How to Do Reverse Triceps Extension Properly

The reverse grip triceps extension is an intense and result-driven workout that isolates, strengthens, and builds your triceps.

It can be performed using a resistance band or straight bar attachment and a pulley machine. Underhand grips are ideal for this exercise because underhand grips minimize forearm engagement and put less stress on your elbows.

Likewise, underhand grips keep your elbows more to your sides, generating a more muscular contraction at the top of each rep.

Also known as; Underhand Tricep Pushdown

Muscles Targeted: Triceps

Exercise Type: Hypertrophy

Exercise Mechanics: Isolation

Difficulty Level: beginner

Required Equipment: Cable machine, Straight bar attachment

STEPS;

  • Set a cable machine, and to it attach a straight bar.
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, facing a cable machine. You can alternatively use a resistance band. Hang the bar at your chest height.
  • Grasp the bar (ideally with an underhand grip) with your palms facing up.
  • Bend slightly forward to begin the exercise. Ensure your shoulder blades are close together and your chest is up high.
  • Tuck your elbows to your sides and squeeze your triceps to lower the bar attachment until you extend your arms fully.
  • Take a slight pause at the bottom of the rep and contract your triceps hard.
  • Gently release the load and resume the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended sets of reps.

TIPS

  • Ensure you don’t lock your elbows out fully to maintain the tension in your triceps.
  • Avoid moving your elbow in front of you as you reach the bottom of the rep.
  • Don’t tilt your shoulder blades forward as you extend your elbows.
  • Practice the fixed elbow positioning all through the session. You realize you may stretch better at the bottom of the rep by letting your elbows move behind your body at the eccentric phase of the motion.

MUSCLES WORKED BY REVERSE TRICEPS EXTENSION

PRIMARY MUSCLE GROUP:

As the name suggests, reverse triceps extension primarily works the triceps. The tricep muscle comprises three heads, the long head, the lateral, and the medial head.

Your whole tricep will be isolated as you work out, but remember, these three heads work depending on the movement pattern. This workout targets specifically the medial head.

As you work out, you will engage some stabilizer muscles as well. These muscles include the latissimus dorsi, the traps, the core, and the shoulders. These muscles work in unison to prevent any movement.

BENEFITS OF REVERSE TRICEPS EXTENSION

There are many visible benefits of performing reverse triceps extensions. They include

SIZE AND STRENGTH GAINS

Any movement that involves a pushdown is known for hypertrophy and size gains in your triceps. Most lifters, however, ignore this workout.

Reverse triceps extension targets the medial head of the tricep, which is located under the more visible heads.

This workout is recommended for anyone whose workout goal is triceps hypertrophy, whether you are a weightlifter, engage in sporting activities, or want to tone your arms to shape.

TRICEP ISOLATION

Reverse tricep extension is an isolation drill. Isolation workouts are highly beneficial since you can correct muscle imbalances in your body.

For example, if your chest strength is far more than This exercise, your body physique will look bomb and improve your performance in other workouts such as the dumbbell fly or incline presses.

VERSATILITY

Reverse triceps extensions are versatile and convenient, unlike other tricep workouts that are expensive and can only be accessed at a gym. You can modify the exercise to your liking; all you need is a resistance band.

As long as you can access a stable hook or a straight bar, attach the resistance bar, and you are good to go. You can build the size and strength of your triceps wherever you are, at your convenience.

ALTERNATIVES TO REVERSE TRICEP EXTENSIONS

Check these alternative tricep workouts that have similar benefits as the reverse triceps extensions:

SKULL CRUSHERS

Requirements: Dumbbells

To do skull crushers:

  • Lie on your back on the floor and step on the ground firmly.
  • Hold the dumbbells with both arms above your chest and tighten your core. Ensure your palms face each other.
  • Your elbows should be stationary at this phase. Hinge them to lower the dumbbells gently.
  • Squeeze your triceps to straighten your arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat!

ALTERNATING TRICEPS KICKBACKS

Requirements: Kettlebells

Steps:

  • Begin with a standing position, with your feet at a hip-width stance.
  • Maintain the straight back posture and hinge forward such that your back is almost parallel to the floor.
  • Hold the kettlebell handle using one hand and ensure your palm faces inwards.
  • Raise the kettlebell towards your chest and bend your arm such that the angle between your elbow and forearm is 90 degrees.
  • At this point, your elbow should be in a stationary position. Contract your tricep to move the kettlebell behind you until you extend your arm to the maximum. Contract your tricep when you reach each rep’s top and resume the initial position.
  • Keep switching your arms and repeat.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING REVERSE TRICEPS EXTENSION

FLARING THE ELBOWS OUT

This is a typical reverse tricep extension mistake. When you flare your elbows out to your sides, you recruit your chest and shoulder muscles. Working these muscles is just okay, except your goal here is to isolate the triceps.

If you want effective muscle hypertrophy, avoid flaring your elbows out to maintain the proper technique.

EXCESSIVE ELBOW MOVEMENT

Many individuals often sway their arms back and forth as they perform this exercise.

You can lift more weight than usual, but you’ll actually be using momentum and engaging your lats to complete the workout. As you know, momentum is an enemy of almost all weightlifting exercises.

To specifically target your triceps, keep your elbows tucked to your sides. You will be able to contract your triceps fully.

ROUNDING THE BACK

People often round their backs when they perform exercises that involve heavy weightlifting. Rounding the back is usually caused when you try to gain control over the load. You cannot correctly execute the workout if you’re lifting too much weight. Correct this by concentrating on maintaining a straight back and holding your chest up.

Load the appropriate weight and practice the correct technique.

CONCLUSION

If your goal is to improve your tricep symmetry, consider trying reverse triceps extensions. This exercise will train your triceps and keep your wrists in a safe position as you work out.

The exercise will require you to tuck your elbows all through. This will ensure the correct muscle-building technique, which will only happen at the peak of the rep.

It is ideal for performing this workout while standing because the chances of using higher reps are many. Use the correct technique, and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Give it a try!