Few other exercises promise great results on the triceps like the dumbbell lying triceps extension.
Many people pay more attention to biceps when it comes to sculpting more muscular arms.
This may be attributed to the fact that whenever you flex your elbow, they are the arm muscles that are primarily seen. However, biceps only make up a third of the mass of your upper arms.
Triceps make up the other two-thirds. Triceps are the posterior muscles of the upper arm and also form a powerful extensor for the elbow joint.
Tricep extensions are perfect for building and shaping these arm muscles. The dumbbell lying triceps extension particularly target these triceps more effectively.
This is because it equally works all the three heads of the triceps brachii; medial, lateral, and long head.
Dumbbell lying triceps extension only requires a flat bench and a pair of dumbbells. It is also called the skull crusher because you could put your skull at risk if you do not perform it correctly.
It is important to add this exercise to your upper-body muscle-building workout because stronger arms make you stronger and more functional in your everyday tasks.
HOW TO PERFORM DUMBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION
Here is a detailed step-by-step process of how to do dumbbell lying triceps extension to improve your triceps form;
- Grab a pair of dumbbells. Choose weights that complement your fitness level.
- Lie face up on a flat gym bench. Your head, back and butt should be in contact with the bench while your feet is flat on the ground.
- With your arms extended above your chest and your palms facing each other, hold the dumbbells in each hand with a neutral grip. Ensure your arms are aligned with your shoulder and elbows straight.
- Keep your upper arms stationary then bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until they reach your ears. Make sure to breath in as your arms go down.
- Pause and squeeze your triceps. Then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position while breathing out.
- Repeat this movement for 2-3 sets.
WHAT MUSCLES DO DUMBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION
The dumbbell lying triceps extension is an isolation exercise meaning it trains just one muscle group across a single joint.
TRICEPS BRACHII MUSCLE
The dumbbell lying triceps extension trains the triceps brachii muscle. The triceps brachii muscle is located in the rear of your upper arm.
It consists of three heads — the long head, lateral head and medial head which insert into the elbow. The long head and lateral head originate from the scapula and back of the humerus respectively and stretches across the elbow joint.
During the exercise when the tricep contracts, it extends the elbow joint against the resistance of the weight and gravity.
However, more emphasis is given to the long head of the triceps because the necessary shoulder movement leads to combination of shoulder and elbow extension.
The secondary muscles worked are the chest, deltoid, forearm and anconeus while the antagonists are biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis.
DUMBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION BENEFITS
The dumbbell lying triceps extension increases the strength and range of motion of your elbows and shoulders. It also improves your arms’ flexibility.
Therefore, there are several benefits of the dumbbell lying triceps extension. These include strengthening your triceps, sculpting your upper body, stabilizing your shoulder joint, fixing triceps imbalances and injury rehabilitation.
Strengthened triceps make it easier to perform everyday push or pull activities.
DUMBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION VARIATIONS
Undoubtedly, the dumbbell lying triceps extension is one of the best triceps exercises. However, there are a few variations of the exercise that you can perform using different equipment and positions.
BARBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION
This exercise is quite similar to the dumbbell lying triceps extension except that you use a barbell instead of a dumbbell.
OVERHEAD LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION
This exercise can be performed while standing. You can use a bar, kettlebell, rope or dumbbell to do this.
ROLLING DUMBELL TRICEPS EXTENSION
The difference between this exercise and dumbbell lying triceps extension is; you lower the dumbbell down to your shoulders then roll your shoulders by moving your elbows towards your head.
STABILITY BALL TRICEPS EXTENSION
Unlike in dumbbell lying triceps extension, in this exercise you lie on a stability ball instead of a flat gym bench.
SIDE LEANING TRICEP EXTENSION
For this exercise, you will need a yoga mat and just one dumbbell. Side lie on the yoga mat with your bottom leg slightly bent and your free arm braced on the floor for support.
DUMBELL LYING TRICEPS EXTENSION MISTAKES TO AVOID
Do not lock your elbows as you go back to the starting position to extend your arm as it will divert the tension from your triceps.
Ensure your elbows are kept in and don’t flare out when moving the weights. Also, do not position your elbow vertically as this would counteract gravity’s effect.
Do not open your elbows too wide or try to get help from the chest and back muscles.
As seen above, this is a very effective and quite beneficial. Be careful not to hit your face or head with the weight especially when you start feel