grip, some other good ones are close grip bench press, behind the neck overhead press (virtually no long head involved), and kickbacks will all work the lateral head with less emphasis on the long head.

    Kickbacks seem like a good choice if you want to emphasize the lockout portion. I know they get a bad rap for the lack of weight that can be used, but for pure bodybuilding purposes, they may provide just the stimulus you need, especially to the lateral head. I personally think they have their place and are worth a shot.
    great info in there. thanks!
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  16. #16
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    Lateral head is worked hard during pressing movements. Doing heavy pressing is the best thing that you can do. After doing your militaries, benching, dips (all great for lateral head), finish with a few sets of close grip bench.
    No sir, I don't like it.
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  17. #17
    seaman extremist battousai216's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.

    the tricep is a small muscle group that flexes as a whole.

    the best tricep growth will get triggered from heavy compound lifts such as pressing on chest day. or to a certain extent pulling on back day. it even takes a good hit on leg day (squats)

    reverse grip bench is one of the best movements I've done for triceps... every single other movement no matter what it is.. is an extension movement or some kind of variation.. they are all the same.. some more dominent then others such as kick backs (worst) vs overhead db/cable extensions (best).


    if that etched in detail of that tricep to elbow connective tissue is what your after.. then your gonna have to lower your body fat.. which from the looks of your picture ain't all that high in the first place (edit...as I was... isn't high)
    i disagree, you can't isolate any one head but you ca emphasize one

    and i have an overdeveloped lateral head in my tricep
    you wanna know how i did it, this is how, i never saved anything for the swim back.
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  18. #18
    Supplement Logger papi93's Avatar
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    Examine the exercises, in this thread, for greater lateral head activation:

    http://forum1.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=2745401
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  19. #19
    STEP INTO THE DEMONS LAIR trivium9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.

    the tricep is a small muscle group that flexes as a whole.
    I hate to be the bearer of bad new but it is completely possible to emphasize one head over another. It would be the same thing as an overdeveloped deltoid head.

    Originally Posted by de_barathrum View Post
    it may be harder to isolate a particular head on the triceps than lets say, the deltoid, but certain movements and grips have different emphasis.
    Originally Posted by Derock View Post
    Exactly, emg's will show you can emphasize a certain head of the triceps. Besides lying skull crushers with a neutral grip, some other good ones are close grip bench press, behind the neck overhead press (virtually no long head involved), and kickbacks will all work the lateral head with less emphasis on the long head.

    Kickbacks seem like a good choice if you want to emphasize the lockout portion. I know they get a bad rap for the lack of weight that can be used, but for pure bodybuilding purposes, they may provide just the stimulus you need, especially to the lateral head. I personally think they have their place and are worth a shot.
    Exactly, with different grips and elbow positioning different heads can be emphasized.
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  20. #20
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ReSpAwN DeMoN View Post
    sorry to be the provider for bad news.. but you can't isolate one particular head..

    I've seen people with overdevelopped pecs or a particular deltoid head (anterior) but I've yet to see someone overdevelop a tricep head.

    the tricep is a small muscle group that flexes as a whole.

    the best tricep growth will get triggered from heavy compound lifts such as pressing on chest day. or to a certain extent pulling on back day. it even takes a good hit on leg day (squats)

    reverse grip bench is one of the best movements I've done for triceps... every single other movement no matter what it is.. is an extension movement or some kind of variation.. they are all the same.. some more dominent then others such as kick backs (worst) vs overhead db/cable extensions (best).


    if that etched in detail of that tricep to elbow connective tissue is what your after.. then your gonna have to lower your body fat.. which from the looks of your picture ain't all that high in the first place (edit...as I was... isn't high)

    You can't completely isolate, but you can certainly emphasize.

    EMG and MRI verify this. And that is beyond simple pragmatic observation.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  21. #21
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fondry View Post
    I'm wondering if there are any tricep exercises that focus mainly on the lateral head of the tricep. When ever i do my tricep exercises i hit mainly the long head, and i've noticed its quite a bit bigger than my lateral head.

    Any tips/tricks, like certain exercises, or modifying a particular motion? i really want to hit that head hard, but no matter what i do i have a hard time isolating it.

    thanks guys!
    Best exercise for me to work the lateral head:

    Bent over rope extensions keeping the hands face down and letting the elbows flare each rep.



    Works like a charm.
    CSCS, ACSM cPT.
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  22. #22
    back after a layoff Meni's Avatar
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    how about this
    try to do 3 movements to cover all 3 heads
    with your arm in 3 positions
    overhead
    by your side
    straight in front
    there all 3 heads hit

    maybe
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  23. #23
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    Hook em Horns

    Yes, you do have gyno
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  24. #24
    Time to bleed!!! Mr. Tripeps's Avatar
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    I have always had the same problem as the TS. My long head is much more developed, and is genetically predisposed to be, than my lateral head.
    The information I have gathered regarding emphasizing different heads are all based around arm positioning. To my knowledge, the long head crosses the shoulder joint, so when the arm is extended overhead like in OH dumbell extensions, OH rope extensions, and french presses, the long head is in a stretched position, which emphasizes it more than the other heads. This is similar to the way the calf and soleus work during standing calf raises (stretched calf position, emphasizes calves more) and seated (relaxed calf muscle, which allows the soleus to be emphasized more).
    With that in mind, try to stick to tricep exercises where the long head is not in a stretched position. I also agree with Defiant1, that when the elbows are flared, it emphasizes the lateral head more.
    My favorite exercise for the lateral head are wide grip press downs. Take a pulldown bar, put it on your favorite stack, use a wider than shoulder grip, lean over it a bit with your head on one side of the cable and press down. It acts like the top 25% of a bench press, but with little to no chest activation.
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  25. #25
    Registered User Drabnak's Avatar
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    CGBP is what works for me. Dips for overall mass are also important.
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  26. #26
    GROPEGRABOSHITWTFBBQ! Hard Drive's Avatar
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    Dips, CGBP, supine dumbell extension, V-grip pushdown, weighted diamond pushups...

    If it really bugs you to an extreme level, go get some synthol and shove it up in that lateral head for a efw months. Then work the crap out of your triceps once it gets out of there, muscle will take the place of the synthol. Keep in mind, I am NOT giving professional advice nor advice that I would personally follow.
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    GROPEGRABOSHITWTFBBQ! Hard Drive's Avatar
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    Best Method

    The best method I know of to isolate the lateral head above everything else is:
    pushups with a resistance band.
    It's pretty simple, the further the band stretches, the more resistance it gives. The lateral head is most active towards the end of the movement on pressing, so if you wrap the band around your neck and hold it in each hand and start pushing, you'll feel an incredible burn once yuo're done.
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