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    Registered User Lionel6's Avatar
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    Which triceps heads are activated

    Which triceps heads are activated during benchpress and which are activated by shoulder press? How do you know which triceps heads are activated by which exercise?
    Last edited by Lionel6; 02-28-2021 at 10:04 AM.
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    Poster above me is a phag Dennis71's Avatar
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    All heads but to a negligent amount.


    Work your tricep heads independently and not through big compound movements
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    Registered User Lionel6's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dennis71 View Post
    All heads but to a negligent amount.


    Work your tricep heads independently and not through big compound movements
    Narrow grip benchpresses train triceps well but are big compound movements.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    If you're extending at the elbow,

    Activated: long, lateral, medial
    Not activated:
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    Best answer above is all heads to one degree or another.
    You can never really isolate a working muscle as others will be helping regardless.
    It really depends on the angle of the upper arms to where you are directing the force but usually PL style BP is arms closer to the side of the body hitting inner and lower tricep around the elbow especially from 1/2 way up to lockout.
    Shoulder press is a little different in that now the upper arm is going above the head which in start position stretches the triceps a little bit and hits the medial long head more.
    If you were to do overhead tricep extensions with a bar or DB it would give you even more of a stretch.
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    Originally Posted by Dennis71 View Post
    All heads but to a negligent amount.


    Work your tricep heads independently and not through big compound movements
    I recommend hitting triceps directly but the tricep activation from presses isn’t negligible at all brah.

    You can build pretty big triceps from bench and overhead press. In fact, that’s where you’re going to build the majority of your tricep size. The extensions etc. are just the finishing touch.

    Also to answer OP’s question, horizontal presses hit mostly medial/lateral head and vertical presses hit mostly long head.
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    I think the long and the lateral; for shoving the bar and locking out, respectively. It will incorporate all of them the harder you go.

    On the ohp idunno I think the medial head is used more along with the lateral.
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    Poster above me is a phag Dennis71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ironface View Post
    I recommend hitting triceps directly but the tricep activation from presses isn’t negligible at all brah.

    You can build pretty big triceps from bench and overhead press. In fact, that’s where you’re going to build the majority of your tricep size. The extensions etc. are just the finishing touch.

    Also to answer OP’s question, horizontal presses hit mostly medial/lateral head and vertical presses hit mostly long head.
    One size does not fit all. But I never gained any noticeable size on my tris (esp the long/medial head)

    until I moved away from big compound lifts and focused primarily on overhead movements that cause big stretch in the triceps
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    Originally Posted by Dennis71 View Post
    One size does not fit all. But I never gained any noticeable size on my tris (esp the long/medial head)

    until I moved away from big compound lifts and focused primarily on overhead movements that cause big stretch in the triceps
    Do you press with a wide grip? (Bench and OHP)

    That’d give you less tricep development than using a more medium grip
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    Originally Posted by Dennis71 View Post
    One size does not fit all. But I never gained any noticeable size on my tris (esp the long/medial head)

    until I moved away from big compound lifts and focused primarily on overhead movements that cause big stretch in the triceps
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    This study makes a strong case that a lying triceps extension should be included with a bench press to get meaningful increases in the long head. I do think the long head would get hypertrophy with the bench press alone long term but it seems doing the lying tricep extension as well will provide significant benefit. Point being I wouldn't rely on just the regular bench press if the goal is to fully stimulate the triceps. I'd have to look for papers regarding the shoulder press to make the bench press and shoulder press comparison. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32149887/
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    This study makes a strong case that a lying triceps extension should be included with a bench press to get meaningful increases in the long head. I do think the long head would get hypertrophy with the bench press alone long term but it seems doing the lying tricep extension as well will provide significant benefit. Point being I wouldn't rely on just the regular bench press if the goal is to fully stimulate the triceps. I'd have to look for papers regarding the shoulder press to make the bench press and shoulder press comparison. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32149887/
    Bench and lying extensions are great for triceps. Same with OHP for the long head.

    When it comes to presses and tricep development, I think barbells tend to beat dumbbells. Something to do with the ability to squeeze the bar apart which you don’t get when each hand has the ability to move independently of each other.

    If looking to specifically emphasise triceps, I’d recommend a shoulder width grip for bench and OHP. Going too close can be hard on the wrists and going wider is going to shift the focus more evenly amongst the prime movers.

    Also, tricep extensions should be done with shoulder extension to engage the long head. Otherwise you’re basically just doing skullcrushers.
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    Originally Posted by Ironface View Post
    I recommend hitting triceps directly but the tricep activation from presses isn’t negligible at all brah.

    You can build pretty big triceps from bench and overhead press. In fact, that’s where you’re going to build the majority of your tricep size. The extensions etc. are just the finishing touch.

    Also to answer OP’s question, horizontal presses hit mostly medial/lateral head and vertical presses hit mostly long head.
    ^^ Seconded.

    I do very little direct tricep work, but do bench multiple times a week, along with routine OHP and dips. My arms are not enormous but I have certainly gained plenty of tricep development from just this. When I was a teenager regularly doing isos and avoiding compounds, my triceps remained fairly small. That said, I press with a wider grip and the long head is conspicuously predominant on me. Evening that out would probably be a challenge without direct tricep work, but there's no question that heavy compound presses have resulted in notable growth in my experience.
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    all of them but you might be better served doing an overhead tricep extension to maximize growth of the long head
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    Originally Posted by Ironface View Post
    I recommend hitting triceps directly but the tricep activation from presses isn’t negligible at all brah.

    You can build pretty big triceps from bench and overhead press. In fact, that’s where you’re going to build the majority of your tricep size. The extensions etc. are just the finishing touch.

    Also to answer OP’s question, horizontal presses hit mostly medial/lateral head and vertical presses hit mostly long head.
    Thanks for answers. Do you mean benchpresses as horizontal presses and shoulder presses as vertical presses?
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